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MCCVLC Advisory Council Meeting

May 21, 1999




Dave Fitzgerald (JCC), Chuck Parker (Lansing), Becky Stimson (Lansing), Kirby Milton (MVU), Peter Arashiro (MVU), Ted Wyckoff (Kellogg), Fran Marz (Kellogg), Sue Berbower (Jackson), Terri Sihart (Jackson)

Glen Oaks

Tom Soper (Glen Oaks), Beverly Andrews (Glen Oaks), Jim Taylor (Kalamazoo Valley), Bill Furr (Glen Oaks)

Grand Rapids

Bruce Lockwood (GR), Don Boyer (GR), Gary Mill (Kalamazoo Valley), Pat ? (KVCC), Howard Shank (GR), Ed Wagner (GR), Todd Blake (Lake Michigan), Gary B (?), Diane Patrick, Becky (?),


Mike Wahl (VLC), Stacey Thompson (Kirtland), Lauren Keinath (NMC), Eric Grandstaff (NCMC), Ronda Edwards (VLC)

Bay de Noc

Chris Holmes


Mary Jane Bond (VLC), Jeanne Bonner (Schoolcraft), Collette P. (Schoolcraft), Elgene D. (Schoolcraft), Ann Craigmile (Oakland), Jody Goins (Macomb), Mike (?) (Macomb), Debbie Fiedler (Wayne)

St. Clair

Carolyn Wirtz (Delta), Michelle ? (St. Clair), Katie ? (St. Clair), Anita ? (St. Clair), Michell ? (St. Clair), Lou Wilson (St. Clair), Jo Woodman (St. Clair), Carol B(?) (St. Clair), Dr. Christa Adams


Patti Davidson, Tim Dykstra, Vickie Oddo, Dennis ? - Westshore

Mike Wahl started the meeting with each site introducing participants. He asked for any revisions or additions to the agenda. None given.

Kellogg Grant update – Ronda

Ronda reported that the grant had been delivered to Kellogg Foundation and we were asked to reduce the amount. The reduction in budget from $2.5 million to $1,956,000 modification reduces the number of programs and certificates developed from 10 to 8.

The first step to development of the programs and certificates will be the development of a common curriculum. The grant provides funding for a lead curriculum developer for each program/certificate as well as a team approach to the course development. Funding is available for teams that consist of instructional designer, technical support and 2 to 4 faculty (from different institutions). The key to this project is in the collaboration efforts.

Request for Information will be sent out to all Advisory Council members and Deans/VPs of Instruction at each college for proposals to develop a course, a program or a curriculum. Expect to see those either the second or third week in June. They will be due sometime in August. From these RFIs, the first batch of programs will be developed.

The grant will fund an initial conference set for early this fall as a professional development activity for all faculty, advisory council members and others planning to participate in the first round of program development. Key topics for the conference will be team dynamics/consensus building, distance learning pedagogy, technology and software used to develop courses, etc. Ronda asked the Council for some input as to location and date for the conference. Don Boyer offered Grand Rapids Community College, Caroline Wirtz suggested that the location be set by those colleges/RFIs that were successful, and Jeanne Bonner suggested scheduling it either the middle to end of September.

Ronda also announced that a listserv had been developed for faculty teaching courses offered by the VLC. This listserv will be utilized for the sharing of experiences, insights and input for decision-making as we progress through the semester and beyond.

MCCA Update – Dr. Christa Adams

Dr. Adams addressed the Council regarding the work being done by the Presidents on their behalf. The current work on the VLC is concerning the funding for next year, and the assumption that a self-assessment fee may still be useful at this point.

Dr. Adams also reflected on the differences between the Michigan project and how Colorado (where she was prior to St. Clair) proceeded with their project. In Colorado, the community colleges are part of a state system, and indeed the virtual college became an extra college in that system. She finds the current VLC organization to be one that will be more productive in the long run because of the collaboration processes being built.

MVU Course Management System Update – Kirby Milton

Kirby reported that 56 vendors received Requests for Information regarding a Course Management System for MVU. They received 11 responses to the RFI covering all aspects of course authoring, delivery, management systems, cost, back office systems, etc. The responses were reviewed by Kirby, Irene Onderchanin- Executive Director, MVU Information Technology & Systems; Peter Arashiro-MVU; consultants from Plante-Moran, Inc.; and Mike Wahl. Kirby reported that two vendors will be requested to provide pricing structure, and MVU will be doing on-site visits to institutions using these systems to see how well they are doing. The timeline is for a decision by the first week in July with a 30 to 120 day implementation window from the time the contract is signed. At this point Kirby noted that they are not looking at a fee for student, but may be looking for a locally hosted option with license fees.

