CCs use online classes as ‘cash cow’

Community colleges see online classes as “cash cows,” charges a professor. Failure rates are higher, but so are revenues.

About Joanne


  1. Doesn’t surprise me at all. In my dealings with students, I’ve noticed that they tend to be naively optimistic about the commitment and discipline needed to complete an online course successfully (i.e. C or better). Most just focus on the convenience factor. When a student asks me my opinion about online courses, I try to emphasize the commitment angle and get them to consider realistically whether or not they’re disciplined enough to stick with it.

  2. In my experience, the students who would do really well in online courses want nothing to do with them, and the students who tend to do incredibly poorly with online work fall all over themselves trying to register for them.

  3. Not just community colleges. The four-year school where I teach, while I don’t THINK the word “cash cow” has been publicly used, does seem to see online classes as a way of bringing in more revenue with what they perceive as no more work.

    The fact that one year they nearly doubled the allowed enrollment in some sections, without telling the prof leading those sections until the first day of classes, tells me they don’t fully understand the effort and logistics involved in online teaching. (One of my friends who runs online courses says she feels more like a troubleshooter/webmaster than an instructor – at least 50% of her contact with students runs to the “I missed the deadline for the quiz, can you please unlock it for me” sort of interaction).