Academic and Administrative Consortia
More private colleges are forming and expanding consortial partnerships that allow institutions to pool resources to better control costs and improve services. Private colleges are leveraging their joint purchasing power for lower costs on energy, insurance, and information technology; reducing administrative and academic redundancies; offering students new learning opportunities; and share best practices. Metropolitan, regional, state, and national partnerships all continue to take root and innovate.
Since 1958, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest are committed to develop and assist the member colleges in improving the efficiency of their operations both administrative and cultural, assist the member colleges in developing additional sources of revenue and to advance the interests and to contribute to the educational effectiveness of the member colleges of the Association. ACM colleges have jointly owned and operated a portfolio of off-campus study programs
since the 1960s.
The Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley provides Cross-Registration
between member institutions, Inter-Library loans
, Faculty Exchange Program
and Faculty Seminars
. The association was chartered in 1970 by the New York State Board of Regents to increase cooperation in both academic and administrative endeavours at the 4 member institutions.
The 16 member institutions of the Associated Colleges of the South are offering online and blended courses to students on any of the campuses within the consortium, giving students more course options, and letting participating colleges avoid academic redundancies. The process is seamless for students.
ACTC consists of 5 private colleges in St. Paul and Minneapolis. ACTC members offer Cross-Registration
by which students are able to pursue courses and even majors not offered at their home campus. Members, as well as 14 associate members, participate in monthly meetings regarding Joint Purchasing
. ACTC has an Urban Sustainability
AICAD members share purchasing of various library databases, educational software and research products. 20 members of AICAD participate in the AICAD/New York Studio Residency Program
. Participating students receive studio spaces, weekly critique sessions, a diverse seminar/visiting artist program and earn sixteen credits and a letter grade towards their undergraduate or graduate degree. AICAD also has a Mobility Program which allows students enrolled at an AICAD member institution to attend another member institution for a semester with all credits transferring. Tuition is paid to the home institution, ensuring continuation of any financial aid arrangements. Several member institutions have shared degree programs with neighboring non-art colleges such as Rhode Island School of Design & Brown, Maryland Institute College of Art and Johns Hopkins, and Art Center College of Design and CalTech.
AIKCU works with member colleges and business partners to leverage collaborative opportunities that help campuses control operating costs. Two dozen preferred Business Partners offer the association's 20 member campuses preferred pricing or select services that an individual campus could not achieve alone. AIKCU is also exploring opportunities for shared "back office" administrative activities (including group purchasing) aimed at cutting costs. One-half of the association's members belong to the AIKCU Benefit Trust, a collaborative health care network and stop-loss insurance purchasing authority that provides services to several thousand employees and their families. Since its inception, none of the Benefit Trust members have seen an increase in their cost for employee health insurance.
14 instituions participate in the AVIC Semester Exchange program
which enables students enrolled full-time at a member institution to spend a semester at another participating institution. The program gives students the opportunity to experience a different educational environment without leaving the country or facing language barriers while still graduating on time.
The 14 members of the Baltimore Collegetown Network have come together to offer class exchange agreements, helping to eliminate unnecessary duplication of courses; library reciprocal borrowing privileges; and administrative cost sharing. The network operates a shuttle service that carries students, faculty, and staff between six campuses and several area destinations; has undertaken a marketing campaign to position Baltimore as a welcoming city for college students; and coordinates community service and serving-learning activities for students.
CCCS helps small to medium sized independent institutions in 27 states enhance efficiency through joint procurement agreements for several services and products. Joint contracts for comprehensive asset management programs and employee long-term care insurance are also offered.
Through the Coast-to-Coast Collaboration at Southwestern University and Wesleyan University (Conn.), two professors were able to provide a comparative politics course which focuses on Germany and Spain, post World War II. The professors leverage their respective specialties and teach students from both schools. Students collaborate using online resources.
CCIC has a multi-pronged administrative collaboration effort that is focused on group purchasing, shared services, and the development of new markets. Members have access to shared staff training and contracts for various products. Other services include student health insurance, workers compensation insurance, and collaborative emergency planning and training. Work groups meet on a regular basis to explore options, expand services, and share best practices. The conference is currently working on a next generation student health plan that will meet the mandates of federal health care while holding costs to a reasonable level for students. 5 colleges are sharing a $1 million loan to boost energy efficiency.
The Consortium was founded in 1964 to support cooperative endeavors no single institution could accomplish by itself. Since 1964, the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area has offered cross-registration
at its member institutions. This program provides the opportunity for students enrolled in eligible degree programs at one Consortium member institution to register for a course at another member institution – dramatically increasing the number of available course options.
CCCU was founded in 1976 with the mission of advancing the cause of Christ-centered higher education and helping member institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. The 118 members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities have a joint study abroad program called BestSemester
which offers 12 study abroad programs around the world. The program is open to all college students, but CCCU member students receive priority. Students must be enrolled full time at a home campus.
