CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium Surpasses 100 Member Institutions

Online Course Sharing Consortium brochure coverAnnounced less than one year ago, CIC’s Online Course Sharing Consortium (CIC-OCSC) has already attracted more than 100 participating colleges. Through the Consortium platform, colleges and universities offer one another a wide range of online courses to meet curricular needs and to help students stay on track or get ahead for timely program and degree completion. Course sharing helps colleges address pressing course availability issues; improve revenue; strengthen retention and completion; and streamline payments and reporting procedures.

“CIC recognizes that private colleges need a way to provide for the judicious use of engaging, high-quality online courses to students to help them progress and complete their college degrees—whether to support those who want to ‘walk’ early at graduation or those who encounter disruptions in their personal lives that can derail paths to a degree,” CIC President Richard Ekman remarked.

By participating in CIC-OCSC, which is offered through a partnership with Acadeum | College Consortium, members can advance several key institutional strategies, including the creation of summer and short semester options for students who need specific courses to graduate, helping at-risk students as well as those who seek to accelerate their academic progress. Members also can use online course sharing to supplement majors in under-enrolled programs that otherwise could not be sustained.

During the past several months, CIC hosted two webinars on online course sharing strategies that are already working well for participating institutions. During the March 2019 webinar, dubbed “The Eureka Strategy” in recognition of the institution that was showcased, Eureka College (IL) President Jamel Wright discussed the college’s success in using online summer courses to improve retention from the spring to fall semesters. She attributed Eureka’s success to its commitment to identify early those students who may need an online summer course to stay on track. A June webinar provided insights on best practices and opportunities for registrar offices as well as tips for successfully launching online course sharing on campus. Webinar panelists included Catawba College’s (NC) Jeff Bowe, dean of distance and online education, and Kim Smith, registrar. A September 24 webinar on academic advising will highlight how Springfield College (MA) has leveraged the Consortium as a new resource to help students catch up and even get ahead for graduation. Webinar presenters will include Springfield College’s Leigh-Ann Gomes, director of academic advising, and Mary Ann Coughlin, senior associate vice president for academic affairs.

Participants commented that the webinars provided key insights to help them navigate the next steps for their institutions. Carol Schuler, CIC vice president and director of the Consortium, reflected: “Institutions adopt this new service according to the culture and governance of their organizations. We find that the more faculty members and administrators learn about others’ experiences, the more readily they can discuss the Consortium within their own institutions and explore ways that it can support their students.”

The CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium provides access to technology that facilitates online course sharing among CIC members with similar curricular goals, standards of academic quality, and a commitment to the liberal arts to share courses with trusted and like-minded partners. Academic leaders can quickly implement strategies to improve student retention and graduation rates while maintaining complete control of their institution’s curriculum, and administrators can easily transfer credits and financial aid digitally.

As CIC-OCSC participation expands and the number of available course options increases, institutions will undoubtedly continue to explore strategies to incorporate online course sharing into their student success initiatives. CIC’s 2019 Institute for Chief Academic Officers, with Chief Advancement and Public Relations Officers, will feature two opportunities to learn more about the Consortium: a general session on integrating course sharing into retention and completion strategies; and a luncheon for Consortium members to share institutional strategies that support student progress. Both Institute events will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 4.

To learn more about the Consortium, visit the Consortium website  or contact Carol Schuler at or Norval Kneten, CIC senior advisor, at