How do I handle the credit differentiation between a course at the OI that differs from a course at the HI?

Suppose your student needs a 3-credit Abnormal Psychology course and the only ICN school that provides it in the right time frame offers it at 4-credits.  There are several ways this can be handled:

  • Create a 4-credit section of the course at the HI to accommodate the proper tuition payment to the OI.
  • Create an extra 1-credit section in your system to add to the 3-credit course so the student in effect pays for 4-credits.  The additional 1-credit can count toward elective credit [I believe this was Saxon’s idea (?)– perhaps she can expand with better clarity].
  • Tell the student they will have to pay the 4th credit directly with the OI, but it will only come in to the HI at 3-credits.
  • Work with the OI to see if the course can be offered at the HI’s credit designation.
  • Tell the student they will have to register for the course as a guest student with the OI and transfer the course to the HI when completed.  It will only transfer in at 3-credits.

How do I handle an ICN Drop/Add?

Understand that all Drop/Adds must be initiated by the student at their HI.  Only when you receive a Drop/Add authorization from the HI should you act upon it.  Do NOT drop a student based on what the student says.  Always tell the student they MUST initiate the Drop/Add with their HI otherwise it will not occur.

When you receive a Drop, pleas determine the Last Date of Attendance and report this back to the HI.  This is very important if the student is receiving financial aid funding.  No administrative Drops should be permitted for an ICN enrollment.

How do I handle ADA compliance issues as an OI?

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is a touch subject with regard to online distance education.  The best thing to do when you realize you have an issue with a student who falls under ADA is to contact the ICN Coordinator at the student’s HI to see what can be done to accommodate the student needs.

Since space does not allow for detailed discussions about this topic and there is a wide variety of applicable situations and levels of need, the best thing would be for the HI and OI to get together and determine what needs the students has and how to best address them.  Don’t forget that there are dozens of Learning Centers throughout the state that may be able to assist ADA students at their locale.

Can someone tell me the kinds of ACA issues (reasonable accommodations) faced with distance learning students and how they were handled?  [We’ll have to ask the members for issues and examples such as:

  • Limited sight
  • Physical disabilities
  • Dyslexia
  • Test taking, etc.]

What types of financial aid difficulties might a student encounter with an ICN registration?

Through ICN the credits taken at the OI are considered resident credit at the HI.  As such, these credits are computed toward a student’s financial aid package.  If the student pays for a course as a guest student at the OI, the student will not receive financial aid for those OI credits unless a separate “consortium agreement” is entered into by both the HI and the OT.  The consortium agreement simply states that the OI school will not process the enrollment for any financial aid.  This clears the way for the HI’s financial aid office to process the OI course credit for possible financial aid funds from the HI.

Never take the word of a student that his course will be covered by financial aid. Always consult your financial aid office for assistance, confirmation and direction. 

My student wants to take a course at an independent school through ICN.  How do I handle such a registration?

Several independent schools in Indiana participate as ICN member schools.  Some as a HI, some as an OI or both.  The safest route is to make direct contact with the ICN Coordinator at the independent school to see what arrangements can be made within the ICN HI framework.

Some independent schools participate fully with the 90/10 HI model with regard to tuition reciprocation.  It is usually contingent on whether the tuition difference between the HI and the OI is within a reasonable range.  If the HI model is not workable, some HI’s have worked out creative solutions with OI’s to allow student participation.  For instance, the registration goes through ICN’s 90/10 HI model, but the tuition difference is paid to the OI directly by the student.  The credit is till considered resident credit by the HI.

Of course, the student can enroll in an OI’s course directly as a guest student and transfer the credit back to their HI when completed.

How is the final grade sent back to our HI?

If the registration goes through as a typical HI model registration, the OI school will receive a grade roster from the HI and distribute to the instructors.  The grade is reported to the OI’s ICN Coordinator who sends the grade sheets back to the HI’s ICN Coordinator.  In some cases, the OI registrar reports the grades to the HI registrar on the grade rosters.

If the student takes the course as a guest student at the OI, it is the student’s responsibility to order a transcript to be sent to their HI registrar for transfer purposes.

Whose academic policies does the student abide by when taking a course at the OI?

According to the HI Model, the Drop/Add and Refund policy to follow is the one adopted by the HI. If the OI cannot work within the HI policy guidelines due to institutional policies or restrictions, the HI should be notified prior to student enrollment.  This fact should be reported to ICN so a notation can be put on your school’s fact sheet alerting other HI’s to this fact.

