Intelecom Learning:  A Non-Profit Service of California Community Colleges

Intelecom Learning: A Non-Profit Service of California Community Colleges

October 26, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs

In 1970 a consortium of California community colleges was created for the purpose of producing televised courses for college credit. A production unit was established for this
consortium, which came to be known as Intelecom Learning. This arrangement represented, and
still represents, a unique governance structure within the California community college system. [Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, President, Grossmont College]: INTELECOM is a really crucial tool, I think, in the California Community College system toolkit. As a publicly owned, community college owned corporation that is essentially formed for the benefit of California community colleges, as a collaborative effort, INTELECOM’s
mission derives from the California community college’s mission. That’s crucially important because INTELECOM takes its cue from the needs of the community colleges and by extension the needs of the students of the community colleges. So, we have a common mission– I dare say, an identical mission– given the formation of INTELECOM as an extension of community colleges in California. This then novel arrangement – multiple community college districts collaborating together – is still at the heart of Intelecom’s mission
and purpose. Over the years Intelecom content has been utilized by colleges and universities, and advanced the education goals of students, throughout the world. John Makevich [Director of Special Projects, College of the Canyons]: I have had a number of years of experience using Intelecom resources to support teaching from sort of a variety of different angles. In my past teaching experience, my past life of teaching, I taught in the earth sciences, geology, meteorology. Intelecom’s had a number of resources for years in the earth and environmental sciences that have
really benefited the course experience. Intelecom has always been known for having really high quality content and so it’s an easy pitch when talking to faculty, talking
about how and when and why to adopt that content into their online courses. I think it’s clear in California that we have
reached a point where we need collaboration that helps to advance all the community colleges’ missions through some common development. The Online Education Initiative, of course,
at the chancellor’s office for the California Community Colleges is really important, but there are other ways also, I think more locally, to develop an understanding of both those common needs and common opportunities that I think INTELECOM is best suited to gather up, understand, and offer solutions for that none of us individually as community colleges can afford, but which all of us collectively can benefit from. Today, Intelecom continues its history of producing and distributing rich educational content in the sciences, the social sciences, career technical education, basic skills and continuing education. I think, working with Intelecom, we can extend that experience that many of our faculty are talking about now when they talk about the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom is revolutionary in the sense that it goes back to first principles, where students prepare their materials at home by accessing– typically, it was the textbook. But now, all the preparatory materials and the introductory discussions that they could get in a sort of delivery mode. When they go to class, the time is spent not an information delivery, but on engagement, on actual interaction, question, answer, the real process of challenging a student’s mind to grow and change. Other opportunities in which Intelecom could be a useful production resource to its college partners include: Student Veterans, The Online Education Initiative, Professional Development, Community Services, and Continuing Education. The online education initiative or the OEI
is of tremendous value to the California community colleges for a number of reasons. One, it
really provides an opportunity to do what we’ve always done and do it just quite a bit better. Online courses have existed in the state of California for a number of years.
And faculty have done a stellar job in putting together their courses and delivering them for students. [Dr. Allen Dooley, CEO, Intelecom Learning]: I think there is a rich opportunity for an organization like Intelecom to provide assistance and service to professional development. And something I’m trying to emphasize to our college partners is for them to remember we are a non-profit organization. Our intent is not
to generate revenue streams. Our intent is not to generate profit. Our intent is to help
students at the community college. Our intent is to help faculty, staff, and managers at
the community college. That’s who we are. That’s what we do. As Intelecom looks towards its future, its
focus will remain on its community college partners and how it can best serve the students, faculty, and staff of these vital educational institutions.
Challenges are not something to be afraid of. Challenges are something you confront. And I think challenges can be a strength. Because once you recognize your challenges, you can then begin to build strategies as to how to overcome them. Intelecom is on that road. Our challenges are bringing us new opportunities and new possibilities.