Online University Consortium
The Online University Consortium (OUC) is an independent, third-party organisation in the US founded to help individual learners and corporations identify high-quality online education programmes at accredited US colleges and universities. The results of its research are freely available. Though still in operation, the OUC Web site shows no company/media updates since 2004. Information about schools and programmes appears to be kept up to date, however. The Online University Consortium does not offer any degrees directly.
Participating schools must apply for OUC evaluation, which relies on numerous quality criteria, including assessments of accreditation, faculty, investment in curriculum and program development, and student “throughput”. Certificate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees are all eligible for qualification.
Based in Utah, US, OUC has qualified several hundred online degrees and certificates from dozens of providers. A Directory of Qualified Member and Participant Universities is available online at http://www.onlineuc.net/topuniv.html; specific degrees are listed at http://www.onlineuc.net/degrees.html. Of those listed, there is an emphasis on large, public US universities.
The Online University Consortium Web site is at http://www.onlineuc.net/
OUC provides statistics about online degree education and enrolment trends. In 2007, it reported a 24% increase in the number of quality offerings available since 2003, and estimated that online enrolments in the US were growing at a rate of roughly 10% each year.