Most policies outside of the Drop/Add and Refund policy (lesson submission guidelines, grading scale, style requirements, plagiarism, etc.) are those adopted and followed by the OI where the student is taking their course(s).

When is the OI paid for an ICN registration?

The OI should be paid 90% of the HI tuition rate shortly after the HI’s Drop/Add period ends.  Invoicing and payment arrangements should be made between the HI and the OI.  If a student withdraws after the Drop/Add period, the non-refundable portion of the tuition kept by the HI should be sent to the OI at the same 90/10 ICN rate.

NOTE: The 90/10 HI model tuition split is the standard ICN benchmark (90% of the HI tuition is sent to the OI; HI keeps 10%), however, the ICN HI model allows for variations between institutions as they see fit.

How do I process an ICN registration?

[ICN office should write up an answer to this one]

What is the “Last Date of Attendance?”

It is the last date on which a dropped student “attended” an online course.  Attendance is normally considered the last date a student accessed the online course, participated in a telecourse session, e-mail work to an instructor, etc.  This date is required is a student drops prior to the completion of a course for which financial aid funds were accepted.  [Sue Allmon may want to take a stab at addressing this with greater clarity]

This is a useful resource to help campus coordinators and related support staff efficiently process learners through the Home Institution Model.

Indiana College Network Home Institution Model Revised 2007



Note:  Approved by the IHETS Board of Directors in October 2007 and supersedes any former Home Institution Model agreement.


Introduction
Since its inception in 1992, the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education (IPSE) contributed significantly to the planning and delivery of distance education opportunities throughout Indiana. This success has been due in large part to the considerable strengths among the member institutions. At least as important has been the willingness of the member institutions to work together for the common good of all learners. Faculty, instructional support staff, and academic administrators have expanded their thinking and collaborated with colleagues across the state in program development and delivery at ever-increasing levels of instructional quality. Working especially through the Indiana College Network (ICN), student services professionals have worked tirelessly with the understanding that student support services are vital if distance education students are to have the same high-quality educational experiences and levels of support as our campus-based students. As each institution has expanded its own technology-based services, ICN has thus been able to grow in its role as an interinstitutional information and enrollment services clearinghouse.

Home Institution
A fundamental principle that provides the foundation for the concept of the Indiana College Network is that each distance education student will have a designated home institution. By definition, the home institution is the institution that records enrollment; records course grades and grants credit; provides financial aid services; issues billing and collects (its own) tuition and fees; certifies enrollment; and provides other student services. In short, the home institution is the institution of record for the student. It is the institution at which the student has applied and has been accepted, whether degree or non-degree status.

Originating Institution
The originating institution provides the instructional origination (via technology) and management for a course. The instructor/professor for such a course is responsible for the content and statewide delivery of the course and will deliver the course to all students enrolled through ICN regardless of home institution. This includes assuring that all students have access to library and other academic support required for a particular course as well as assigning grades and notifying home institutions promptly of apparent withdrawals or last dates of attendance. Thus, the originating institution provides the statewide instruction for a given course on behalf of all the ICN participating institutions which elect to enroll students in that course.

Centralized Information and Enrollment Support
The IPSE recognized early the need to develop the capacity to deliver to distance education students those academic and student support services that will be necessary to student success, as noted above. Most of these services will be provided directly by either the home or originating institution; some may be delivered through local learning centers. The centralized services performed by ICN staff, such as providing general information about distance learning and ICN, information regarding the establishment of a home institution, course schedules, etc., are intended to complement the information and services to be delivered directly from the home institutions to assist students with course enrollments. The ICN staff will not act in the role of academic advisors, nor will they provide financial aid services beyond basic, general information. ICN will provide a single point of contact for students who may be making their first contacts with higher education and distance learning. Beyond that, the ICN staff will offer any help students may request that will facilitate course enrollments and that are consistent with member institution policies and procedures. In short, the staff of ICN will be in a position to act on behalf of, but not in place of, any participating member institution in ways agreeable to both.

Beyond the enrollment service functions noted above, ICN staff will provide overview information about higher and distance education, an informational database of courses and programs, voice and email services for response to inquiries from prospective students as well as institutional staff, and an enrollment database. This enrollment database will be maintained for purposes of providing aggregate data on enrollments through ICN and will in no way replace the official student records to be maintained by the respective home institutions.

Discussion

The concept of a home institution offers several distinct advantages for students and institutions/campuses alike but carries challenges as well.

