The California State University system has introduced yet another program meant to help increase the number of students graduating in a timely manner.
The new CSU Fully Online program will enable full-time students to take one free online course at another Cal State each term — a semester or a quarter depending on the host campus.
Moving toward digital courses is nothing new for the university system. According to the CSU, more than 118,000 students took at least one of the 5,200 available online courses in the fall 2017 semester.
This online approach is the newest facet of the Graduation Initiative 2025, a six-year $450 million plan to increase timely graduation rates.
Through the initiative, the university system aims to improve course-taking opportunities. The focus on online classes is intended to increase availability of courses, some of which may get filled up quickly at certain universities, and thus keep students on track for graduation.
Nathan Evans, interim assistant vice chancellor of Student Academic Services for the CSU Office of the Chancellor, explained in a press release the importance of tapping into online course availability to help students graduate in a timely manner.
“As we press forward with our Graduation Initiative 2025 efforts, online education is an important strategy for meeting students’ needs and facilitating degree completion,” Evans said.
“The CSU Fully Online program provides students opportunities for cross-campus enrollment and access to a wide variety of courses that may not be immediately available at their home campus.”
Eligibility does not expand across all students, however. Students considering the fully online program must have completed at least one term at a Cal State and earned 12 units at their home campus, have at least a 2.0 GPA, be enrolled at a CSU at the time of taking an online course and have a full-time standing with tuition paid off.
According to Elizabeth Chapin, manager of public affairs at the CSU, courses offered from campuses in the quarter system — such as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal State San Bernardino — would not be available to students in the semester system due to different calendar schedules.
Host campuses determine enrollment dates and give priority to their students to register for fully online courses. Once hosts open their online courses to the other campuses, registration comes at a first come first serve basis.
The university system also partnered with California Community Colleges in May to offer more lower division online courses for students to complete their general education requirements. The collaborative initiative dubbed, “Finish Faster!” provides students access to over 10,000 online classes.
‘Finish Faster!’ launched before the summer 2018 term for CSU campuses. Students can search for transferable community college credit through Quottly, a search optimizer.