Caroline Wirtz asked if the system will provide a help line. Kirby was not sure it would be implemented immediately, but did indicate there was a high value on that service.

Student Services Update – Mary Jane Bond

Mary Jane reported that the Financial Aid Consortium agreement was finalized and letters went out to the 28 community college presidents and financial aid officers for signing. At this date she had received about 25% back.

The training session on May 7th was successful and generated a lot of discussion. There were 40 participants there. Thank you to Kirby for his presentation. There was discussion on home and provider college responsibilities.

Mary Jane received requests for additional sessions as well as individual college sessions. She has decided to do more regional session or ITV session for 2 or 3 sites for training on the implementation of the process for enrollment. Mary Jane has scheduled Thursdays in June to do these sessions – so send requests for those training sessions to Mary Jane Bond at

Kirby presented the training/demo sites that have been developed for internal training and demonstration purposes. This will keep the existing database/web site from being used for training and having phantom students in the current database. The sites are replications of the live databases with all schools and courses represented. There is a demo site for student area – and a demo site for the administrative area – DON’T DO DEMOS IN THE LIVE SITE – USE THESE DEMO SITES. Reminder – in the Administrative demo site DO NOT add provider e-mail address or you will start getting strange emails as others do demonstrations.

Pilot Project Issues:

Mike asked for any concerns or issues the council has now that the site has been up for a couple of months and people are starting to get accustomed to it. Concerns included:

  • In the Semester Course Schedule, it is awkward to have to select courses and scroll all the way to the end to click on the "See Description" button. Can there be a way to click on the course and see information right away?
  • How can home and provider colleges verify 1) academic standing, 2) prerequisites and 3) assessment scores?
  • Student registration request does not include section number so Registrar has to go back and figure out which section to enroll him/her in.
  • How do we set up contacts for exam proctoring? Becky Stimson at LCC has done that for their program and is willing to set up a meeting to work on that for the VLC.
  • How do we control students that have identified a home college, but are not students there?
  • Need to establish ways to deal with other hybrid courses – i.e. distribution of course packets, lab packets, videos, CDs, etc.
  • How are we highlighting the new courses for Fall – also, need promotional text for VLC logo for college web sites and print publications. Kirby mentioned that Deb White from MVU sent out a promotional piece about the summer pilot a couple of weeks ago.
  • How can financial aid officers monitor academic progress?

Ronda mentioned that courses could begin to be entered into the database for Fall offerings. Please remember that the database is live – so any information that is placed there should be complete. Faculty listserve will be dealing with the issue of course syllabus guidelines so that we can provide a consistent quality across the entire database.

Mike indicated that these concerns would be reviewed and prioritized. Any council member with other concerns, please forward on to Mike, Ronda or MaryJane as soon as possible.

EDJT Distance Learning Pilot Grant

Mike reported that this grant, from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (formerly the Jobs Commission) is a way to answer the Governor’s call of training 10,000 workers using distance learning technologies. The MEDC solicited proposal from community college’s customized training personnel to develop Open Entry/Open Exit training modules in specific content areas identified by MVAC. Kellogg, Grand Rapids, Macomb, Oakland and Ferris State University received the $1,000,000 grant to work collaboratively in the development of these five modules.

The VLC will have some relationship with the end product – and more will follow in the non-credit, customized training area. Mike suggests that each council member connect with the corporate training or customized training staff on their campuses because the need is there for an understanding of each area’s specific expertise. Also, this year’s Higgins Lake Retreat, sponsored by ETOM is devoted to Workforce Development and Distance Learning on June 1-2, 1999. Each college should bring a team of folks from each area to the Retreat.

Professional Association Update

Mike briefly mentioned that he continues to work with a variety of professional associations at MCCA to assist with policy and procedures for the VLC. He intends to continue those discussions as it is important to the viability of the collaborative to have as much buy in from across the campuses as possible.

Future Meetings

It was decided that we will meet via ITV in June (Wednesday, June 23rd) and then not again until mid-August.



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