Western Oklahoma State College will stop offering quick-credit courses, officials announce

by Silas Allen Modified: January 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm •  Published: January 30, 2013
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Western Oklahoma State College will no longer offer a type of controversial online course reportedly favored by college athletes looking for quick credits, school officials announced Wednesday.

The college's announcement came hours after the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education released a report recommending the college immediately discontinue its 10-day online intersession courses.

The State Regents office released a compliance report Wednesday on those courses.

According to the report, the office didn't find sufficient evidence that the so-called quick-credit courses are appropriate for a college-level curriculum.

The report notes the courses have raised concerns about a lack of academic oversight and recommends college officials discontinue them immediately.

In a statement, Western Oklahoma State College President Phil Birdine said officials already were working with groups on campus to develop other options for accelerated online courses.

“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,” Birdine said.

College spokeswoman Judith Norton said officials would look at a range of options, including reviving the intersession courses.

The courses came under fire late last year when a story in the Chronicle of Higher Education claimed they offer dubious college credit with minimal time and effort. According to the report, major college athletics programs use the courses to keep their athletes eligible to play.

College officials have denied those criticisms, but others are calling the allegations against the Altus community college troubling.

Representatives from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the college's accrediting board, plan to visit the school to review the courses.


by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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Meeting set

The board of Regents is scheduled to vote to accept the report at a meeting Thursday. The board will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday at the State Regents office, 655 Research Parkway, Suite 200, in Oklahoma City.

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