Acadeum: ACC Course Sharing Initiative
Since 1997, Austin Community College (ACC) has participated in inter-institutional course sharing across the state, with over 50,000 students gaining access to required courses for credential completion. Course sharing has been conducted in two primary consortiums. The first, the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas (DigiTEX) formerly known as the Virtual College of Texas, is a state-funded consortium of fifty community and junior-level colleges throughout the state of Texas. The second, the League for Innovation, is a nationwide consortium of higher education institutions with over five hundred members. Course sharing for both consortiums is conducted through Acadeum, an online sharing platform where colleges list course sections with available seats to help meet the meets of qualified prospective students that are in need when their home institutions are not able to provide their required classes. Together, DigiTEX and the League for Innovation have helped thousands of students complete their degree plans without delaying their education.
How It Works
Course sharing is facilitated by the Office of Distance & Alternative Education (DE). Roughly 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the registration period for the respective upcoming semester, the Distance Education Acadeum Coordinator (Chris Davis) will reach out to the deans and department chairs for-credit courses with a list of online course sections DE would like to offer limited select seats in. The departments and area deans are provided a period for comment and review in which they may designate additional sections they would like to offer or courses they identify as not ready for course sharing. The DE-selected sections are identified using the information provided in the online course schedule with particular emphasis placed on:
- Sophomore-level courses
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) courses
- Fully online programs
- Online courses designated as being “in need” by other institutions
- Online courses in shorter lengths (ie. 6-8 weeks)
- Online course sections taught by experienced Distance Learning instructors
- Course sections that utilize OER (Open Education Resources)
- Courses that meet online Quality Matters course design standards
DE may also contact the deans and department chairs throughout the registration period with specific requests from consortial partners who have specific needs.
Upon conclusion of the review period, DE will upload to the Acadeum online course sharing platform the approved list of course sections. The Acadeum registration period is intended to start day and date with ACC’s and lasts up to approximately 3 weeks prior to the start of the respective course section.
Benefits of Participation
ACC’s participation in course sharing is done as a service to in-need students from other higher education institutions at competitive pricing rates. In addition to the benefits students see in saving money and not delaying their educational plans, ACC departments and faculty see the following benefits:
- Increased Success Rates: Students coming from other institutions through Acadeum tend to be strongly motivated to complete their course(s).
- Program Growth: ACC departments and programs with a growth trajectory may consider utilizing Acadeum to help their courses expand.
- Endangered Section Status Protection: Course sections that are designated as “endangered” may be protected if the section is near the required “make” seat count and has registered Acadeum students enrolled in it.
- Texas Education Goals: Participation in Acadeum will help THECB in reaching the “60x30TX” goal of having 60% of students aged 25-34 in holding a college degree by the year 2030.
Course Section Requirements for Participation
ACC courses must meet certain requirements in order to qualify to participate in Acadeum course sharing. The following are the requirements for participation and listing on the Acadeum platform:
- The course must be taught in Blackboard. Course sections that utilize Google Classroom are not acceptable. Courses that use software and tools that are not locked behind an ACC student email address (ie. MyMathLab, etc.) are acceptable.
- No on-campus participation requirement. Courses fit for the Acadeum platform cannot require a student to come to either an ACC campus or their home college campus. Any visitation must be entirely student-voluntary. As such, only courses taught using the ONL asynchronous or DLS synchronous course modes are typically acceptable.
- No content can be locked behind an ACC student email address. Students coming from Acadeum have very limited access to ACC resources. Because they are NOT entered into Ellucian/Colleague, they are not issued an ACC email address and thus cannot access any content locked behind one. While Acadeum students will thus not have access to common ACC resources (tutoring, library, etc.) they will still have the resources of their home institutions to utilize during the class.
- A publicly-available course syllabus must be supplied. Per the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) rules and Texas HB 2504 requirements, a syllabus is required to be listed in every Acadeum course listing. DE will either request a copy of the assigned instructor’s most recent syllabus or provide a master syllabus from the ACC Master Syllabus Repository (MSR). Syllabi uploaded to the MSR must be publicly accessible and not restricted to ACC.
Student Expectations for Participation
Students coming from Acadeum institutions will operate exactly the same as their ACC counterparts and, for the most part, should be indistinguishable in contact and quality of their work.
Acadeum students will not receive (or be expected to receive) any special treatment throughout the length of the course.
They will also need to meet the same registration requirements an ACC student would, including all prerequisites, in order to be enrolled in the course.
At the start of the course, these students will be required to begin participating in the class within the first 24 hours. Failure on their part without providing adequate reasoning for a delay will result in them being involuntarily withdrawn.
Faculty Expectations for Participation
Faculty teaching course sections with participating Acadeum students will not be required to do any extra work in most instances. The only exception applies to the final grade for the student. Participating faculty will need to create a new column in their grade book in Blackboard entitled “ACADEUM” and enter the letter grade equivalent for the respective Acadeum students. No further action will be needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
ACC course sections listed on Acadeum’s platform are limited based on the seat caps listed on the course catalog in consultation with the deans and department chairs. Based on a seat cap below 30, we list 2 seats on Acadeum. For seat caps at 30 or more, we list 3 seats. The goal is to limit any overage requirements to 10% on top of the regular seat load and keep workloads within estimated LEH projections. If we receive additional interest beyond the 2-3 seats listed in the Acadeum course listing, we will contact the department chairs to see about making additional course sections available. It is up to the department chairs to determine whether they wish to lower the seat cap for ACC students to accommodate Acadeum students or if they wish to override them on top of the current seat cap.
ACC enforces the exact same expectations for enrollment from Acadeum as we do for regular ACC students. Acadeum students will be required to meet the same prerequisite requirements and no substitutions that aren’t already accepted by ACC department program maps will be admitted. Students coming from Acadeum institutions will be in-need and will have already had to demonstrate to their home college or university that they cannot otherwise wait to take the class in a different semester and that they meet the qualifications to enroll. Acadeum students will also meet TSI requirements.
Acadeum students are provided Blackboard and OKTA access approximately two weeks prior to the start of a course. These students will be issued unique ACCeID numbers that begin with “vct”. They will not have an ACC email address but instead will show up in your users list in the course Blackboard as having a student email address from their home institution. Rosters are provided by DE to the respective faculty at the close of each Acadeum reservation period for the various session lengths.
Course sections that utilize First Day Access for course materials are very common. As Acadeum students are not entered into Workday/Ellucian and are not charged the additional First Day fees, the materials are not provided to them automatically at the start of the class. Instead, the Acadeum course listings specifically note First Day Access courses and instruct prospective students to purchase the “opt-out” materials listed in the ACC bookstore.
Acadeum students enrolled at ACC are not charged for or given access to internal ACC services and tools that our regular students receive as part of their formal enrollment. This includes areas such as advising and tutoring, with the exception of academic testing. The operating expectation is that the Acadeum student will use the services at their home institution to augment their learning experience at ACC.
For accessibility and Student Accessibility Services (SAS) matters, please contact the Office of Distance Education (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss the options available.
A student is expected to operate by the requirements of their instructor and department whether they are from ACC or another institution through Acadeum. ACC’s Acadeum insertion procedures for students provide them access to OKTA and the class Blackboard, allowing them access to all the proctoring tools outlined in the TLED Testing Guide. No special arrangements should be considered necessary for an Acadeum student if the rest of the class is already allowed to test from home.
Please contact the Office of Distance Education for any questions: email@example.com.
Please contact the Office of Distance & Alternative Education for any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.