ACS Distance Education UK
There are seven areas of service that need to be provided. These are:
Affiliate or Agent.
An agent markets courses and enrols students, usually under their own name, and then sub contracts ACS to deliver the courses.
An affiliate would eventually be involved in full delivery of the course as well as marketing, in fact, in everything except the creation and maintenance of the intellectual property. Affiliates might commence in a limited way but as the business develops, the affiliate will extend their involvement considerably.
The Affiliate's Responsibilities
An affiliate will be responsible for marketing and enrolment.
ACS will be responsible for creation and maintenance of intellectual property.
The affiliate will eventually take responsibility for all other areas but ACS may supply some or all of these other service areas during a start up phase.
Defining the Work Tasks
Marketing involves any activities necessary to attract students, communicate course information and convince them to study. This includes advertising, web site development, printing brochures and handbooks, other promotions and selling.
Enrolment involves receiving and processing applications to study, including applications for credit transfer or recognition for prior learning (ie. RPL). This will require checking that applications are completed correctly, fees are processed, students are appropriately informed, and appropriate student records are established in a records system (eg. a database).
3. Creation and Maintenance of Intellectual Property
This involves writing editing and updating electronic versions of text and images. It can also involve producing multimedia (eg. video and Flash presentations).
4. Delivery of Intellectual Property
This involves either:
a/ Printing and compiling hard copy of course notes, then sending the materials with appropriate texts to a student; or
b/ Providing the student with access to online course materials; or
c/ Burning and dispatching a CD or DVD containing an electronic copy of the course.
5. Supplementary Support Services
This involves answering student questions, both administrative and academic, via phone, email or any other way.
For ACS, supplementary support services also involve providing Student Room services on the internet, a video loan library and some forms of recognition and accreditation (eg. credentials are established and maintained with various organisations through memberships and some formal recognition systems. Note: an affiliation does not necessarily mean an automatic flow on of such accreditations).
All student s are provided with a Student Manual designed to inform the student of the way in which the school operates. Note: The details of the manual may be customised by different affiliates to reflect any variations in operation which may be different to standard ACS operations.
6. Processing Assignments
This involves recording receipt of assignments, dispatching to a tutor for marking, recording the result after marking, and returning them with tutor responses to the student .
This involves finalizing the student's study. ACS does this by offering the option of either a letter of completion (without a formal pass) or the option of sitting an exam and gaining a formal letter of attainment. Affiliates may choose to vary the way they graduate students and adjust their student and staff procedures manuals accordingly.
What Will You Do?
A new affiliate may negotiate extra support services from ACS during a start up period.
The minimal responsibilities which the affiliate could undertake are enrolment and marketing. The maximum responsibilities the affiliate undertakes might be everything other than creation and maintenance of intellectual property.
What ACS Will Do
ACS provides electronic copies (and updates) of intellectual property (course notes etc.) on an ongoing basis. It will also assist in establishment by providing documentation (electronic copies) and advice related to everything from marketing to procedures manuals.
Though budget allocations may vary from year to year, the financial breakdown of the annual budget is typically as follows.
Fees are charged for exams. Other than that
START UP ARRANGEMENT
An agreement is made for ACS to provide a range of services until it is viable for the affiliate to take over those service provisions.
A typical scenario might be as follows:
Marketing & Enrolment
Delivering Course Materials
Supplementary Support Services
When Project Commences
End of Stage 1
End of Stage 2
ACS & Affiliate
ACS or Affiliate
End of Stage 3
Each stage might be considered complete when a particular monetary turnover is reached or when a certain number of courses have been sold.
The split in student fees at each stage should relate to budgetary details indicated above.
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