What You'll Find Here
These modules are designed to help you plan and view examples of the best applications of student support strategies for online students.

Keeping in mind that the needs and resources of individual colleges differ tremendously, from the smallest rural institutions to large, multi-campus districts, it is hoped that you'll find strategies and applications here that will be of value as you plan your own program.

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Introduction
Colleges that teach at a distance must be able to offer students needed support and library services for a successful online experience. For more than a century, the higher education model has remained relatively stable. Yet, with the advent of the information age and globalization, changing demographics are driving today's trends in student services. What we have grown accustomed to is being challenged, forcing us to adapt to this rapidly changing environment. Perhaps, the most dramatic changes are occurring in how we deliver services to the distance learner.

Distance education students need the same kinds of services as on-campus students but expect the services to meet their needs for flexibility and convenience. To meet these evolving needs – colleges are creating innovative ways to to reach their distance learners with student support.

By examining the shift in the delivery of student services from a traditional to a more integrated model, these modules will provide strategies and best practices for student support. The best practices described have been developed by a cadre of student support community college professionals with extensive experience in the creation and delivery of services to online students.

With the severe budget cuts to education over the past few years and with the elimination of a number of discretionary funding sources, many colleges have been stopped ‘dead in their tracks’ as far as the further development of their online student support goes. We hope that these modules will serve as a springboard to encourage colleges to increase the success of their online students.

The project team and module authors share a variety of effective uses of people, technology, and processes in the student services field so there are exemplary practices within this document for everyone. Best practices in the Online Monograph will also demonstrate community college efforts to provide support services designed to increase student success.

Subject matter for these modules include innovative applications for both web-based freshman and distance learning course orientations, financial aid, library access, career planning, student news, and testing. The collection of best practices have been assembled in a manner that should allow readers to quickly identify innovative online support services and practices that are specific to certain student areas.

This online publication has been created as a part of the project, Online Student Support at Every College, based at Tyler Junior College and supported by the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges & Universities. During the first year of this grant, this project has partnered with community colleges and professionals through out Texas who have been identified as leaders providing online student services. The project has worked closely with the Texas Center for Online Instruction; the Texas Collaborative for Teaching Excellence in Professional Development, Curriculum Development, and Recruitment and Retention; the Virtual College of Texas, the Counselors Network; Texas Rural Community College Network,; the North Texas Community College Consortium; and other Carl D Perkins projects.

In partnership with Coastal Bend College, Tyler Junior College has developed regional workshops to showcase exemplary student service offerings for online students. The Junior and Community College Student Personnel Association of Texas, co-sponsored a regional workshop on Best Practices for Online Student Support at Every College.

This project has been developed by the Texas State Leadership Professional Development and funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Carl D. Perkins Act.