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Strengthening Support Services for the Online Learner

Strengthening Support Services for the Online Learner 2017

Strengthening Support Services for the Online Learner


Joseph Lathan, Assistant Director, E-Learning Center; Alex Pereira, Coordinator, E-Learning Center; & Brian Nemeth, Coordinator, E-Learning Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College


As CUNY moves to increase its online offerings, individual colleges must focus not only on increasing the number of courses offered, but also strengthening student support so that students are retained and succeed in their online courses. At Borough of Manhattan Community College, student preparedness is an important joint effort of the E-Learning Center, faculty, and student services. The three primary elements in this effort are an early alert process, focused information campaigns, and faculty-staff teams. The Center offers nearly 300 online/hybrid course sections and serves nearly 5,000 students per term. As it has grown its program in the last 15 years, staff continually refine and revise practices to support student preparedness and retention. During this presentation, E-Learning staff will describe and share specific examples of: the Early Alert System Process, including emails upon registration, contact before the semester, and contact in the first few weeks of class, which the E-Learning Center has identified as the most critical time for engaging the online learner; the E-Learning Information Campaign timed throughout the academic semester (advisement and registration period, pre-semester, beginning of semester), including digital screen ads, poster boards, handouts, and inter-department collaboration; and committees formed to address online issues and best practices and growth, including the E-Learning Council and E-Learning Student Success Task Force.

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