Among the advantages to students to have an identified home institution is that enrollment in courses, credits and grades earned, tuition and fees to be paid, financial aid services provided, academic advising, and all other such academic and student support services will be provided by and handled through one institution. This home institution will be the one with which the student already has an established relationship. This arrangement offers very significant advantages over one that would require students to enroll in multiple institutions and “run the gauntlet” with each in acquiring needed services and transferring credit after the fact. In addition, students benefit from the assurance of applicability derived from the requirement of advance approval by an academic advisor before entering an originating institution’s course. There is little doubt that such service-oriented relationships with students offer a much higher quality of service to them.

Concurrent with these advantages come several challenges. First, this arrangement calls for students to be enrolled in courses at the home institution that are originating from another IPSE member institution. While this means that the home institution does not have to assign an instructor of record or be concerned either with licensing agreements with an originator or with separate consortium agreements for each student for financial aid, it does imply that the home institution will accept “as its own” the course grade and credits reported by the instructor at the originating institution. Over the years we have grown comfortable with accepting appropriate transfer credits from one another. This arrangement calls upon us to take a further step and recognize our respective faculties as worthy of each others’ confidence, capable of serving as adjuncts across institutional boundaries in accordance with established articulation agreements for the benefit of students. Nonetheless, the home institution is always the final arbiter of which and how many courses may be accepted as resident credit through the Home Institution Model and how those courses will apply to a particular student’s program requirements.

Another advantage of this type of relationship is that a home institution will be able to “offer” courses to students with reduced effort by using courses being originated by partner institutions, an opportunity which may even benefit its on-campus students as well. The original Home Institution Model assumed that the majority of the tuition income collected by the home institution would be forwarded to the originating institution to cover instructional costs and fees associated with the technology-based course, but that official enrollments would remain with the home institution for purposes of enrollment change funding for public institutions. It was hoped that, over time, the apparent sacrifice of “enrollment headcounts” by an originating institution for one course could be offset by its role as a home institution in using courses originated by other IPSE institutions.

The original assumptions, however, are no longer tenable as external circumstances have changed. On the one hand, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education requires that originating or teaching institutions report all of their enrollments in the CHE Student Information Systems. The Home Institution Model needs, then, to be brought into alignment with state policy, which affects the balance of cost-recovery between home and originating institutions for inter-institutional enrollments. Moreover, the tuition revenue split that has been in place since ICN’s inception (90% of the home institution’s tuition forwarded to the originating institution, with 10% retained by the home institution) seldom works well for independent institutions or for those public institutions considered by the state to be “stable campuses” in terms of enrollment change funding. For these institutions acting only occasionally as home institutions, 10% of tuition does not suffice to cover immediate administrative costs for a single student, and there is no recourse to state enrollment adjustment funding to compensate. Moreover, 90% of a public institution’s tuition is seldom sufficient to cover an independent institution’s costs of providing the instruction as an originating institution, even or especially if aggregated over large numbers of such enrollments. And a public institution student’s financial aid package may not cover the cost of an independent institution’s full tuition for a needed course.

The services and arrangements outlined in this model will serve as a foundation for annually [biennially?] revisited decisions regarding the specific form that rate reimbursements should take. That agreement with executive sponsorship will be appended to this basic policy agreement as Attachment B, along with the separate ICN Financial Aid Consortium Agreement between Member Institutions (Attachment A). The latter document has been developed and signed by financial aid officers of campuses participating in ICN and specifies agreements with respect to defining enrollment status, awarding of financial aid, monitoring of satisfactory academic process, etc. It will be reviewed every five years or upon changes to the Higher Education Act that would necessitate updates to the agreement, whichever comes first.

Clearly, the Home Institution Model challenges traditional methods for conducting the enterprise of higher education. However, when the needs of students become the primary focus for our partnership efforts, these ideas warrant careful consideration.

A variety of individuals and campus offices are involved in the processing of a learner's request to enroll in classes through the ICN Home Insitution Model. Those roles and the associated responsibilities follow.


All college and university campuses that list distance education classes and/or programs with ICN have an ICN Coordinator (Campus Coordinator) whose office provides one-stop service for distance learners. Below are some general activities and expectations for individuals filling this role. This document does not prescribe how individual institutions may fill this role, rather it suggests how this role is perceived by other coordinators throughout the state.

