Distance Education Demonstration Program

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Project Descriptions - Franklin University
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Franklin University is an independent, not-for-profit institution offering associate, bachelor, and master degrees and professional certificates. Franklin University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

Serving the non-traditional population of adult working students has been the primary focus for over 100 years and has lead to innovative services and programs. The Community College Alliance (CCA) is a program that provides graduates of community colleges access to Franklin University's bachelor's degree programs through distance education. The plan embodied in the alliance is that a student completes the 60 semester hours of credits required for an associate degree at a CCA member community college. Then, as a Franklin University degree candidate, the student will complete an additional 20-24 community college course credits, which Franklin University will fully credit toward one of its bachelor's degrees. The student then will complete Franklin University's requirements for a bachelor of science degree, approximately 40 semester credit hours, through distance education courses that Franklin University offers.

The approach to distance education is to assure quality, coursework, and instruction by having each course designed and systematically redesigned by a three-person design team to assure the course is interactive and participative, and to assign a full-time faculty member to oversee each course to assure consistent course delivery.

Franklin University and the participating community colleges share responsibility for providing student support services. Franklin University provides personnel who serve as advisors for the students from the beginning of their enrollment through to graduation and will also provide technical support. Note that there is often mixed enrollment with both institutions and consortium agreements are widely used.

Franklin University is most often the school to award and disburse Title IV student financial assistance for the students enrolled in their bachelor's degree programs. The community colleges provide advisors fully trained by Franklin University, financial aid counseling, and access to the community college library and computer laboratories. This alliance is not a consortium; each community or technical college enters into a partnership with Franklin University.

Franklin University operates on a trimester calendar with standard terms. Courses are offered in varying lengths from three, six, nine, twelve, and fifteen weeks, but are all within the trimester. The courses are delivered as Web-based, with synchronous and asynchronous learning strategies. When synchronous learning is offered, Franklin provides alternative strategies for those students who cannot be online at one of the selected times.

Current majors offered online as completion degrees with CCA include:

  • Accounting
  • Applied Management
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Digital Communication
  • Health Care Management
  • Information Technology
  • Management
  • Management Information Sciences
  • Public Safety Management

Franklin University currently (as of October 1, 2004) has partnerships with more than 200 community and technical colleges in 31 states and Canada.


Franklin University has been granted waivers of the 50 percent rules pertaining to number of courses and number of students and a waiver of the provision that defines a telecommunications student as a correspondence student when 50 percent or more of the courses are offered by telecommunications and correspondence.

Financial Aid Issues/Alternatives

Consortium Issues
Combining enrollment between semester and quarter based calendars using a consortium agreement for awarding financial aid can have the appearance of overlapping terms.

Calculating Standards of Academic Progress presents challenges for data collection between schools as well as when the calendar systems are different.

State Aid Issues
Most states do not have equivalent reciprocal agreements to allow state financial aid to be disbursed to institutions in other states. Students enrolled in distance education programs outside of their state may lose state aid.

Additional Information

Franklin University participates in the Just-In-Time Pell Payment process.

Demonstration Program Cohort

Franklin University joined the Distance Education Demonstration Program in July 1999 as part of the initial cohort.


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Last Modified: 04/16/2007