Statement from Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), & Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) regarding concerns about online labs & speech:
The Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation which has forced all Illinois public and private colleges and universities to shift to alternative methods of teaching, primarily via 100% online courses, for all or a portion of the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. It has come to our attention that there is concern by IAI participating institutions that online science labs as well as the online version of the oral communications courses (e.g., Speech, Public Speaking, etc.) will not comply with the IAI General Education Core Curriculum (GECC) Communications, GECC Life Sciences, and GECC Physical Sciences panels’ expected course outcomes as reflected in their course descriptors and course approval criteria thus creating a situation in which these courses may be deemed not transferable.
The Illinois Articulation Initiative’s Policies & Procedures Manual does not currently include any language regarding emergency caveats, particularly as it may be applicable to the current health pandemic. Therefore, it is the position of the IBHE, ICCB, and IAI that students’ courses which are completed under these crisis-driven alternative course delivery methods shall be deemed transferable and earn credit as they were originally intended during the Spring 2020 semester. This policy demonstrates the state’s commitment of supporting institutional efforts to reasonably modify learning options as needed in order to provide a mechanism for students to complete their courses this semester.
In 1993 the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Community College Board, and the Transfer Coordinators of Illinois Colleges and Universities brought together faculty from public and independent, associate and baccalaureate degree-granting institutions across the state to develop the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI). The goal of IAI is to facilitate transfer from one participating college or university to another in order to complete a baccalaureate degree. Three key concepts provided the underlying foundation for IAI:
- (1) that “associate and baccalaureate degree-granting institutions are equal partners” in educating college freshmen and sophomores,
- (2) that “faculties should take primary responsibility for developing and maintaining program and course articulation,” and
- (3) that “institutions are expected to work together to assure that lower-division baccalaureate programs are comparable in scope, quality, and academic rigor.”
The IAI includes a statewide general education package, the IAI General Education Core Curriculum (GECC). Completion of this package fulfills the lower-division general education requirements for any participating institution. In addition, the IAI includes recommendations for students wanting to study in a particular field but are unsure as to where they might complete a baccalaureate degree.