Mississippi Community Colleges Enter Into Five-Year Agreement with Instructure for Online Learning

The Mississippi Community College Board and the state’s 15 community colleges recently selected Canvas by Instructure as the learning platform for the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC).

This partnership marks the beginning of a five-year engagement with Instructure, an innovative company in eLearning technology. Canvas will provide the critical tools necessary to ensure that the MSVCC accomplishes its strategic goals centered around teaching and learning. Because Canvas runs in “the cloud,” MSVCC will recognize a cost savings of approximately $1.5 million per year. The MSVCC is expected to “go live” on the Canvas platform beginning with the summer 2013 term.

“We welcome Mississippi’s 15 community colleges to the Canvas community,” said Devlin Daley , Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Instructure. “Canvas was created for students and teachers to more easily connect and learn together. We’re excited to leverage the Canvas platform to enable learners to connect across the entire consortium in support of MSVCC’s unique eLearning model. Canvas bridges the technology gap between siloed systems at each campus enabling students to take courses seamlessly from all other consortium colleges.”

After an extensive evaluation process, Instructure scored highest among a number of potential vendors. Canvas stood out with the openness of its platform and the fact that it was user-friendly.  The product also has a great aesthetic look and feel that community college students and faculty should find easy to navigate.

The MSVCC is a collaborative effort among all 15 community colleges to offer the full array of academic, career, and technical courses necessary to earn an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Sciences online. The MSVCC dates back to fall 2001 and is recognized nationally as among the best eLearning models in the nation. During the initial launch of the MSVCC, a total of 4,781 students were enrolled in 8,281 classes. During the fall 2012 semester, 28,576 students took 60,883 classes.

“The MSVCC is a great resource of our community colleges, and we are excited about our new relationship with Instructure,” said Dr. Eric Clark , executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board.  “We are saving a significant amount of money by moving our learning management system to the cloud. Our community college system strives to be good stewards of Mississippi’s tax dollars, and this is a wonderful example of that commitment.”

Mississippi community colleges were founded on the principle of accessibility, and the switch to Canvas will help MSVCC promote this concept. As a rural state, some citizens face difficulties in enrolling in higher education classes such as full-time, low-paying jobs; distance to a community college campus; or lack of dependable transportation.

The MSVCC allows students, wherever they are, to enroll in community college classes, receive the same support from an instructor as if they were taking a brick-and-mortar class, and earn credit towards an associate’s degree or transfer to a university.  An educated citizenry is critical to the success of a region, and the MSVCC is a great resource that is improving the educational level of Mississippians which results in a better state.

“I am excited about working with the Canvas platform to provide vital services to the MSVCC,” added Dr. Christian Pruett , Assistant Executive Director for eLearning and Instructional Technology at the Mississippi Community College Board. “Instructure is a national leader in providing top-notch services for online learning. Our partnership will allow the MSVCC to continue to provide outstanding distance education opportunities for our students.”

For more information about the MSVCC, visit www.msvcc.squarespace.com.

About Instructure:

Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. We provide instructors and students modern tools and resources to empower the learning experience. Instructure offers Canvas – the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system. We also provide Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses from Ivy Leagues to community colleges. To keep learning, visit www.instructure.com.


Kell Smith, Mississippi Community College Board, 601-432-6734
Devin Knighton, Instructure, 801-722-8187