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Article 2. California Virtual Campus   

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(a) (1) The California Virtual Campus, pursuant to funding provided to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges for this purpose in the annual Budget Act, may pursue all of the following purposes, to the extent funding is available:

(A) To enrich formal and informal educational experiences and improve students' academic performance by supporting the development of highly engaging, research-based innovations in teaching and learning in K-12 public schools and the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California.

(B) To enhance the awareness of, and access to, highly engaging online courses of study, emphasizing courses of study that support a diverse and highly skilled science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce.

(C) To support education research, the implementation of research-based practices, and promote economic development through the use of next generation advanced network infrastructure, services, and network technologies that enable collaboration and resource sharing between formal and informal educators in K-12 public schools, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, independent colleges and universities, public libraries, and community-based organizations at locations across the state.

(D) To increase access to next generation Internet services, 21st century workforce development programs, and e-government services for students and staff served or employed by education entities and students served primarily online through partnerships with public libraries and community-based organizations.

(E) To enhance access to health care education and training programs to current or future health care workers.

(F) To manage digital assets and develop contracts for services necessary to provide the technical and management support needed to maximize the benefits of the high-speed, high-bandwidth network infrastructure available to public higher education entities in California.

(G) Through the aggregation of demand for network enabled technologies and related services from public education entities, and through partnerships with the private sector, to provide education entities with access to technical support and staff who can facilitate statewide efforts that support innovations in teaching and learning that are necessary to provide for a well-educated citizenry, and economic and 21st century workforce development.

(2) To accomplish the purposes of paragraph (1), the California Virtual Campus may partner with local educational agencies, the State Department of Education, the 11 regional California Technology Assistance Projects, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, independent colleges and universities, public libraries, and community-based organizations to facilitate ongoing collaboration and joint efforts relating to the use of technology resources and high-speed Internet connectivity to support teaching, learning, workforce development, and research.

(3) Efforts conducted as a result of this chapter shall not prohibit or otherwise exclude the ability of existing or new educational technology programs from being developed, expanded, or enhanced.

(b) For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) "Online courses of study" means any of the following:

(A) Online teaching, learning, and research resources, including, but not necessarily limited to, books, course materials, video materials, interactive lessons, tests, or software, the copyrights of which have expired, or have been released with an intellectual property license that permits their free use or repurposing by others without the permission of the original authors or creators of the learning materials or resources.

(B) Professional development opportunities for formal and informal educators who desire to use the resources in subparagraph (A).

(C) Online instruction.

(2) "Online instruction" means technology enabled online real time (synchronous) interaction between the instructor and the student, near time (asynchronous) interaction between the instructor and the student, or any combination thereof.

(c) The California Virtual Campus grant recipient may accomplish all of the following:

(1) Convene at least four leadership stakeholder group meetings annually comprised of representatives from the State Department of Education, the California Technology Assistance Project, and other related programs administered through the department, local education agencies, including adult education, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, independent colleges and universities, the California State Library, and representatives from community-based organizations to ensure the efforts affecting segments represented are appropriately meeting the needs of those segments. The leadership stakeholder group shall also coordinate and obtain assistance with the implementation of efforts delineated in this article, to identify and maintain an up-to-date list of the technology resources and tools that are necessary to support innovation in teaching and learning, and to identify opportunities for leveraging resources and expertise for meeting those needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

(2) Lead efforts to make online courses of study available across the state that include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) Developing online courses of study that are pedagogically sound and fully accessible, in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law 101-336), by students with varying learning styles and disabilities.

(i) The development of K-12 online courses pursuant to this subparagraph shall be achieved in partnership with local education agencies and the California Technology Assistance Project.

(ii) Online courses developed for grades K-12 pursuant to this subparagraph shall be aligned to the California academic content standards and guidelines for online courses.

(B) Overseeing the development of at least 12 model online courses of study that, collectively, would allow students to meet the requirements of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) and at least two courses that support basic skills education courses in English, English as a second language, or mathematics.

(C) Encouraging the entities listed in paragraph (1) to do both of the following:

(i) Make accessible to each other their courses of study that are funded by the state.

(ii) Allow their courses of study to be accessible to the general public if they determine access would not inhibit their ability to provide appropriate protection of the state's intellectual property rights.

(3) Ensure that the learning objects created as part of the California Virtual Campus online courses of study with state General Fund revenues are linked to digital content libraries that include information about course content freely available to California educators and students.

(4) Develop formal partnership agreements between the entities listed in paragraph (1) and the California Virtual Campus, including course articulation agreements that allow qualified high school students to accelerate the completion of requirements for a high school diploma and a two-year or four-year degree and agreements that provide opportunities for part-time faculty teaching online to obtain full-time employment teaching online.

(5) Develop formal partnership agreements with the entities listed in paragraph (1) and others to enhance access to professional development courses that introduce faculty, teachers, staff, and college course developers to the conceptual development, creation, and production methodologies that underlie the development of online courses of study and support students' successful completion of those courses. The professional development opportunities may include, but not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:

(A) Addressing issues relating to copyright, permission for the use or reuse of material, use of resources in the public domain, and other intellectual property concepts.

(B) Accessibility for students with disabilities.

(C) Factors to ensure that content is culturally relevant to a diverse student body.

(D) Delivery options that incorporate multiple learning styles and strategies.

(6) Develop formal partnership agreements with entities, including, but not limited to, those listed in paragraph (1), to ensure access to online professional learning communities that incorporate the use of Internet-based collaboration tools and to support joint discussions between K-12 educators, higher education faculty and staff, and others to examine student performance data, student learning objectives, curriculum, and other issues that relate to students' academic success and preparation for the workforce.

(7) In partnership with entities, including those listed in paragraph (1), develop an e-portfolio system that allows participating students to demonstrate their attainment of academic learning objectives, skills and knowledge that relate to their career interests, and completion of prerequisites for participation in courses or training programs. The e-portfolio system may do all of the following:

(A) Ensure that student privacy is protected in accordance with existing law.

(B) Comply with accessibility laws for students with disabilities.

(C) Be designed in a manner that supports the use of e-portfolio content in the accreditation requirements of schools, colleges, and universities.

(8) In partnership with entities, including those listed in paragraph (1), identify opportunities to enhance students' access to medical education and medical services through the use of high-speed Internet connections to the campuses, and opportunities for education programs and services to support the telehealth efforts taking place within the state.

(d) The lead agency for the California Virtual Campus, in consultation with the leadership stakeholder group described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) if that group is convened by the California Virtual Campus grant recipient, shall contract with an independent third party with expertise in online teaching, learning, and the development of online courses of study, as approved by the board, to evaluate the California Virtual Campus. The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, an assessment of the number of faculty, teachers, consortia, informal educators, and students that use the online courses of study, the quality of students' experiences, student grades earned, and the cost of the online course content, comparing the online course content with traditional textbooks. The board may require additional information that it determines to be necessary to evaluate the effectiveness and viability of the California Virtual Campus. This evaluation shall be submitted to the Legislature no later than three years after the enactment of this act.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 782, Sec. 4.)