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Western Oklahoma State College officials plan to reinstate 10-day online courses

by Silas Allen Published: February 3, 2013
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For a two-week class, that would require an average 10 hours of in-class and out-of-class engagement per day, Sonobe said.

“It would be extremely difficult,” Sonobe said.

Ben Hardcastle, a spokesman for the state regents, said the agency would work with the college if officials still hope to reinstate the courses after the college's accreditation visit.

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.

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.

According to the regents' report, the college offered 256 course sections via 10-day online courses during the 2011-12 academic year. During the spring, summer and fall semesters, a combined total of 7,501 students from across the nation enrolled in those courses.

The courses netted the college $2.8 million in revenue during the 2011-12 fiscal year. That figure represented 18 percent of the college's total education and general revenue, which includes money the college receives through tuition and fees.

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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