The Five Colleges of Ohio ("Ohio 5") is a consortium of five private colleges that actively collaborate to cut operating costs while improving the quality of respective educational offerings. The Ohio 5 uses its joint purchasing power for lower institutional costs on computer equipment and software licensing, energy, insurance, and other institutional expenses. Through the sharing of resources, the consortium works to reduce administrative and academic redundancies; offers students new learning opportunities and better services; provides joint training and professional development; participates in peer review; and shares best practices. The colleges share staff appointments in the area of library storage, and have recently created a shared procurement officer position.
GICA’s 25 member colleges collaborate in a number of ways in order to increase efficiency, improve services and reduce costs. GICA has partnered with the Technical College System of Georgia to implement a sector-wide articulation agreement to ease the transfer process. GICA members have collaborated with the state to participate in Ga-TRACS, a
statewide articulation portal system designed to help students understand how their courses will transfer to a Georgia institution. GICA also voluntarily participates in the state longitudinal system in order to assist each other and state policy makers in sound, evidenced-based research. Additionally, GICA members collaborate in purchasing initiatives, professional development programs and several other innovative collaborative initiatives.
ICE is a consortium of eight private colleges in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. Member institutions share all of their administrative computing services in a single computer center housed on the University of Charleston campus. ICE owns and operates the hardware and software that support the financial management, human resource, financial aid, admissions, alumni, development, and student records processes for all eight schools. In 2012, ICE announced plans to hire a faculty member to teach students at five separate campuses. This will reduce the cost of instruction and help hold down tuition costs.
LVAIC's six member colleges and seven associate non-college member institutions collaborate to enhance student academic experiences, and to purchase goods and services collectively as a group to maximize financial resources and generate substantial cost savings. In addition, LVAIC supports several longstanding and emerging programs and projects including strategic planning, business services, faculty exchanges, counselors' tours, cross registration, study abroad, and sustainability.
MICUA offers collaborative purchasing programs for its 18 member colleges, including student, property and casualty, group life, and long-term disability insurance; as well as student tuition payment plans. The association has been working to reduce the costs of its members' employer-provided healthcare benefits, and is exploring the feasibility of establishing an employee benefit group captive to provide employee healthcare coverage for participating institutions.
The New York Six consortium works together to share resources and expertise in order to improve options for faculty and students "while reducing colleges' individual and collective operating and capital costs." The consortium has multiple projects it collaborates on including the Educational Technology ITAP Program which gives students hands on experience with IT systems. The Administrative Initiatives program aims to reduce costs by eliminating certain duplications of effort. Other programs include the MediaShare Project, Faculty Network, Student Affairs Network and Diversity Network.
In 2006, more than 80 nonprofit, private colleges joined together to launch OCICU, which allows member schools to have access to classes taught by seven provider schools. By joining the consortium, member schools are able to offer all of the OCICU courses to their students at a much smaller cost than developing everything on their own. Students benefit from having more classes to choose from.
On behalf of its member institutions, the alliance has initiated and sustains: volume purchasing programs for all voice and data telecommunications; multiple lines of software and hardware; a self-insured workers compensation benefit trust; a self-insured employee health benefits trust; moving vans; public notices; and management training. Students at member institutions can cross-register, without cost, at other schools to complete required courses not offered in a given term at their home campus. Seven members of the alliance formed a Multiple Employer Welfare Association to reduce health insurance expenses and volatility by pooling their exposures. Over the past eight years of operation, the collaboration has help to keep down the growth in health and dental insurance premiums.
More than 270 private, nonprofit colleges and universities have come together to offer the Private College 529 prepaid tuition plan. The program gives families a guaranteed way to purchase tomorrow's tuition at today's prices - for up to 30 years after it was purchased - at participating private institutions across the country. Private College 529 provides the same potential tax advantages that come with other 529 plans, including federal income, gift, estate, and state tax benefits, in states that offer tax parity with the state's own plan.
The Quaker Consortium allows students from Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Swarthmore College & the University of Pennsylvania to take courses at the other member schools. Students are able to take free shuttles between Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore colleges.
TICUA offers its 37 member institutions a self-funded health insurance program; and has its own $30 million procurement program that offers discounts with over 40 vendors, ranging from computer software to electrical services.
The Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities offers the 20 members of the WAICU Collaboration Project more than 45 cost-saving collaborations. These include joint administration of health plans, a study abroad consortium, professional development for faculty and departmental chairs, environmental safety audits, and data sharing and management. The documented savings between 2005 and 2010 were $38 million. WAICU develops specifications for products and services in consultation with members, conducts bids, completes the due diligence, and analyzes market trends. The Congressional Commission on College Costs called the WAICU Collaboration Project "comprehensive" and "transformative." In 2011, the Lodestar Foundation recognized the WAICU Collaboration Project as one of the eight top nonprofit collaborations in the country-the only higher education organization to be so recognized.