Online Bookstore Project Report - DOC by mab53794


More Info
                                VCT Coordinators Meeting

                       March 29, 2004 – Moody Gardens Hotel - Galveston

Colleges represented at the meeting, in person or via audioconference, are shown below. It was
difficult to keep track of colleges dialing in, so this list may not be complete.

  *Participated via audioconference
  **Representative in person and a representative via audioconference

     **Austin Comm. College           Houston Comm. College             Temple College
    Alamo-San Antonio                 Howard College                    Trinity Valley
    **Alamo-St. Philip‟s College      Kilgore College                   TSTC-Harlingen
    Blinn College                     Lee College                       TSTC-Marshall
    College of the Mainland           * McLennnan Comm. College         TSTC-Waco
    Dallas Telelearning               North Central TX College          Tyler Jr. College
    Del Mar College                   Panola College                    Victoria College
    El Paso Comm. College             San Jacinto College               Weatherford College
    Galveston College                 * Tarrant County College          Western Texas College

Special Projects

Mickey Slimp reported on three initiatives:

Internet Teachers at Every College.

The project is coming will continue through the summer of 2004 but will be discontinued in the fall.
The three courses on online course development (preparatory, basic, and advanced) will be offered a
final time by the project in June. The project will also offer a course this summer for improving your
online retention. After the summer, electronic course packs will be provided to any college that wants
them. It is hoped that some colleges will offer the courses through Continuing Education.

The workshops that Internet Teaches at Every College has sponsored are also ceasing after this
summer. Any college desiring a distance learning workshop (WebCT, Blackboard, online testing, best
practices, etc.), should contact Mickey ASAP (; 903-510-2591).

Student Services

A Perkins-funded project, Online Student Support at Every College, will be launched in the Fall 2004
semester. Colleges interested in this project have already submitted NOI‟s

Fiber Optic Network

Mickey Slimp reported progress on the plan for the state‟s first high speed network to connect colleges
and universities throughout Texas. If your college is in a location where there is not a high speed
regional network, it is recommended that you start working with other institutions and with the

legislators in your region now to secure funding in the next legislative session for the network. To
learn more about this venture read Mickey‟s article on page 2, in the latest edition of Transmissions
(Acrobat PDF file).

VCT Status Report
Ron Thomson reported on the current status of VCT operations and new initiatives.

FY 04 Enrollments: As of the March 29 meeting, enrollments in provider college classes totaled
5,826. FY 04 Fall and Spring VCT enrollments are up approximately 34% over FY 03. Spring „04
enrollments are approximately 35% higher than last spring‟s and 13% higher than last Fall‟s.

College Participation: The number of participating colleges this spring has increased slightly, from
45 colleges in the Fall to 46 colleges in the Spring.

A VCT Course Enrollments Chart summarizes in tabular format VCT course enrollments, number of
courses, course formats, and college participation since VCT became operational in the Fall semester
of 1998.

Grants to Develop Collaborative Degree/Certificate Programs

A total of 15 proposals for grants to develop collaborative degree/certificate programs were submitted
in response to the RFP released early November, 2003. Proposed projects involved 25 colleges. The
proposals were read by four reading team, and each team met via audioconference or in person to reach
a consensus on proposals read. Team leaders hope to meet in person the week of April 5 to finalize
award recommendations. Final grant decisions will be made by TACC, and awards could possibly be
announced by Friday, April 9, or early the week of April 12.

Ron reported that the RFP followed the TIF model, but he hopes that it can modified in places to make
it easier to complete next time—for example, not requiring so many signatures from individuals at
different locations. It was mentioned that the collaboration that took place among the colleges to
prepare and submit proposals was a positive experience.

