About Our Program

Welcome to the Learning 1st Program (L1st)

L1st is a collaborative partnership among four nationally recognized, regionally-accredited online institutions. The partnership consists of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State World Campus), Troy University (Troy), the University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS), the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass Amherst), and Coastline Community College (CCC). Students will select a specific educational pathway that leads to both an associate (AA) and baccalaureate (BA or BS) degree. Each student will be assigned an advisor from both CCC and the partner university in order to ensure that the student is provided with continuous advisement and guidance toward meeting the associate and baccalaureate degree requirements of both institutions. This collaborative student-centric approach among institutions substantially benefits the student. Additionally, students will enjoy a four-year tuition rate freeze, or tuition reduction, at the time of program admission and receive access to both institution's online student support services, resources, and libraries throughout their course of study, and the fee structure employed by CCC is consistent with the tuition rates charged by all California Community Colleges. The goals of the L1st program are to increase access to affordable online higher education, reduce the time to degree completion through program articulation and collaboration among partners in support and instructional services, and increase the number of students reaching degree completion.

The L1st program has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, guided by the belief that every life has equal value, they work to help all people lead healthy, productive lives and seek to ensure that all people, especially those with the fewest resources, have access to the opportunities needed to succeed.

The League for Innovation in the Community College helped lead this important initiative.

Learning 1st Checklist

Prospective students should use this checklist to ensure timely registration into the program:

Apply Online

Apply Online

Applying online expedites the application approval process, which will help you enroll in our L1st courses a lot faster.

Online Education Readiness Assessment

Visit our Online Education Readiness Assessment page. It's important that you are prepared for the online learning environment before applying to this program.

Send Official Transcripts

Submit OFFICIAL copies of all college transcripts from all institutions that you have previously attended (except for transcripts you might have from Coastline). PHOTOCOPIES, STUDENT PRINTED COPIES, and ENVELOPES NOT SEALED by the sending institution are NOT ACCEPTABLE.

One official transcript from each prior institution must be submitted to Coastline Community College (address below) and a second set of all official transcripts must be sent to the institution's address below that corresponds to the degree pathway chosen (do not send a Coastline Community College transcript in the second set; one will be sent for you):

Coastline Community College
ATTN: Contract Education Transcripts
11460 Warner Avenue
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Isenberg School of Management
c/o Tania Fuller
121 Presidents Drive
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
Penn State Undergraduate Admissions
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802-1294
University of Illinois Springfield
Academic Advising Center c/o Lori Benedict
One University Plaza, BRK 408
Springfield, Il 62703

Send Other Important Documents

During the registration process, depending on your answers to some questions, you will be prompted to send in supporting materials to the appropriate institution.

After you successfully apply online, you will receive an email explaining which materials you should send and where to send them.

Online Education Readiness Assessment

Is Online Education the right path for me?

Earning your degree online can be a convenient and affordable way to further your education, but there can be quite a bit of work involved, and not everyone is necessarily well suited for it.
To help determine your readiness, please ask yourself the following questions:
  • Am I disciplined, self-motivated, self-directed and a good time manager?

  • Am I comfortable navigating the internet, using e-mail, and participating in online chat rooms?

  • Do I enjoy learning new applications on the computer?

  • Can I communicate effectively in writing?

  • Do I have access to a computer with high speed internet?

  • Do I learn and retain information from reading as well as I do from listening to in-class lectures?

  • Will I be able to develop a schedule of time to access my online courses at least 5 times per week?

  • Do I take personal responsibility for my education?

  • Is flexibility important to me?

  • Do I have enough free time to dedicate each week to study and complete assignments?

Course Length 3 Credits 4 Credits 5 Credits
8-week 12-18 hours/week 16-24 hours/week 20-30 hours/week
15-week 6-9 hours/week 8-12 hours/week 10-15 hours/week
If you answered YES to the questions above, then Online Distance Education may be a great option for you to further your educational goals.
To learn more about the Learning 1st program, please contact:

Learning 1st Program Coordinator

Phone:  (714) 241-6326 X16323

Email:  Learning1st@coastline.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Learning 1st program?

Learning 1st is a collaborative partnership among Pennsylvania State University (Penn State World Campus), Troy University (Troy), the University of Illinois-Springfield (Online UIS), the University of Massachusetts (UMass Amherst), and Coastline Community College (CCC). The program is designed to decrease the amount of time and cost required for students to earn a bachelor's degree in an online format from a prominent four-year university.

Students will receive lower division/general education instruction from Coastline Community College based upon the student's desired degree path. Students who meet the required university standards of admission (GPA, etc.) will then complete their bachelor's degree with the online university partner without having to submit a second admissions application or application fee.

What sort of services does Learning 1st offer to its students?

All four partner institutions currently offer comprehensive and robust online programs to their students. Each of the three program collaborations will provide a unique student experience based upon the distinct online resources and services of the two partner schools. Every L1st student will be assigned two advisors upon admission to the program. These advisors will work together with the student to ensure that each student is able to meet the requirements necessary to earn both an Associate and Bachelor degree in their chosen pathway.