The ICN Coordinator:
• is the primary ICN contact at each campus, overseeing the distant learner’s interaction with the following campus offices: admissions, advising, orientation, registrar, financial aid, and bursar.
• establishes contacts and seeks information from other student offices: library, bookstore, disabilities, and other student services offices on campus may need to contact instructors and staff in other campus offices to resolve a student’s question, establish transferability of courses from one campus to another, or plan a path for grade reporting at the end of the course.
• works cooperatively with other ICN Coordinator to assist students (Home and Originating Institutions).
• is able to discuss all the distance programs of your university or college.
• lets existing distance programs on your campus, particularly graduate programs, know you may be getting phone calls for them, and work out arrangements for hand offs.
• ensures that students receive class materials and tests in a timely fashion, and suggest changes for improvement.
• suggests campus offices, faculty, and staff who should know about the Indiana College Network, and work with ICN personnel to make sure materials are sent.
• gets to know other university or college staff working with distance students and maintains a dialogue throughout the semester. Ongoing communication improves on-campus services.
• recognizes when the work becomes too overwhelming in light of your other duties and trains other staff to work with students taking distance courses, or seeks assistance from your IPSE representative.
• attends ICN Meetings or keeps up by reading meeting minutes, email messages, and the At-A-Distance e-newsletter.
• makes your voice heard to make improvements for distance students.
• posts messages to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with class closings, cancellations, and new classes and programs.
• practices civility with all Coordinators who seek answers on a student’s behalf.

One-stop service: The role reflects the goal of all ICN student transactions
Convenience and accessibility are key to the student’s satisfaction with distance education classes and programs. This requires all Coordinators to have answers at their fingertips or know where to look. For example, when forwarding a call, the ICN Coordinator stays on the line with the student until a live person with an answer handles the question. When forwarding an email, the ICN Coordinator copies the student. The ICN Coordinator also makes sure that students know his/her name, phone number, and/or email address before concluding a call or email. And lastly, the ICN Coordinator follows up with students to make sure their needs are met.

REMEMBER: The student’s initial call or email is in lieu of an on-campus visit, so be a friendly open door for your institution. It can make the difference in an additional enrollment and may be the turning point in an adult’s life!

Qualities of an Effective ICN Coordinator

Who can fulfill this role?

An effective ICN Coordinator:

  • is optimistic.
  • learns new information quickly and easily.
  • adapts to changing circumstances with flexibility and a sense of humor.
  • practices good organizational and scheduling skills
  • advocates on the student’s behalf with awareness of nontraditional students’ complex lives.
  • advocates on behalf of ICN institutions for students prepared for success and the integrity of college and university programs.
  • seeks answers creatively with ICN and IHETS staff help.
  • looks beyond ICN for other postsecondary opportunities if necessary.
  • knows the community he or she serves and speaks up for its needs.
  • markets distance education programs.
  • shares.
  • has a fund of experience in education, adult education, training, marketing, and customer service.
  • is a can-do, high-energy, achievement-oriented representative who understands the mission.

Campuses with learning centers may also have an On-Campus Learning Center Coordinator.

  • Know how to turn equipment on and troubleshoot technology problems or know who to turn to for technology assistance.
  • Make sure someone is always available for student assistance and support.
  • Become familiar with classes that students take so that you can plan for test proctoring or unusual arrangements with class activities.
  • Work closely with your ICN Coordinator to keep everyone informed about your work with students.
  • Suggest improvements.
  • Attend ICN Meetings or keep up by reading meeting minutes, email messages, and the At-A-Distance e-newsletter. Make your voice heard to make improvements for distance students.
  • Post messages to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with class closings, cancellations, and new classes and programs.
  • Practice civility with all Coordinators who seek answers on a student’s behalf. You may need their assistance in the future.
  • Turn over difficult interinstitutional problems to the ICN Manager of Student Services for assistance.

The Learning Center coordinator off-campus will:

  • Read carefully the duties of on-campus coordinators and expect that professional level of service.
  • Read the ICN class schedule carefully and ask questions of campus coordinators or review the Web sites of special programs.
  • Gather as many publications of IHETS, the student services center, and ICPAC as you can to provide your first-time students with assistance.
  • Find resources for nontraditional students because many of your students will be new to college.
  • Work with other off-campus coordinators and the student services center audience development staff to help you develop interesting marketing ideas that will attract students.
  • Study your community for new audiences and find students who are interested in degree completion.
  • Search your community for additional resources such as community education, adult education programs, continuing education programs, retired teachers who can serve as mentors or tutors to your nontraditional students, and public library resources your students can use.
  • Be honest with new students. Don’t promise them something the institutions cannot deliver. Caution students that you and your backups of other coordinators, student services center staff, and the Learning Center coordinator will do what can be done in the student’s best interests.
  • Don’t take no the first time; always seek an answer from the campus coordinator or your backup team (see above). If a response doesn’t make sense to you, keep asking for answers until you can explain the situation to the student.
  • Attend meetings of the coordinators or keep up with all meeting minutes and messages. Make your voice heard to make improvements for distance students.
  • Post messages to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with class closings, cancellations, and new classes added after the ICN schedule is published.
  • Practice civility with all coordinators who seek answers on a student’s behalf. You may need their assistance in the future. It’s always wise to remember that you already know enough to qualify for your job!

