Berkeley College’s Online Student Support Recognized as Exemplary by the Online Learning Consortium™
Berkely College | July 7, 2020 -
Berkeley College has earned the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement for Online Student Support, recognizing the outstanding quality of the College’s online learning programs. The Online Learning Consortium™ (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Identifying, measuring, and quantifying elements of quality
“The concept of quality in online education can be elusive and complex,” said Jennifer Mathes, Chief Executive Officer, OLC. “The OLC Quality Scorecard for Online Student Support enables administrators to identify, measure, and quantify elements of quality within the student support services for their online education programs.”
The OLC Quality Scorecard for Online Student Support provides self-evaluation guidelines for institutions seeking to improve the services they provide to online learners. It is a tool designed to assist individuals and organizations interested in providing a high-quality online student experience by evaluating student services across the institution. The scorecard assists in the identification of gaps in services and provides a pathway to improve support services for online students. The scorecard truly shines in its role as an internal conversation starter and proven to help the institution coalesce around a commitment to providing at least as good a service to their online learner community as those who are on campus. Improvements to services for online students are improvements for all students.
Instilling confidence in Berkeley’s online student support services
The OLC interactive Quality Scorecard is completed by the institution and submitted for peer review along with evidence to support its submission. After a thorough review process, the institution receives a final score along with prescriptive feedback from the two-member peer review team.
Two-year and four-year institutions that score 83 or higher for the student support services for their undergraduate programs, or four-year institutions that score 97 or higher for their graduate programs student support services, are granted OLC’s seal of endorsement acknowledging and verifying their “Exemplary” status. Exemplary programs are endorsed for a period of three years. Additional levels of endorsement and feedback provide institutions requiring improvement with a path to endorsement.
A strong online infrastructure
Berkeley College President Michael J. Smith spoke about what sets Berkeley’s online programs apart. “We are creating a community of online learners like none other because the level of engagement continues to expand through innovative programming,” said President Smith. “Berkeley College online students feel they belong here.”
A comprehensive range of virtual services are readily available
President Smith also noted the College’s ability to deliver virtually the services other students receive on-site, including Financial Aid, Career Services, Student Development and Campus Life, Personal Counseling, the Center for Academic Success, the Library, and Academic Advisement. He also emphasized Berkeley’s commitment to being proactive and “in front” of our students so that they feel highly engaged, motivated, and served.
An extraordinary student experience
“Berkeley offers a variety of options for students who seek flexibility in earning their degrees, along with the opportunity to participate in extracurricular programs at the New Jersey and New York locations," added Joseph Scuralli, DPS, Dean, Berkeley College Online®. “Online students can have extraordinary student experiences that parallel on-site campus resources.”
Making a difference for students
Berkeley helped recent graduate Dorothea Swann earn the degree that’s required for many of the jobs she was seeking. For her, studying online makes it possible for her to help care for her mother. In addition to the convenience of the flexibility, she was impressed by the interaction that’s possible—with both professors and fellow students. “Even though we don’t ‘see’ the professors in a classroom setting, they’re kind and caring and are very responsive when contacted.” Beyond discussion boards, which are an integral part of online classes, Berkeley offers a “Virtual Common Hour” during which students communicate on a more personal level. According to Ms. Swann, “It’s nice to get to know and share experiences with other students. We help each other and it’s very encouraging.”
Online activities and events
Berkeley’s Office of Student Development and Campus Life hosts an Online Student Community with virtual activities in many areas including Financial Literacy, Career Services, and the Center for Academic Success. On Wednesday evenings, students can visit a chat room for hour-long “Company Conversations.” According to Chrissy Andrascik, Director, Student Development and Campus Life, Online, topics vary from personal to academic and the hangout provides a relaxed, casual environment that fulfills a social need for online students.
Online career services and more
The Career Services team at Berkeley College offers virtual career fairs--a solution for helping students gain face-time with potential employers, even in these challenging times. “Virtual career fairs and recruiting events keep students connected to the world in spite of what’s happening in it,” said Amy Soricelli, Vice President, Career Services. Upcoming webinars focus on interview preparation and how to succeed at a virtual career fair.
Learning important skills for the future
Berkeley Professor Andrew Gallinger observed, “Many students are likely to have jobs in the future where they will work remotely and [online learning] is great preparation for that. They’re learning to put their questions in writing and work in groups remotely, which will be much more common in the professional world as we move forward.”
Additional information for prospective students, please click here. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu and view our catalogs at BerkeleyCollege.edu/publications.