Online Academic Program Committee prepares for next steps

​​Committee refines recommendations and moves toward implementation

Sept. 8​, 2016

The Central Michigan University Online Academic Program Committee 2.0 members and subgroups worked diligently throughout the summer to complete their work, refine recommendations and, when appropriate, move toward implementation. Some recommendations require additional review, discussion and approval by CMU governance bodies.

Information is updated routinely and posted on the OAP​C website.

Four OAPC 2.0 subgroups — launched in April — met regularly over the past several months to decide next steps for implementing prioritized recommendations in their area of focus from a report presented to the CMU Board of Trustees in December 2015. Their work included conducting surveys and examining data.

"These are just recommendations, and the way they will be addressed and implemented is up to the university body that examines these recommendations, such as bringing curriculum issues to the Academic Senate," said David Patton, associate vice president for enrollment management and OAPC 2.0 committee co-chair.

The four subgroups — composed of 48 faculty, staff and student members — worked on education and preparation, student needs, market trends, and structural issues.

OAPC Co-chair Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, said a wide representation of stakeholders across campus is critical for this initiative.

"Each group has a different focus. Each group has been very well-informed because we have expanded it to include students, faculty and more staff. The representation across campus has been very helpful. These folks are quite knowledgeable," she said. "This work impacts the future of our university, and we all need to have a say in it."  

Patton said although there will not be a next OAPC phase, the initiative to improve CMU's e-learning options for students will continue.

"Just like the curricular process for our traditional face-to-face courses is never over, and we don't ever stop improving ​how we deliver our courses, this will continue as well," Patton said. "I think this was an opportune time to step back and re-evaluate the entire process and really do it in a concerted effort, but it will never really be over."

An update on progress made during the summer was presented to the Academic Senate Tuesday. The OAPC soon is distributing a survey to students to gather additional input on the needs of — and support services required by — online students.

Initial recommendations from the subgroups will be rolled out to appropriate university bodies as soon as this September, and the full set of recommendations will be completed by November.