Ohlone College: Outsourcing IT Education

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Education

This was interesting.  I was exploring courses at local community colleges, and I found that Ohlone College’s CNET courses that train students in material relating to Microsoft technologies are completely outsourced to Microsoft’s IT Academy.  The students log into an online course and learn the material through Microsoft, and interact with virtual simulated environment to practice what they learn. After the student completes the course, they get a grade on their transcript at Ohlone College, set by Microsoft indirectly.

Now on one side I encourage creative ways to save costs and offer more courses, but on the other side, the education has striking lack of integrity and screams of fraudulence, not to mention lowered quality standards by courses offered by the institution.  There should be courses developed by professors, not Microsoft setting the curriculum.  It seems that either the student, public, or both are getting taken for a ride on this one.  The funds from tuition and subsidized funding from the state won’t go on to develop more computer courses, as Microsoft is developing them.

There should be a clear separation between what is community and training courses that will never count as university credit, and courses that would transfer as credit, for true academic work and courses should be created by real qualified professors.  Otherwise the credit coming into a 4-year UC or CSU is suspect.

  1. Kipple says:

    I disagree on the part that Microsoft should be the horse’s mouth. I agree on the outsourcing in general – it’s a waste of money as the outsourcers are plagued by incompetence not by choice but by circumstance.

    But on the Microsoft part – the substance of what a young Zukerberg wanna be goes to college for is to learn what one day others will pay him to do in exchange for one’s Microsoft knowledge. There isn’t a college out there that can create and maintain relevant IT curriculum. This argument holds true if one truly wants to obtain real world income generating knowledge. For useless academia computer science stuff – I totally agree – no outsourcing and keep the curriculum in-house.

    • sedricklibre says:

      After reflection, I am guessing this is probably all they could do, and I am glad they are offering something rather than nothing. It is just that community colleges glob what I would call training or continuing education with transferable academic type of courses together. It is flexible for them, gets funding, and passes savings onto the student, but perhaps maybe not a high level of quality (some exceptions) in the content offered. Like you always say, “you get what you pay for“.

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