The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) views with great concern questions raised about the credibility and high volume of compressed online courses being offered at Western Oklahoma State College.
Online learning is clearly an important option to increase college access for students and to encourage college completion. A growing number of colleges provide an array of quality online courses and credentials that meet the needs of a highly diverse and mobile student population.
However, recent press coverage that suggests some of Western Oklahoma State's online offerings lack rigor and are too brief to achieve effective learning must be taken seriously, and we believe the issue merits further examination. We are particularly disturbed by the implications these accusations might have for student athletes.
AACC has contacted appropriate committees within its own organization to review these allegations and to suggest a course of action. It will further open a dialogue within the larger higher education community to determine where collaboration might be necessary and effective. We are committed to identifying safeguards that ensure the integrity of online curricula provided by the colleges we represent and to best protect the interests of the students our colleges serve.
Dr. Walter G. Bumphus
President and CEO