Since its founding as the Virtual College of Texas in 1998, DigiTex has facilitated inter-institutional course sharing across the state. Working with community college presidents, the Texas Association of Community Colleges conceived of the VCT “Host/Provider” model, with students at host colleges enrolling in courses offered by provider colleges without having to enroll in the provider institution or engage in a transfer process of the course back to their host institution. Over the history of VCT, all 50 public community college districts in the state have participated in some capacity, with more than 50,000 students accessing courses needed for completion of credentials.
In 2019, DigiTex partnered with the company Acadeum for more effective and efficient course sharing in Texas (and potentially beyond). A student enrolls in the local community college (Home Institution, formerly “Host”) to take a course that is taught by an instructor located at another college, the Teaching Institution (formerly “Provider”). Acadeum’s Academic Sharing Platform facilitates enrollment and payment processes and provides additional student support.
Benefits to students include:
- Access to distance learning courses statewide. This access supports progress, retention, and success, therefore helping to fulfill the goals of 60x30TX.
- Support with high-quality, locally-delivered — by their home institution — services, as well as support services through Acadeum.
- Credits earned at their local college rather than having to enroll in multiple colleges throughout Texas and transfer the credits to their local institutions.
Participating colleges agree to the standards outlined in our consortial Memorandum of Understanding, including compliance with standards and requirements set by the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
A credit-bearing course eligible for inclusion on Acadeum’s platform through the consortium meets the following criteria:
- It is included in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board‘s Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM);
- It is included in the Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) and is attached to an approved program offered at the college, at least as an elective; or
- If not in either manual it is on both the Home and Teaching Institutions’ inventory of approved academic or technical courses.
Course Sharing Case Studies
We are so pleased to announce the first in our new series of case studies, Best Practices in Texas Digital Higher Education. Harnessing Course Sharing for Student Success: Howard College & Western Texas College highlights the innovative, collaborative, and visionary work of these institutions to engage course sharing to provide their students, and students across the state and nation, an education without boundaries to support their access and success. Both colleges serve as exemplary practitioners of digital higher education in Texas.