CAEL is a pioneer in the field of prior learning assessment (PLA). In 1974, CAEL took the lead in articulating the philosophical basis for PLA as well as developing a set of policies and procedures for performing it in an academically sound manner. CAEL is a leader in training adult learning practitioners and preparing institutions to provide quality prior learning assessment programs. Today, in response to the unique needs of adult learners, CAEL has launched LearningCounts.org to serve as a online portal for students to develop PLA portfolios and have them assessed for college credit.
In the late 1990's, instructors at Heritage University including Loren Schmidt and Kristine Klamm began to offer online supplements to their face-to-face courses, intended primarily to provide students who missed classes the opportunity to make up class work with lecture outlines, study questions, the next session's assignments, and so on.
These initial courses used the instructors' own websites, but in 1999, Heritage purchased Jenzabar, an online course delivery system linked with the Jenzabar software used for registration and other student services activities. This allowed instructors using the supplemental approach to convert some of their classes to fully online delivery. Jenzabar and Heritage's own "early adopters" provided faculty training and support and by 2002, a number of instructors in English, Philosophy, Mathematics, and Computer Science were offering online courses on a regular basis.
A system upgrade by Jenzabar in 2003 provided additional opportunities by permitting instructors to add links to websites and databases and improving chat abilities. Most importantly, the Heritage University Library kept pace, made its library catalog and all of its databases available online, and transferred many of its subscriptions to online versions of the key academic journals. This allowed students at Heritage's remote sites (Tri-Cities, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and Seattle campuses) to access the full range of the Heritage Library. At the same time, it made it possible for Heritage to offer classes to students who were unable to attend classes at any of our campuses. During this period, several departments made great strides in offering their courses in online formats. For example, by 2008, every class required by the undergraduate and graduate English programs had been offered online and Heritage had graduated undergraduate English majors residing in cities such as Phoenix, Denver, Vancouver, and Omak. Similarly, the Social Work Department eased its task of offering its upper-level courses at the branch campuses by offering many key courses in online format, thereby reducing faculty travel time and increasing faculty time to work with students.
A further upgrade to the Jenzabar system in 2007 introduced the current "MyHeritage" course delivery system used today. The most important element of this upgrade from a teaching point of view was the ability to include video with our courses. Some Heritage instructors had already begun filming class sessions in the mid-2000's, producing videotapes or DVD's for students to watch if they missed a class or needed to take a class during a term when no class sessions were available. With the new capabilities, however, instructors were also able to produce pure video lectures or step-by-step instructions and post those for their online students as well as linking in video available elsewhere online. Heritage's Title V technology grant provided both the hardware (HD video cameras with Dolby 5.1 sound, a video editing station with Adobe Premiere and Adobe Captivate software, Elluminate software to provide online office hours, etc.) and support for IT and faculty trainers. Since 2006, faculty members Ed Rousculp, Loren Schmidt, Linda Schmidt, Ann Olson, and Mary James have all provided regular training in using MyHeritage, Elluminate, and the video hardware and software. By 2008, Heritage regularly offered 20 courses entirely online per year, primarily in English, Philosophy, History, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Social Work, but also including classes in disciplines such as Nursing, Science, and Clinical Laboratory Science. Some faculty members (such as those preparing to offer courses with OCICU) have been teaching online for 8-10 years.
Mount St. Mary's University joined the OCICU consortium as a pilot member in 2004/2005 to afford our students the opportunity to take online courses through the consortium. In fall 2006, Mount St. Mary's began offering online courses to its students. Since that time, we have offered both online and hybrid format courses in both the undergraduate and accelerated undergraduate programs, adding more and more offerings each year. In summer 2009, Mount St. Mary's University began to offer its online courses through the OCICU consortium.
All online courses are developed from a basis of Best Practices in quality online teaching and learning. The Instructional Technologist/Faculty in charge of these efforts, Mary Beth Graham, is a Master Reviewer with Quality Matters and has extensive experience and expertise in the development and delivery of online courses. She oversees the development of online courses, and provides training and personal assistance to faculty members who are developing and teaching online courses.
At Mount St. Mary's University, our ultimate goal is to maximize student learning by providing quality online learning opportunities for our students.
In its Vision Statement, Neumann University, a Catholic University in the Franciscan Tradition, provides innovative and integrative programs of excellence.
In 1974, Neumann University pioneered the accelerated Liberal Studies Degree Program for adults. The Division has a history of serving the needs of the lifelong learner through interdisciplinary, innovative and accelerated programming. Neumann University has been recognized as a leader in the field of higher education and is highly regarded for the excellence of its educational programs and the success of its graduates. In February of 2005, Neumann University sought and later received approval for the addition of a distance learning method of delivery for complete degree programs.
