Online Delivery Fee Proposal Summary

Need/Purpose

In order to meet student demand and increase student success and enrollment at Dixie State University (DSU), the Dixie 2020 Strategic Plan calls for an increase in online course offerings and to establish online programs. To achieve this mandate, it is proposed that we establish an online delivery fee.

The resources generated from this fee are essential to achieve the two Dixie 2020 Strategic Plan goals directed at online education (a. 15% of total courses offered online, and b. creation of two online programs) and to help provide the necessary infrastructure (technologies, personnel, equipment, etc.) in creating and maintaining a quality online program at Dixie State University (DSU) currently titled DixieOnline. Currently, only one-time strategic planning monies exist to support this activity, other than base monies associated with the Director of Distance and Digital Learning salary. No other funding options are available to support the online program, as most of any new monies are being directed to additional faculty positions and other related needs, as we mature into our university stature.

The resources provided by this fee are essential in achieving the two Dixie 2020 Strategic Plan goals and creating a quality online program–without an online delivery fee, these goals will not be accomplished.

Fee Value

Following an analysis of in-state, regional and benchmark peer institutional online delivery fees and general tuition and fees, it is proposed that we establish an initial fee value of $30/credit. From the comparison group (see Appendix), 14 of the 17 institutions would have a higher total cost than DSU, despite the proposed $30/credit online fee. In our research, most institutions without a designated online delivery fee, commonly embed such fees into the tuition rate or general student fees. With the online fee, DSU total costs would remain very competitive and lower than the majority of our comparative institutions.

Timeline & Application

With the recent approval by the Board of Trustees and internal committees and councils, the fee would be applied to online course sections effective the upcoming Fall 2017 semester. We would like to explore ways to waive some of the current general fees focused on residential students (e.g., Athletics, Intramurals, Student Center Operations, etc.) for students enrolled only in online courses in a given semester or period.
It is anticipated that the fee will be assigned to all online sections by association of the instructional method (online) in Banner, making its implementation a simpler task. The revenue and expenses will be directed into a separate university account to properly account and report on its use. A reporting of the fee usage will be included in upcoming Distance & Digital Learning Annual Reports, for institutional review and comment.

Revenue Sharing

To help incentivize and support online offerings, it is proposed that up to a third of the fee revenue be distributed to the Academic Colleges/Departments, as well as partner departments in Administrative and Student Services in support of existing/new online offerings. The shared revenue will be distributed based upon online activity in a graduated model (10 – 33%) over the next five or so years. It is estimated that $600,000 will be distributed over the next five years.

Departments/Areas receiving the shared revenue will use the monies for related, online activities. Possible activities/uses might include:

  • Faculty professional development
  • Adoption and adaptation of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Faculty or course equipment and/or software
  • Faculty released time for online course modifications or revisions
  • Increased online student support services (advising, coaching, tutoring, etc.)
  • Support and licensing of systems/platforms and services (Canvas, Tutoring, other)

Benefits

The following table highlights some of the benefits anticipated from services and activities facilitated by the proposed online delivery fee.

Students Colleges/Departments University/Community
  • Review and Improvement of Existing Online Offerings
  • Flexibility in Scheduling
  • Reduced Travel Costs (money, time)
  • Increased access to course and program offerings
  • Increased adoption of open educational resources (cost savings)
  • Provide more opportunities for returning students to complete their degree
  • Increase in student-centered instruction
  • Professional development resources and opportunities
  • Ability to meet increasing enrollment, without space limitations
  • Collaborative development opportunities
  • New course and program offerings
  • Increase the quality of instruction by having access to instructional design support
  • Achieve Dixie 2020 Strategic Plan goals
  • Be responsive to business and community needs
  • Improve the quality of teaching and learning at DSU
  • Better meet the needs of post-traditional learners
  • Be competitive in the marketplace
  • Attract additional funding and partnership opportunities
  • Resources to provide additional online support services
  • Increase educational opportunities for business/community partnerships

Bottom Line

Three key elements should be noted from this summary:

  1. Without the fee, there are not enough resources to achieve the Dixie 2020 Strategic Plan goals and support a quality online program.
  2. All stakeholders will benefit from the fee–it is a win-win scenario.
  3. We will continue to remain a low-cost provider in comparison with our in-state, regional and benchmarking peers.

Learn more about the initial vision, strategies and projected outcomes in effectively meeting the DSU 20/20 strategic plan goals: DSU 2020 Strategic Plan – Online Education Report.

For additional information or additional questions, please contact:

Ryan Hobbs
Director, Distance & Digital Learning
ryan.hobbs@dixie.edu
435-879-4653