ICN Home Institution Model - 

ICN Financial Aid Consortium Agreement between Member Institutions


Introduction
Since its inception in 1992, the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education (IPSE) has contributed significantly to the planning and delivery of distance education opportunities throughout Indiana. At least as important has been the willingness of the member institutions to work together for the common good of all learners. Working especially through the Indiana College Network (ICN), student services professionals have worked tirelessly with the understanding that student support services are vital if distance education students are to have the same high-quality educational experiences and levels of support as our campus-based students.

Home Institution
A fundamental principle that provides the foundation for the concept of the Indiana College Network is that each distance education student will have a designated home institution. By definition, the home institution is the institution that records enrollment; records course grades and grants credit; provides financial aid services; issues billing and collects (its own) tuition and fees; certifies enrollment; and provides other student services. In short, the home institution is the institution of record for the student. It is the institution at which the student has applied and has been accepted, whether degree or non-degree status.

Originating Institution
The originating institution provides the instructional origination (via technology) and management for a course. The instructor/professor for such a course is responsible for the content and statewide delivery of the course and will deliver the course to all students enrolled through ICN regardless of home institution. This includes notifying home institutions promptly of apparent withdrawals or last dates of attendance. Thus, the originating institution provides the statewide instruction for a given course on behalf of all the ICN participating institutions which elect to enroll students in that course.

Policy
Institutions who participate in the Indiana College Network (ICN) program will allow students receiving financial aid to use their award towards the cost of attendance at their institutions. The members of the Indiana College Network (ICN) concurrently adopt the following policy concerning the awarding and disbursing of financial aid funds to students enrolled in courses via the ICN pre-registration process.

For purposes of this agreement, the HOME institution (as defined by ICN) is considered to be the school from which the student will receive his/her degree. The non-degree granting school is considered to be the ORIGINATING (HOST) institution.

  • The HOME institution will specify the enrollment period beginning and ending dates for Title IV student aid purposes.
  • The HOME institution will define enrollment status (e.g. full-time, half-time, less than half-time) for Title IV student aid purposes.
  • Students must be degree-seeking at their HOME institution to be eligible for Title IV student aid.
  • The HOME institution will process and disburse all financial aid and process enrollment verifications under Title IV, state and institutional guidelines.
  • The HOME institution will report enrollment information to NSLDS and ICHE.
  • The HOME institution will establish Cost of Attendance per Title IV guidelines.
  • The HOME institution agrees to secure authorizations relating to cash management regulations 34CFR 668.165.
  • The HOME institution agrees to include the student on the FISAP.
  • The HOME institution agrees to make available required student consumer information, including satisfactory academic progress policy requirements and applicable refund and repayment policy.
  • Student financial assistance will be processed by the HOME institution for classes taken at the ORIGINATING institution only if the coursework taken at the ORIGINATING institution is applicable to degree requirements at the HOME institution as determined by the appropriate ICN academic advisor.
  • The HOME institution will accept from the ORIGINATING institution the credits and grade for each class a student completes at the ORIGINATING institution.
  • The HOME institution will monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress using all courses taken both at the HOME institution and the ORIGINATING institution.
  • The HOME institution will define the refund and repayment policy and calculate, if necessary, any Return to Title IV funds calculations.
  • The ORIGINATING institution will provide enrollment documentation to the HOME institution prior to the disbursement of any student financial assistance.
  • Students may be eligible to receive financial aid for classes that they are enrolled in at the ORIGINATING institution.
  • The ORIGINATING institution agrees not to award financial aid nor will they process enrollment verifications.
  • The ORIGINATING institution agrees to notify the HOME institution of any changes in enrollment and/or non-attendance.
  • The ORIGINATING institution agrees to release the student’s grade to the HOME institution at the completion of the term.
  • The ORIGINATING institution will provide a last date of attendance to the HOME institution in cases of official or unofficial withdrawal.
  • The ORIGINATING institution agrees to forward information about cost of attendance components to the HOME institution upon request.

This ICN Financial Aid Consortium Agreement will be reviewed every five years or upon changes to the Higher Education Act, whichever comes first, that would necessitate any updates to this agreement.