The University offers an education based on the concepts that knowledge, while valuable in itself, is to be used in the service of others, and that learning is a life-long process. The Program staff encourages and provides opportunities for adult students to view learning as a life-long process. The tradition of educational outreach is implicit in Neumann University's Mission Statement that recognizes the University's responsibility to offer educational programs that anticipate and respond to the changing needs of society.
Founded in 1877, Regis University is the seventh largest of 28 private Jesuit universities in the United States. Regis is nationally recognized for its leadership in designing and delivering adult-centered education that is both cutting-edge and rooted in tradition. Its School for Professional Studies serves more than 13,000 adult students online and/or at sites in Colorado and Nevada. With 15-plus years of distance education experience, Regis University offers comprehensive online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The first OCICU course provider, Regis makes more than 200 online courses available to members.
Founded in 1921, Robert Morris University (RMU) is a private, four-year institution. The main campus is located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. The Center for Adult and Continuing Education is located near the nation's seventh largest concentration of Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. Degrees and programs offered through the School of Adult and Continuing Education, provide a variety of learner friendly formats, including accelerated and online delivery. All formats utilize applied learning and real world knowledge and are integrated with an online component of some kind. Robert Morris has been providing online course opportunities for OCICU member schools since 2006.
As the first Catholic college in Florida in 1889, Saint Leo University continues in its 1,500-year old Benedictine tradition by serving 14,000 traditional and non-traditional students of all faiths, with 41 academic programs. In addition to its main location, these programs are offered at off-campus locations in Florida, Virginia, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. In 1999, Saint Leo developed a top-notch online delivery system which was initiated with three courses. Currently, there are 200 online courses serving approximately 3500 students. The University is now one of the largest online higher education providers to the United States military. Saint Leo has been providing online course opportunities for OCICU member schools since 2006.
For almost 90 years, Seton Hill University has remained committed to one simple goal - providing students with a Catholic, liberal arts education in the best tradition of their founders, the Sisters of Charity. Located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the University is committed to improving teaching and learning through the integration of new pedagogical techniques and instructional technology into the curriculum. The institution has demonstrated its commitment to significantly increase the level of technology use in both administrative and academic systems by its participation in both The Technology Assisted Learning for Inclusionary Practice (TALIP) grant and Promoting Instruction and Learning Opportunities with Technology (PILOT). The professional faculty development provided by these programs as well as Seton Hill's Virtual Faculty Academy over the past five years have enabled the development of two online graduate programs, one online certificate program and a multitude of online and hybrid courses offered by every academic division.
A charter member of OCICU, Seton Hill became a provider beginning in fall 2007 with their 36-credit online Inclusive Education Graduate Program. The trend toward full inclusion of special needs students in the general curriculum led to the development of this program which prepares teachers for diverse classrooms that include students who are cognitively, ethnically, and socially diverse, and it will encourage teachers in the implementation of Universal design Instructional techniques on a daily basis. A graduate level certificate in Genocide and Holocaust Studies will be available through the Consortium beginning spring 2007.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private institution known for its solid educational programs and excellent connections with employers and students. The institution was founded in 1932 by Harry A.B. Shapiro as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in five schools, as well as online. SNHU Online began in 1996 with five degree programs. Currently 150+ degree programs are offered completely online to more than 35,000 students. Southern New Hampshire became an OCICU provider in 2006.
The University of the Incarnate Word is an outgrowth of the original mission that brought the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to San Antonio in 1869. The Sisters' work began with the care of victims of a cholera epidemic and the establishment of the first hospital in the city, an institution recognized today as the Christus Santa Rosa. Their ministry soon spread to the care of homeless children and teaching. In 1881, they secured a charter from the State of Texas, which empowered them to establish schools on all levels. In 1900, the Academy of the Incarnate Word was established. College classes were added to the curriculum in 1909, and the name of the institution was changed to the College and Academy of the Incarnate Word. Both the College and the High School were affiliated with the Texas State Department of Education in 1918. The college was fully accredited by the Association of College and Secondary Schools in 1925. The graduate division was added in 1950, and the school became co-educational in 1970. In 1996, it was recognized as a university. In 1998, the University was re-accredited at the baccalaureate and master degree level and approval was given to offer doctoral degrees by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools toward Doctoral degrees, in addition to Bachelors and Masters degrees.
In 1995, the University elected to move into new population areas, both in the adult education community and international arena. In 1995, the Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCaP) afforded adult learners the opportunity to get a quality education in the evening at an accelerated pace. The Universe Online program debuted in the fall of 2000 with 16 students and that same year was selected to be part of an unparalleled national consortium of 23 universities offering cyberspace schooling for soldiers in the United States Army through its program, Army University Access Online, more commonly known as eArmyU. Within a year, that enrollment had skyrocketed to over 500 and the Universe Online gained national acclaim in 2001 when U.S. News & World Report cited the online graduate business program as one of the best in the country. UIW continues to provide educational opportunity to students who desire to excel and overcome the challenges of time management and geographical constraints.