Students at some historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions may soon have an easier path to graduation thanks to a new course-sharing program from the Southern Regional Education Board. The initial consortium of schools includes three Georgia schools: Morehouse College, Fort Valley State University and Albany State University. The plan will allow them to share online classes with schools in states like South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
“Colleges and universities that have joined this consortium have the ability to share their entire undergraduate catalog online…or they can choose to share individual courses,” says Stevie Lawrence, vice president for the post-secondary education at SREB.
SREB hopes the expanded course options will help more students graduate on time, Lawrence says. For example, students can take more courses through “mini-masters”, which are about half the length of a normal semester.
“So students can take more courses in a semester than they normally could or would through this type of opportunity, especially if colleges and universities get really creative and work with each other. others to trade courses,” he says.
Lawrence says the program grew out of a course-sharing plan between two HBCUs that are now part of the consortium.
“Benedict [College in Columbia, SC] and Dillard University [in New Orleans] …experimented with course sharing a bit to help some Benedict College students cross the finish line last fall,” he says.
Courses will count toward a student’s GPA, financial aid, and graduation requirements. Tuition fees, which may vary by institution, are still being worked out.
SREB expects to pilot the program this fall and fully implement it in spring 2023.