The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education received a Compliance Review Report on Western Oklahoma State College’s 10-day accelerated online courses during the Board of Regents meeting held Thursday in Oklahoma City.
The review was conducted after an article published in The Chronicle for Higher Education raised concerns about the academic rigor of intersession courses. Evaluators from the Regents made two site visits in November 2012 and reviewed 20 courses from Intersession I and II.
Although WOSC is in compliance with State Regents’ policies on admission, retention, accreditation, student tuition and fees and electronically delivered and traditional off-campus courses and programs, the report noted insufficient evidence that WOSC’s intersession courses “are appropriate as college level courses within a college level curriculum, contain the appropriate academic rigor, or meet the academic calendar requirements for awarding semester credit hours.”
As a result, the Regents’ report recommends that WOSC’s 10-day intercession courses be discontinued.
In a written statement from Dr. Phil Birdine, WOSC president, the college announced it has discontinued the 10-day intercession courses for now.
“We respect the recommendations made by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and will comply with reviewing our internal processes to assure we continue to meet the highest academic standards,” said Birdine. “We have discontinued our 10-day accelerated format intersession courses and will work with students to find other online learning options at Western Oklahoma State College. We are currently meeting with groups on campus to develop alternative options for our accelerated format courses and expect a full restoration of all our online courses in the future.
“I remain confident about the innovative work of our faculty and staff, the rigor of our courses, our standards of academic quality, and the efforts we take daily to advance higher education through the use of technology.
“At Western Oklahoma State College, we provide the education our students need to meet their life and career goals. We take an innovative approach to academic achievement by offering courses to our students in ways that are both effective and flexible and we believe that every student should have access to a quality, affordable education delivered in the manner he or she so chooses.”