The Alamo Colleges
Bexar County, TX
2-year public college
Full-time: 675 | Part-time: 988
The Alamo Community College District consists of five community colleges located in greater San Antonio. They were the first to address House Bill 2504 (HB 2504) by testing Concourse, a solution that gets syllabi online in the most cost effective and efficient way possible.
The Challenge & Strategy
With a short runway, imposed by HB 2504, the Alamo Colleges decided to build their own, eSyllabus System. After implementation and one full academic year of use, the Alamo Colleges evaluated the long term efficacy of eSyllabus and determined that that they wanted something more powerful, fully integrated, and more user-friendly. As the plans for eSyllabus v2 were discussed, the project committee headed by Director of ITS Client Services, Kenny Patterson, determined that seeking a commercial solution would be a part of the strategic planning; with that, the Alamo Colleges turned to Intellidemia, the leader in online syllabus solutions.
The eSyllabus project committee convened for an online demonstration of Concourse. Intellidemia provided answers to some of the tougher questions related to use, cost, integration, and implementation. The Alamo Colleges immediately saw the potential with Concourse and believed it was an intuitive and user friendly system that allowed more flexibility than eSyllabus while still maintaining control. Additional conversations between the committee and Intellidemia led to an upgrade the development of a new feature that would enhance capability and directly address the curriculum vitae requirement of HB 2504. Now, Concourse users can add their CV in the same easy way they add their syllabi.
The Alamo Community College District unanimously agreed to evaluate Concourse for one semester before deciding whether building or buying a solution would be the most efficient use of resources. The Concourse system is currently being tested in a spring 2012 pilot setting by a selection of faculty members across all five colleges. Feedback from faculty and administrators, thus far, has been positive.
One professor in the pilot group emailed us, writing, “I must say that my first foray into Concourse was fairly productive. Entries were fairly easy and straight-forward. In my case, I had nearly all the info in some other form, so copy/paste worked well. So far, so good.”
The Syllabus Geeks plan to provide a mid-term report on the progress of the pilot, the successes and challenges, so check back to see how both the Alamo College and Concourse are faring.
About the Alamo Community College District
The Alamo Colleges serve the Bexar County community through their programs and services that help students succeed in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed in today’s world. Students are taught by highly qualified faculty with Master’s and doctorate degrees dedicated to creating a learning centered environment. Student services include counseling, computer labs, tutoring, financial services, services for the disabled, developmental instruction, veteran’s services, and job placement. The five colleges — San Antonio (est. 1925), St. Philip’s (est. 1898), Palo Alto (est. 1985), Northeast Lakeview (est. 2007), and Northwest Vista (est. 1995) — offer associate degrees, certificates and licensures in occupational programs that prepare students for jobs, as well as arts and science courses that transfer to four-year colleges and universities and lead to AA and AS degrees.
To learn more about the Alamo Colleges, visit www.alamo.edu.