American River College is designing a multitude of fully online certificates and degrees to help students achieve their educational, personal and career-centered goals through a new website; ARC Online 2.0.
ARC Online 2.0 provides students with a centralized location for information, resources and support for the online courses that will be offered. This gives students the opportunity to finish classes faster and to do everything online without having to come to campus, according to Marsha Reske, the dean of distance education at ARC.
Currently ARC offers a variety of courses that are completely online and where students can receive certificates as well. ARC offers three different types of online courses: online, hybrid, and ‘web enhanced.’ Courses include accounting, business and early childhood education. In addition, there are some general education requirements that can be taken completely online.
ARC’s website directs students to schedules of classes available online, the faculty directory and a list of the online programs offered to students.
Although ARC Online 2.0 has launched, the original online version of the site is still accessible to students. Reske explains how ARC Online 2.0 is trying to be more strategic by putting courses online and how it will differ from the online version now.
“We are working on having student services online so students will not have to come to campus to sign any forms,” Reske said. “Also online tutoring accessibility, counseling and communication through online as well.”
The main goal is for students to not have to come to campus at all for school, Reske said.
“We want to make it easier here for students to achieve their educational goal in the online environment,” Reske said. “[We want to make] sure that our courses are high quality so it is easier for students. Students have almost 5 percent of a greater success rate from high quality courses.”
Benjamin Barber, a web and media design specialist, said the college is still defining what it wants ARC Online 2.0 to look like.
“We talked about having a shopping cart experience for picking your classes so you are able to add courses to a cart,” Barber said. “Also, we want to merge some of the content that is on the regular ARC website to the new 2.0 one, such as scheduling information and faculty directory.”
According to Barber, ARC is building a success hub on the ARC Online 2.0 website, a section where students can gain information and tips on how to be successful using ARC Online 2.0. Barber also said they are working on cleaning up their search engine to make searching content more accessible for students and their “frequently asked questions” section.
“We are working on digitizing signatures, currently there are forms in student services that have to be filled out and actually signed as well,” Barber said.
There is no established date when ARC will be finished with ARC online 2.0, but it is now available to view on ARC’s main website.