Next Generation Learning Challenges identifies CPCC’s Online Student Portal Learning System

last modified Nov 02, 2011 05:20 PM

Next Generation Learning Challenges identifies CPCC’s Online Student Portal Learning System as vital student retention tool, awards $250,000 grant to College

Close to 70 peer institution representatives visit Charlotte to learn System and its ability to improve college readiness and completion.

Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) has recognized Central Piedmont Community College’s (CPCC) Online Student Portal Learning System (OSPLS) as a proven, technology-based solution that addresses the retention of at-risk collegiate students. As a result, the organization has awarded CPCC a $250,000 grant to share and implement its OSPLS with seven other peer institutions located across the state and the United States in mid-May to boost student success at their campuses.

Next Generation Learning Challenges is a multi-year initiative that seeks to address education barriers by utilizing technology-enabled tools and solutions to improve college readiness and completion across the nation. Spearheaded by EDUCAUSE and supported by the League for Innovation in the Community College, the International Association for Online Learning and the Council of Chief State School Officers, NGLC provides investment capital – in the form of grants – to colleges and universities that have developed technological tools and applications that support student completion and success. Funding for NGLC is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Higher education institutions that are awarded NGLC grants use the funds to share their best practices with other institutions for implementation purposes.

“By 2018, 63 percent of all U.S. jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education,” said Clint McElroy, dean of Retention Services for CPCC. “Therefore it is imperative that we address the challenge of improving college readiness and completion rates at our country’s colleges and universities.

Since being introduced at CPCC in 2004, the College’s OSPLS has improved the academic success of young adult learners enrolled in CPCC developmental education courses. The tool is comprised of four integrated components, including an orientation course and online student profile, as well as multiple student assessment exams and staff professional development opportunities. The system’s assessments allow students to become more self-aware of their personality traits and career aspirations, while providing faculty and academic counselors with a valuable communication tool that gives them the information they need to best guide the student toward academic and professional success.

From 2004 to 2009, CPCC students participating in all elements of the OSPLS:

· were 8.70 percent more likely to complete the courses in which they enrolled.

· were 9.36 percent more likely to persist from spring to the subsequent fall term.

· were 10.82 percent more likely to get “A-C” grades in their courses.

· were 3.45 percent more likely to earn a college degree.

Close to 70 faculty and staff representatives from Asheville-Buncombe Tech (Asheville, N.C.), Durham Tech (Durham, N.C.), Fayetteville Tech (Fayetteville, N.C.), Forsyth Tech (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Lane Community College (Eugene, Ore.), Monroe Community College (Rochester, N.Y.) and Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills, Ill.) visited CPCC May 10-11 to receive training on the College’s OSPLS. During the two-day training sessions, participants worked extensively within the tool to learn its many applications, worked individually and in teams to develop lesson plans and engaged in strategy sessions regarding how to fully implement the OSPLS on their campuses.

This identification and replication of best practices by grant recipients is only Wave I of NGLC’s initiative. Wave II focuses on next generation approaches to learning content and assessments. Finalists have been selected and the winners will be announced in the coming months.

To learn more about Next Generation Learning Challenges, visit To learn more about CPCC, visit

Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college in North Carolina, offering close to 300 degree and certification programs, customized corporate training, market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes. CPCC is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County. In 2002, the National Alliance of Business named CPCC the Community College of the Year for its response to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational and training strategies.