History of the MSVCC

20 Years of Progress

The Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC) was created amid the technology boom of the 1990s. Technology in general, and distance education in particular, seemed to hold great promise in solving a number of problems in higher education. Many state leaders believed distance learning could expand educational access and increase economic development. Creating a consortia model ensured financial sustainability. By the year 2000, almost every state in the nation had created some initiative or entity resembling a virtual college. Mississippi was no exception.

 

Founded with a desire to leverage distance learning resources, including faculty, courses, support services, and technology, Mississippi’s community and junior colleges entered into the distance education arena with a mission to provide access to instructional offerings and training through advanced technologies to all constituents of Mississippi.

 

Nearly 20 years have passed since the inception of the MSVCC, and while little has changed with the original premise, the evolution of the Internet and digitization of content has brought about a transformational shift in society. Technology has changed the way in which people access information, form relationships, conduct business, govern, and learn. Higher education has been transformed, both in how institutions operate and how faculty members teach. Many of today’s students were born digital and have never known a world without the internet. Days are lived in a constantly changing, technology-infused, connected world. Students expect everything to be digitally enhanced, including courses, degrees, campus services and resources. Coupling student demand with technology and the way in which it impacts learning has also cultivated new terminology to define it.

 

Digital learning or eLearning was coined as a classification to categorize any instructional practice that makes effective use of technology which includes online learning, distance learning, hybrid learning, and blended learning (Educause, 2013).

 

Regardless of the terminology, to maintain a competitive edge and ensure progressive participation, colleges require well-trained and supported faculty members, instructional designers, media producers, quality assurance staff, administrative personnel, technical facilities and access to current and emerging technologies.

 

While much has changed since the establishment of the community college system, one thing which remains constant is the commitment to provide accessible, affordable, stable, and practical educational services to the people of Mississippi. The MSVCC honors this commitment.

The Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges

Virtual Community College Committee

August 1997

…there is a need to offer online instruction through the creation of a virtual community college for the state of Mississippi.

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