Rome – Oct. 28, 2014
Georgia Highlands College partnered with eCore, the University of Georgia System approved online class provider, to offer students greater online class availability beginning spring 2015.
Jessica Blakemore, eCore associate director of marketing for collaborative programs, said, “eCore, which began in 2000, allows students to take the first two years of their curriculum online and offers Georgia’s core courses in English, mathematics, science, history, and the social sciences. Course credit earned in eCore is transferable to any USG institution.
“eCore courses are available anytime and anyplace for students, are of the high-quality that is expected at institutions within the USG and are very cost-effective. In a time when many students are seeing rising tuition costs, eCore was proud to offer a tuition decrease of over 10 percent in fall 2014 — to $169 per credit hour.”
Fourteen of the 26 courses offered through eCore utilize open educational resources, or open texts, which are free digital textbooks. By fall 2015, 22 of 27 courses will use open textbooks and by fall 2016, all eCore classes will utilize the technology.
Another uncommon benefit of taking eCore classes is the personal outreach to at-risk students. eCore representatives personally call each student who fails to regularly sign-in to class. This feature, which has lead to 6,700 phone
calls in 2014, helped increase completion rates from 72 percent to 87 percent since 2007. Completion rates for students enrolled in the eight-week sessions are currently above 90 percent. Considering the initiative Complete College Georgia by Gov. Nathan Deal, which strives to increase post-secondary graduation rates, the increase of students completing classes is essential for Georgia to meet its educational goals.
Leslie Terrell-Payne, GHC eLearning senior academic advisor, acts as GHC’s liaison to eCore.
She said, “By partnering with eCore, we are expanding the options that GHC
students have in completing their core classes since eCore offers full and short session classes as well as numerous sections. Our GHC online courses fill up quickly each registration period—so now students can stay on track by taking an eCore class if ours are full.”
eCore gives GHC students another option for class delivery. The college currently utilizes a wide variety of delivery methods including face-to-face, hybrid, DVD and online.
“eCore is part of the University System of Georgia so all of these courses transfer to other USG institutions,” Payne said. “Also, by fall of 2015, all institutions in the USG will be eCore partners—we are just getting into the game a bit early. And finally, and to me one of the biggest advantages, GHC students can register pretty seamlessly for eCore classes—so no paperwork, getting transcripts, transient letters, etc. It’s a very simple process with lots of terrific support on both the eCore side and here at GHC.”
Applications for spring admission to GHC are being accepted now through Dec. 15 and can be found online at highlands.edu or at each campus location. Early registration for spring classes began Oct. 27 and regular registration begins Nov. 3.