For more information on Collaborative Distance Learning Degrees and Certificates as Statewide
Strategy check:
       Presentation at TACC Conference, Jan 29 and Coordinator‟s Meeting Mar 29, Ron Thomson
       Transmissions article (Acrobat PDF file), Dr. Dennis Michaelis, Chair, TACC
       Telecommunications Committee

Student Issues
Textbooks. A Bookstore Managers‟ Task Force addressed textbook issues in a December, 2003
audioconference. Task Force members observed that textbooks are not just a VCT issue; problems
occur with other classes as well. Students on financial aid who take courses through VCT have a

particularly difficult time in obtaining textbooks on time. Bookstore managers quickly agreed that their
bookstores are fully capable of serving VCT students and dismissed the occasionally made suggestion
that VCT should contract an online bookstore to serve VCT-enrolled students. The audioconference
resulted in a number of Recommendations of Bookstore Managers.

Tyler Jr. College mentioned that they met with their bookstore managers and showed them how to use
the VCT website. Then, they gave the managers “read only” website access. This has helped the
Bookstore Managers tremendously. It was agreed by many of the coordinators at the meeting that
textbook service for VCT students has improved through time.

One college applies a $20 refundable deposit to purchase a textbook. If the student follows through
with the intent to take the course, the $20 is applied to the cost of the textbook.

A VCT orientation for Bookstore Managers and other administrators will be developed for access at
the VCT website.

Reservation Fees. Several colleges reported that they charge non-refundable reservation fees VCT
courses. With increasing VCT instructional fees, Coordinators reported that the reservation fees help
their colleges break even. There was some discussion of the appropriateness of the fees, and it was
pointed out that VCT has no authority over member colleges in such matters. It was suggested that the
TACC Distance Learning Advisory Committee and TACC should be informed the fees are being

Issues relating to colleges‟ SACS compliance in regard to VCT will be re-examined by a VCT SACS
Task Force. A number of things have changed since VCT starting operating in the Fall of 1998:
distance learning‟s role in higher education overall has increased enormously and become much more
visible; VCT is now an established service, not an experimental project; several colleges have
questioned VCT practices regarding faculty credentials. Further, SACS has developed new policies
related to inter-institutional collaboration in distance learning.

A few of the coordinators felt that forming a Task Force may be an overreaction, since out of ten or
more colleges that have come up for accreditation since the Fall of 1998, only one has encountered any
difficulty whatsoever with a SACS visiting team regarding VCT. All Coordinators agreed, however,
that it is important for all colleges to maintain a unified front on VCT when dealing with SACS.

Note: Since the Coordinator’s Meeting, formation of the SACS Task Force has gotten underway. It is
hoped that the Task Force will have a report ready by the time of the summer meetings of the VCT
Coordinators and the TACC Distance Learning Advisory Committee.

VCT Website
Aleta Garcia gave the coordinators a list of website changes implemented since Fall ‟03.

Student Area. A student area will be added to the VCT website by the end of the 2004 Spring
semester. An ad hoc task of four coordinators reviewed, refined, and added to Suggestions for the
Student Area of the VCT Website, compiled from numerous sources. Comments gathered at the
meeting also will be considered. Additional suggestions for the student area are welcome at any time.

Additional Website Suggestions. The following additional website suggestions presented at the
meeting will be implemented, hopefully by the end of the current Spring semester.

1.     Include in the copy list duplicate course entries on Master List that have different section

2.     List the VCT Coordinator first in the list of contacts.

3.     Add a search box to type in students‟ names in rosters area.

4.     When making a reservation for a student, the default should be to send an email notification to
       the student. This would save coordinators time by not having to check the box every time.

Summer VCT Coordinators’ Meeting

                                      Summer VCT Coordinators' Meeting
        Monday, June 14th
                                      Alamo St. Philip's College, Heritage Room
        9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
                                      Location of Heritage Room and campus map (PDF file)
        lunch provided
                                      Map to St. Philip's College campus (PDF file)
                                      Overnight accomodations at the Woodfield Suites, San
                                      Antonio. To make your reservation call toll free (877)
        Tuesday, June 15th
                                      211-0103 and ask for "VCT Conference." Rates: $80
        9:00 - 1:00 p.m.
                                      single/double. Rooms will be held until May 14th.


To top