Small PSE institutions in US combining to be greater force in online ed realm

March 20, 2014

Several PSE organizations in the US have created initiatives that see small PSE institutions working together and sharing best practices to compete with larger institutions in the online education sphere. The Teagle Foundation, which supports undergraduate arts and sciences education, has put out a request for proposals for groups of small colleges and universities to “integrate forms of online education into residential liberal arts settings in productive ways that maintain or enhance the effectiveness of learning and address issues of institutional capacity.” The foundation is offering grants of up to $280,000 for such collaborations. The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) will next year launch an initiative to bring 20 of the organization’s members together in a Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction. Each member institution will commit to creating 2 upper-year humanities courses that use online educational resources, or that feature automated-grading or online-collaboration technology. The CIC initiative will discourage members from pitching MOOCs, however; CIC President Richard Ekman says MOOCs have yet to address the needs of many of the students studying at CIC member institutions. Inside Higher Ed | CIC News Release