CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium Supports Curriculum Recovery

OCSC brochure coverWhen campuses were forced to suspend in-person instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, many college presidents and chief academic officers turned to the CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium (CIC-OCSC) to expand online course offerings to meet students’ immediate course needs. The result has been a sharp increase in members, to nearly 190 institutions, that are participating in the Consortium. More than 70 of the participating four-year teaching institutions together now offer a broad catalog of 2,000 courses with a variety of sections and schedules. These include four-week to full-semester courses as well as multiple start times in fall, spring, and summer.

The Consortium, which CIC makes possible in partnership with Acadeum—an educational technology company that developed the course sharing platform—helps colleges address immediate course availability issues; improves revenue, retention, and completion; and streamlines payments and reporting. It also ensures that academic leaders maintain complete control of their own curriculum, while administrators can digitally transfer credits and financial aid.

“The model has proven to be especially robust under current conditions, with institutions drawing on its resources to support retention for fall 2020 and spring 2021,” remarked CIC President Richard Ekman.

The CIC-OCSC platform connects students at their home institution with courses at consortial partner institutions offering online courses. The connections between home and partner institutions, once made via the Acadeum platform, are seamless and require little staff involvement at either institution. When enrolled, students interact using the teaching institution’s learning management system, avoiding any requirement of coordination of learning management systems between institutions. The platform also provides secure links for the registrar, the finance office, and the financial aid office on both campuses.

In June, CIC hosted a free webinar on the Consortium, “Fall 2020 Preparation: Online Course Sharing Applications to Retain More Students and Optimize the Curriculum.” Presenters included Bob Atkins, CEO at Gray Associates, Robert Manzer, co-founder and chief academic officer at Acadeum, and Carol Schuler, CIC vice president and director of the CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium. The online discussion explored how institutions may best use the Consortium to prepare for the fall 2020 semester, retain more students, and optimize their curricula offerings. A recording of the webinar, a PDF of the presentation slides, a copy of a recent Acadeum case study, as well as an efficiency overview from Gray Associates, are available on the CIC website.

CIC also hosted a free webinar on “COVID-19 Recovery Strategy: Using Course Sharing to Retain More Students This Summer and Beyond” in April. Presenters included Bryan Boatright, assistant vice president for academic affairs at University of Mount Union (OH), Manzer, and Schuler, who addressed how institutions can leverage the Consortium to retain more students. View a recording of the webinar and a PDF of questions and answers discussed during the event.

For more information or to request a consultation with Acadeum, contact Schuler at (202) 466-7230 or