Location
Brenham, TX

Students
Full-time: 10,349 | Part-time: 7,807

Classification
Very large 2-year public

Faculty
Full-time: 370 | Part-time: 369

“We chose Concourse because we knew we’d not only be successful, but rapidly. One week after putting Concourse in the hands of faculty, 1,665 syllabi have been uploaded. Of those, 31.8% have been reviewed by their Deans. I think that is a nice start!” – Michael Welch, Academic Technology Services Dean

Highlights

  • Texas House Bill 2504 (HB 2504) mandated public access to syllabus and CV information
  • In-house system was not easy to access by students and public
  • Phased approach to implementation facilitated a smooth transition to Concourse
  • Compliance with HB 2504 accomplished within first month of Concourse implementation
  • Use of course templates provides more efficient syllabus management capabilities

Motivation
In response to Texas House Bill 2504 (HB 2504), Blinn needed an efficient and sustainable way to collect, review, and create accessible course syllabi. The system they initially developed, while simple and straightforward, did not provide easy access to syllabi for students or the general public. While the method did meet the minimum state requirements under HB 2504, using the system proved to be quite cumbersome for faculty and students.

Practices
Prior to using Concourse, Blinn developed an in-house syllabus and curriculum vita upload and browse tool to manage thousands of pieces of documentation and meet legislative demands. While the system was fairly simple and straightforward, it was not easy for users to find courses using keyword searches. In essence, Blinn was using an electronic filing cabinet to maintain over 11,000 syllabi and 1,000 curriculum vitae.

Vision
Blinn administrators needed a system that would first and foremost satisfy the requirements of HB 2504. They also required integration with their learning management system and other campus systems, and wanted the ability to report on and track syllabi. Due to a lack of consistency regarding required information on syllabi, they also had a need for course templates.

Implementation
Blinn administrators purposefully decided to pursue a phased implementation. In the first month, they began with upload-only syllabi to mimic the process faculty experienced in the former system. Once in Concourse, the syllabi were searchable by all faculty, staff, students, and general public.The second phase involved the creation of templates for each course, followed by integration with their student information system over the next semester. Consistency and transparency of information was easily achieved and implemented in record time.

Results
It wasn’t long after their decision to go with Concourse in June 2012 that Phase I of the implementation was complete; the system was ready to start receiving syllabi and CV’s. Phase II was completed for Fall 2013, after a pilot in Spring and Summer 2013.

Furthermore within the first month of use, Concourse took in 2,455 instructor syllabi. This represents 95.6% of all offered sections and an 8.7% increase over fall 2011. Today, Blinn college works from over 2,500 course-specific master templates, managing content more easily now than ever before.


About Blinn College
Blinn College was founded in 1883 and operates as one of the largest public community college districts. The college has the highest transfer rate to senior institutions out of any community college in Texas. The college is currently working on expanding the technical and workforce programs.

For more information on Blinn College, visit their website at www.blinn.edu.