Course sharing is emerging as an innovative way for colleges and universities to improve student success and increase on-time graduation rates. In this post, we share five course sharing best practices to help you optimize a strategy for your institution.

Improving student success and boosting on-time graduation rates top the list of priorities for colleges and universities today. And in order to reach these goals, many institutions are exploring solutions like course sharing to increase equity and access, create new pathways to completion, solve transfer challenges, and drive innovation and efficiency.

Course sharing fosters collaboration among institutions to make shared courses available
to their students. By expanding student access to course options and enabling seamless and efficient transfer of credits, institutions can achieve compelling results by working together.

In The Definitive Guide to Course Sharing for Higher Education, we offer practical advice and real-life examples to guide institutions who are considering course sharing as an initiative. Grounded in our experience working with 220+ colleges and universities that serve more than 2.9 million students, we share five best practices to help you get started.

5 Course Sharing Best Practices

Before we jump into course sharing best practices, it’s important to note that student centricity is a key principle that underpins all course sharing initiatives and practices. To succeed with course sharing, your initiatives must focus on maximizing student success. That’s table stakes.

But successful course sharing initiatives also follow the five best practices below.

1. Create the Framework

When developing a course sharing initiative, it’s important to start by identifying the institutional objectives that course sharing will support. For example, will course sharing help to increase enrollment and retention? Or improve graduation and completion rates? 

It’s also critical that you involve the right people from across your institution. After all, course sharing is a team sport. Including senior leaders from departments such as academic affairs, registrar or enrollment management, counseling and advising, transfer, financial aid, and student success is imperative to secure buy-in and support for course sharing, as well as to raise awareness for their role in helping your initiative to succeed.

2. Ask the Right Questions

Once you’ve created the framework, the next step is to start asking questions. Understanding how you will handle tuition and financial aid should be top-of-mind, as well as details related to regional and interstate accreditation. It’s also critical that you consider your existing transfer equivalencies and articulation agreements, and take their details into account as you implement your course sharing initiative.

3. Set up the Technology

Choosing the right technology platform to support your course sharing initiative is another key step. Not only do you need to evaluate functionality of the platform, but you also need to consider how it will integrate with other campus systems such as your SIS, payment processing, transfer articulation, LMS, and single sign-on.

You’ll also want to evaluate the security of any potential new solution. Make sure to ask any potential vendors about their SOC 2, Type 2 compliance, for example.

4. Identify Your Measures of Success

When initiating a course sharing initiative, it’s important to identify qualitative and quantitative measures of success. Examples of quantitative measures include improvements to progression and on-time completion rates, increases in the number of courses offered, and increases in performance-based funding tied to completion rates. Qualitative measures include improvements to equity and access to courses for students, better pathways to on-time completion, and increases in diversity for course and program offerings.

5. Look to the Future

Learning from peers is an excellent way to improve your course sharing program once it’s in place. Join or create a peer network so that you can respond to unique opportunities and challenges. And be sure to document your progress by developing guides and templates that will ease the process for creating course sharing partnerships in the future. 

Lastly, track and analyze your progress and results, and share your findings with other institutions to promote the success of your initiative.

To learn more about course sharing best practices, and to see how forward-thinking higher education leaders are using Quottly’s course sharing solution to expand reach, retention, and completion for students, download The Definitive Guide to Course Sharing in Higher Education. No form required!

About the Author


Quottly helps higher education systems, consortia, and institutions expand academic opportunity, create new pathways to completion, solve transfer challenges, and drive efficiency. Explore Quottly solutions…