Wednesday, September 14, 2016

EQUIP/StraighterLine Experimental Partnership Project

In response to questions raised by numerous faculty about the EQUIP/StraighterLine partnership recently announced, the DCCFA faculty council has prepared the following summary of information as we know it as of Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2016: 

1.      This is an experimental project funded and arranged by the US Department of Education, to match institutions that do not receive Title IV federal financial aid (Pell, subsidized loans, etc.) with degree-awarding institutions that do (such as DCCCD and the other seven other partnering institutions around the USA);

2.      This experimental project is to take place during 2017-2018 academic year, with possible pilot rollout during Summer 2017;

3.      USDOE wants a report on what goes right, and what goes wrong, with this experimental project;

4.      StraighterLine students almost exclusively do NOT reside in Dallas County – most of the expected maximum 600 students live on the East Coast (where StraighterLine is located) – and therefore they would almost certainly never otherwise have occasion to enroll in DCCCD courses;

5.      Like transfer students from any other sending institution, these StraighterLine students must complete at least 25% of their coursework through DCCCD colleges (to be eligible to earn our degrees/certificates), thus resulting in an expected influx of students into DCCCD online courses in 2017-2018 (too early to say which disciplines will be most affected);

6.      SACS and THECB have been notified by all seven college presidents that the District colleges are undertaking this experiment;

7.      DCCCD will be able to count these degree/certificate completers toward our completion statistics;

8.      A preliminary project planning meeting has been called for Thursday, Sept. 22. DCCFA President Matt Hinckley has been invited to attend to represent faculty interests and to help identify faculty and other instructional stakeholders to involve in subsequent planning and decision-making activities. District officials already have said they need and intend to involve District discipline committee representatives in subsequent discussions.

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