The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) announced recently at the Blended Learning Conference and Workshop in Denver that it is changing its name to the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), effective immediately.
The company is devoted to globally expanding on the quality of online learning and e-Education through its community of conferences, webinars and research initiatives for all learning institutions, in an effort to create an educated workforce. In a press release, acting CEO Kathleen Ives said the new name better fits that purpose.
“Our organization’s reach and impact has grown significantly since Sloan-C was first conceived in 1992,” said Ives, who also serves as executive director, in a prepared statement. “Almost two decades later, and now a self-sustaining organization, the time has come to rebrand as we move into new markets worldwide.”
The group was originally funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which helped to establish the Sloan Consortium of Colleges and Universities. The company received $15 million in funding from the Anytime, Anyplace, Learning Program and quickly evolved into “an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of online education.”
In 1992, it funded 346 projects worth $72 million, mostly for non-profit colleges and universities. Larger public institutions such as the State University of New York quickly followed. By the early 2000s, online initiatives were cropping up at a number of urban-based colleges, like the City University of New York, causing a move to blended learning.
“The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation was the forward-looking benefactor that fueled the development of online learning in American higher education,” said Joel Hartman, Ed.D., president of the OLC Board of Directors. “As the Online Learning Consortium, we honor this heritage with a commitment to evolve the organization to continually address the needs of our members and the online learning community worldwide.”
The OLC has members in 49 states and 14 countries totaling 300 institutional and 700 individual members. These users will continue to enjoy access to the same resources as previously provided.
Shortly after the announcement was made, OLC revealed that Ives had been named permanent CEO and executive director. Ives had been with Sloan-C for nearly a decade as associate executive director and COO.
“Kathleen has demonstrated exceptional leadership since becoming interim CEO and Executive Director last fall,” said Hartman. “She has skillfully led the recent transition of Sloan-C to OLC. Her deep experience and understanding of our members’ complex needs will ensure the continued advancement of the Consortium and expansion of our services, as well as the constituencies we serve.”
Achievements Ives has led OLC to since becoming interim CEO include:
• Advanced Online Teaching Certificate Program.
• New Mastery Series Programs (Spatial Thinking/Web Mapping, Nursing and Online Labs).
• Rollout of a revised OLC Quality Scorecard for U.S. online programs with more indicators.
• Creation of a Spanish version of OLC’s Quality Scorecard to measure Latin American programmatic quality.
• New partnerships with CREAD and Whitney International to develop and facilitate OLC Institute programs throughout Latin America.
• Introduction of the Global Online Higher Education Report (GlobalOHER) in partnership with five leading international higher education and intergovernmental organizations to undertake the first-ever research effort focused on the global impact of online learning.