New legislation increases access to online classes

Courtesy of California State University

Students attending any California State University will now have the opportunity to enroll in online classes at other campuses in the system.

Assembly Bill 386 requires that every fully online course offered by the CSU system be made available to all eligible students at no extra cost beginning in the fall.

The current online cross-enrollment policy, CourseMatch, specializes in helping students complete general education courses by allowing them to enroll in only one online course per semester at CSUs outside of their own.

CourseMatch requires campuses to select which courses they will offer online to other CSU students, thus reserving room for them in their online classes.

The new bill, however, relies on students to self-certify themselves and choose the right online class that is offered at any CSU.

Assembly Bill 386 has taken the idea of CourseMatch and expanded it, said Bill Loker, Chico State’s dean of undergraduate education.

“The positive aspect of Assembly Bill 386 is that it has the potential to make classes available to students across the CSU, enabling them to complete their degrees in a timely manner,” Loker said.

However, students might run into issues regarding their major credits, Loker said.

“Students may think they are getting courses that count towards their majors,” he said, “when their home departments are not prepared to accept the transfer of these courses for the major.”

With CourseMatch, “the campus is in control,” but that isn’t the case with the changes that will be implemented in the next academic year, said Kathleen Kaiser, Chico State professor and a member of the CSU’s Academic Senate.

Beginning next school year, Assembly Bill 386 and CourseMatch together give students two ways of online access to other CSUs, as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Student has completed at least 12 units at home campus
  • Student has a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better and is in good standing
  • Student will be enrolled at the home campus during the period of enrollment at the host campus and has paid tuition and fees as a full-time student

Michael Arias can be reached at [email protected] or @mikey_arias on Twitter.