Organizational move further integrates online education

Whether it is on campus, online or a combination of both, Shoreline Community College continues to integrate the ways students can access the education and training they need to change their lives.

Ann Garnsey-Harter

Ann Garnsey-Harter

Three years ago, the college launched the virtual-college initiative to expand the number of degrees and certificates offered online and enhance the quality of the online experience for students. At the time, Ann Garnsey-Harter, then director of eLearning, was named director of the virtual-college effort and reported to then-Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell. Campbell is now Interim President of the college.

Starting July 1, 2014, Garnsey-Harter and the virtual college will come under the wing of the Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Bob Francis currently holds that post on an interim basis.

“This is an appropriate evolution of the virtual-college initiative,” said Garnsey-Harter, who will retain her current title of Interim Executive Director for the Virtual College and Resource Development. “This further integrates the initiative into the college.”

This past spring, Garnsey-Harter and others across the campus reviewed the virtual college “blueprint” that launched the initiative in 2011-12 and took stock of the current online-education landscape. The result was a revised plan that focuses on student success and access and “strives to extend campus services and instruction by utilizing virtual technologies.”

Shoreline faculty members are on the forefront of innovative ways to increase student success and access, Garnsey-Harter said. “We now have more than 25 degrees and certificates fully online because our faculty members are embracing technology and making it work for students,” she said, adding that the number of hybrid classes – where some learning is in the classroom and some online – is also increasing.

This past winter quarter, Shoreline participated in a Gates Foundation-funded program for two classes that used the latest software technology to adapt the learning experience to each student’s needs. “Shoreline was part of a select group to gain experience with adaptive learning because our faculty are open to using technology to help students,” Garnsey-Harter said.

Starting summer quarter, the college launched a limited live, online-chat option for academic advising. “Online services aren’t just for online students,” Garnsey-Harter said. “The virtual college, virtual campus, effort has benefits for all students.”

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