StraighterLine and Dallas County Community College District/DCCCD Selected for U.S. Department of Education’s Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP)

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The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) will serve as Quality Assurance Entity to measure critical student outcomes

StraighterLine, the fastest-growing provider of alternative academic credit, and Dallas County Community College District/DCCCD, one of the largest community college systems in Texas, are pleased to announce they are offering one of just a handful of programs to be picked for the U.S. Department of Education’s EQUIP experiment. Through EQUIP, StraighterLine and DCCCD will offer two associate degree programs where StraighterLine delivers up to 75% of the coursework. These programs will primarily serve students that have attended some college, but have not yet obtained a credential. Tuition will be $99 per credit which includes all materials. Students enrolled in these programs will have access to federal financial aid. CHEA will serve as a Quality Assurance Entity, reviewing student outcomes and other information to assure the quality of the educational offerings.

“We’re seeing more and more new models of learning and training emerge from outside of traditional higher education institutions. Some of these new models may provide more flexible and more affordable educational options and credentials than those offered by traditional programs. The most expensive degree is the one you don’t complete. EQUIP sites like this one are trying to change that, and we’re excited about their participation in the program,” said Yuanxia Ding, Senior Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.

“StraighterLine helps students lower the cost and risk of starting a degree and helps colleges attract and retain students. Students enrolling directly in StraighterLine’s general education courses pay a $99 per month subscription. College credit can be transferred to any of the more than 100 accredited colleges with whom we have guaranteed credit transfer agreements,” said Burck Smith, StraighterLine CEO and founder. “The EQUIP program allows trusted non-traditional education providers to participate in the financial aid system and validates the potential for new providers to help solve tough problems like tuition escalation, inconsistent credit transferability, low retention rates and high levels of student debt and default.”

“Thanks to the new EQUIP program, DCCCD students can complete and compete. In other words, they can finish college with an online degree and low-to-no debt, and they can compete in the workforce with a credential that employers want,” said Dr. Joe May, Chancellor, Dallas County Community College District/DCCCD. “In addition to affordability, DCCCD's partnership with StraighterLine and CHEA under the EQUIP program offers financial aid opportunities that students didn't have until now.”

“With student time and money and taxpayer dollars, educational quality must be assured,” said Judith Eaton, President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). “Given that student enrollment in alternative credit pathways is growing, but they don’t fit into traditional accrediting structures, new mechanisms of quality review need to be developed.”

According to Dr. May, “The new program is a win-win for everyone, thanks to this innovative partnership with StraighterLine and CHEA, supported by the U.S. Department of Education's EQUIP program.”

About StraighterLine

StraighterLine combines a $99 a month course subscription with guaranteed credit pathways to accredited degree programs to save students up to 60% on the total cost of their degree.

StraighterLine takes the worry out of credit transfer with a College Savings Network of over 100 accredited colleges that guarantee acceptance of StraighterLine courses.

About Dallas County Community College District/DCCCD

The Dallas County Community College District serves more than 72,000 credit and 25,000 continuing education students during the fall and spring semesters. DCCCD comprises seven individually-accredited colleges: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland, plus its virtual campus, Dallas Colleges Online. The district celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015-2016. DCCCD's focus on employee and student success -- plus a higher education network of partnerships that serve students, businesses and community members -- is led by Dr. Joe May, the district's chancellor, with the support of its board of trustees.

About the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)

A national advocate and institutional voice for academic quality through accreditation, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes approximately 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations.

For more information, contact Ann Hatch, DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs, 214-378-1819 or ahatch(at)dcccd(dot)edu; Beth Dumbauld, StraighterLine public relations, 443-712-7132 or bdumbauld(at)straighterline(dot)com; Tim Willard, CHEA Senior Director of Communications, 202-955-6126 or willard(at)chea(dot)org

For general information about EQUIP, visit: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-ed-launches-initiative-low-income-students-access-new-generation-higher-education-providers

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StraighterLine
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