Brevard Community College (BCC) is a public community college that consists for four campuses located in Brevard County, Florida. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. BCC offers three types of distance education courses: teleweb, online web-based courses, and televised interactive educational (TIE) courses. The fall and spring teleweb and TIE course terms are 16 weeks in length and follow a regular semester format. Fall and Spring online courses are also 16 weeks in length with sessions beginning in August, October, January and March. All summer term classes are 12 weeks in length. In addition, the Melbourne campus offers an accelerated "Week-end College" program with terms lasting through twelve consecutive weekends, and beginning seven times a year.
Many students take a combination of onsite and distance education courses in more than one format. If they enroll in online courses that begin at different times from their other courses (resulting in overlapping terms), their enrollments are treated as non-term and aid is processed manually.
Brevard Community College offers the following four degrees and five certificate programs by distance education:
- Associate of Arts
- Associate of Science, Legal Assisting
- Associate of Science, Business
- Associate of Science, Computer Information Systems (MIS option)
- Certificate Programs: Secretarial, Medical Secretarial, Accounting Operations, Electronic Desktop Publishing, General Office Clerk
BCC was granted a waiver of the 30-week academic year. In addition, they were given the waiver of a definition of a week of instruction. Together, these constitute a waiver of the "12 hour rule". The third waiver they were granted is of the requirement that Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards be applied consistently to all students enrolled in the same program.
Financial Aid Issues/Alternatives
BCC proposed three strategies related to self-paced progression and disbursement. After discussing these with demonstration program staff, BCC decided to begin with what they call the "Just in Time Learning Aid" plan with a pilot group of distance learning students eligible for federal aid.
Students in this pilot group will be enrolled in a mix of semester-based and online courses, which will likely result in overlapping terms. These students will be allowed to take less or more time (up to 15 weeks) to complete their online coursework and will be awarded aid based on satisfactory completion of the courses rather than "seat time." If the pilot is successful, this will be extended to a larger number of students.
Additional Goals for Participation
Brevard Community College hopes to expand the pool of distance learning students who receive financial aid by 25%; to increase enrollments in distance learning courses by 25%; and to increase the enrollment of low income and underrepresented students by 25% with the addition of alternative course delivery options and "on time" flexible financial aid package payments.
Other Relevant Information
In 2000, Brevard Community College and its partner educational institutions in four states were awarded a three-year FIPSE grant to test the Student Retention and Success 2000 Model in order to refine and validate elements that provide a human touch to online learning. The project goals are two-fold: to increase student retention and success, and to increase student satisfaction with online instruction.
Demonstration Program Cohort
Brevard Community College joined the Distance Education Demonstration Program in July 2001 as part of the second cohort.