Students also receive access to both schools online resources, student services and virtual libraries upon initial admission to the program. At the time of transfer to the university, no additional application or fee is required. Students who complete the program within four years are guaranteed the following:

  1. Penn State World Campus
    4 year tuition rate freeze once a student begins taking their courses

  2. Troy University
    10% tuition reduction

  3. University Illinois-Springfield Online
    4 year tuition rate freeze

  4. University Massachusetts Amherst
    10% tuition rate reduction

How do I apply to the Learning 1st Program?

By completing and submitting the online program application, and any other required materials for your selected degree pathway, your application will be reviewed by both schools in your desired program.

What are the enrollment requirements?

  1. Penn State World Campus
    Students must maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average to remain eligible in this program.

  2. Troy University
    Students must maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average to remain eligible in this program.

  3. University of Illinois-Springfield
    Students must maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average to remain eligible in this program.

  4. University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Students who have been admitted to the Conditional Enrollment Program will be assured space in the Online BBA upon completion of their Associate degree provided that they maintain continuous enrollment and meet all requirements, including a 2.7 minimum grade point average, for entry into the major.

Will I be eligible for financial aid?

Students who meet the FAFSA general eligibility criteria may be eligible to receive financial aid. Please see this website for more details:

Federal Student Aid - Basic Eligibility Criteria

Request Information

Please fill out this form to request more information or to send us a question. You should receive a response from us within one (1) business day (Monday-Friday, Pacific Time). required fields = REQUIRED FIELDS
Thank you for your interest in our program, your request has been submitted.
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Contact Us

Our Mission

Learning 1st is a collaborative effort involving the League for Innovation in the Community College, Coastline Community College, Pennsylvania State University, Troy University, the University of Illinois-Springfield, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, that is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Learning 1st promotes unique, sustainable, online degree completion models that decrease the amount of time and associated costs required for students to earn a bachelor's degree from a prominent four-year university.

This consortium is committed to increasing the capacity of community colleges to provide online baccalaureate degree completion pathways for low-income and working adults.

Why Us?


We are much more affordable compared to other leading educational institutions.

2014 Average Year Tuition and Fee Rate Comparison
Institution Type Cost Learning 1st
Average Savings
Sources: The College Board and the University of California
Private California Non-Profit 4 Year University $36,914 81%
Public 4 Year University (Out-of-State) $22,203 69%
For-Profit University $15,130 55%
University California System $13,300 49%
Public California 4 Year (In-State) $9,037 24%
Learning 1st Program $6,850  
Human Services, BS $5,300  
Computer Science, BS $6,500  
Psychology, BS/BA $7,700  
Business Administration, BBA $7,900  

Higher Retention & Graduation Rates

Our institutions have much higher retention and graduation rates compared to leading for-profit universities.

2010 - Leading National For-Profit University Retention and Graduation Rates
PROGRAM LEVEL 3 Year 4 Year 6 Year 8 Year
Source: A leading national for-profit university 2011 Academic Annual Report
Revised Associate 2005 cohort 23% 24% n/a n/a
Bachelor 2003 cohort n/a n/a 31% 33%
Bachelor 2002 cohort n/a n/a 34% 36%
2011 - Learning 1st Partner Institutions Retention and Graduation Rates
SUCCESS METRICS Coastline & Military Programs Penn State World Campus Online1 University Illinois-Springfield UMass Amherst
1 Online baccalaureate programs require prior successful completion of 30 credit hours at an accredited college or university.
Source: 2012 Learning First Partner College & University Institutional Research Report
Fall '07 to
Spring '11
Retention Rates
72% 71% 82% 83%
Fall '07 to
Spring '11
Grad Rates
64% 61% 66% 83%

Student-Centered Services

We have advisors readily available to help students with the following services:

Student-Centered Services
  • Academic Advising
  • Financial Aid
  • Virtual Library

Our Institutions/Partners

Coastline Community College

Coastline Community College

PRESS RELEASE:    Orange County Register

Tomorrow's College Today

  • Coastline Community College (CCC) is located in Orange County California. CCC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • With almost 30 years' experience in distance learning, CCC offers a variety of college-credit course options to meet your educational needs.
  • CCC is known for its academically proven, well-produced curriculum developed by college faculty, scholars, practitioners and instructional design specialists.
  • Take courses over the Internet and work at your own time, place and speed! Use your computer with an Internet account to access the our distance learning web site. Course materials (lectures, video clips, sound files, images, site links, assignments, quizzes, instructor interaction, chat rooms) are available.
  • Textbooks, possible multimedia materials and videos are part of the packet purchased for the course.
  • Exams are conducted on-site or proctored for students unable to attend locally.

Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus

PRESS RELEASES:    Penn State News  |  PRWeb

  • We believe that knowledge empowers people to do great things in this world. We also believe that you shouldn't have to put your life on hold to gain that knowledge.
  • The idea of distance education is not a new concept for us. We've been offering Penn State courses at a distance for more than 100 years. In 1892, Penn State founded one of the nation's first correspondence courses. And in 1998, we were one of the first major accredited universities to provide online education.
  • At Penn State World Campus, our mission is making sure you have access to a quality academic experience, even if you have job and family obligations to fulfill. If you can't come to one of our brick-and-mortar campuses, we'll bring our campus to you.

We are...

  • convenient, flexible, quality
  • passionate, driven, achievers
  • world-renowned faculty
  • caring, dedicated

We are Penn State - Online

Troy University

Troy University

For our latest news visit:  http://www.troy.edu

  • For 11 consecutive years, The Princeton Review has named TROY to its Best in the "Southeast" list
  • Collegechoice.net has named TROY among its "Most Affordable Colleges Online for Bachelor's Degrees"
  • Learn from the best - TROY Online provides students one-on-one attention from seasoned instructors with real-world experience
  • Affordable education - Troy University offers competitive pricing, numerous scholarship and financial aid opportunities to students around the world.
  • Commitment to student success - Students participate in online discussions, take online assessments and have valuable opportunities to collaborate virtually.
  • Convenient, flexible course delivery - You can access all of the resources of a world-class university from anywhere at anytime.
  • Setting the online standard - TROY's continued commitment to setting the standard for online learning spans 20 years.

University Illinois-Springfield

University Illinois-Springfield    PRESS RELEASE:    UIS Journal

Why the UIS Computer Science Department is for you:

  • We have been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education!
  • The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) Program.
  • Students attending these designated schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.
  • Our Online program has been ranked #1 among the top 10 best online schools for computer science degrees! According to Best Computer Science Degrees our online program has been ranked first in the list of the top 10 best online schools for computer science and IT.

We're a Proud University of Illinois Campus!

  • Every year, approximately 5,000 students enroll to earn a U of I degree where classes are small and professors really know their students.
  • Online learning at Illinois Springfield offers flexibility and convenience with the same high quality as our on-campus coursework.

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg School of Management

Isenberg School of Management

LATEST NEWS: https://www.isenberg.umass.edu/news

  • The Isenberg School of Management now ranks 36th in the nation in BusinessWeek's just-released annual Best Undergraduate Business Schools survey, and 14th among public business schools.
  • Located at the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, a resource-rich, public research institution, the Isenberg School of Management's Online BBA program provides a flexible learning environment that delivers a superior AACSB-accredited education with the same curriculum as the onsite program.
  • Isenberg faculty engage you with real-world experience and expertise, encouraging you to become a resilient problem solver for today's fast-paced business climate.
  • Designed for hands-on learning through enhanced technology, Isenberg's Online BBA degree completion program is structured to advance your knowledge, while building core communication and leadership skills through lively discussions and collaborative group projects.
  • You will have access to a wealth of resources such as the W.E.B Dubois digital library, the Chase Career Center and a dedicated Advisor to help guide you throughout your program.
  • A quality education at an affordable price. UMass Amherst is ranked on the "Best Value Schools" by Princeton Review.

League for Innovation in the Community College

League for Innovation in the Community College

  • Since 1968, the League has been making a difference in community college education and in the lives of millions of educators and students.
  • The League is the only major international organization specifically committed to improving community colleges through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation.
  • The League - with this core of powerful and innovative community colleges - serves nationally and internationally as a catalyst, project incubator, and experimental laboratory for community colleges around the world.

Degree Pathways Overview

Coastline Associate degrees leading to Bachelor degrees
Area of Study Associates Bachelors
Business CCC Business (AA) TROY Global Business (BS)
(conc in Human Resource Mgmt)
  CCC Business Admin (AS) UMASS-Amherst Business Admin (BBA)
Marketing,Operations/Info Mgmt)
Computers/IT CCC Computer Networking (AS) UIS Computer Science (BCS)
  CCC Computer Networking (AS) UIS Information Systems Security (BS)
Psychology CCC Psychology (AA) PSWC Psychology (BA/BS)
(Business, Life Science)
Services CCC Human Services (AA) TROY Human Services (BS)

Computer Science (BS)/Cybersecurity (BS)


Computer Science


Students must maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average to remain eligible in this degree program.

Global Business - Human Resource Mgmt (BS)


Global Business


Students must maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average to remain eligible in this degree program.

Human Services (BS)


Human Services


Students must maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average to remain eligible in this degree program.

Management (BBA)




Students who have been admitted to the Conditional Enrollment Program will be assured space in the Online BBA upon completion of their Associate degree provided that they maintain continuous enrollment and meet all requirements, including a 2.7 minimum grade point average, for entry into the major.

Psychology (BA & BS)




Students must maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average to remain eligible in this degree program.

Our Services

Prospective Students

Financial Aid Services

Students who meet the FAFSA general eligibility criteria may be eligible to receive financial aid. Please see this website for more details:

Federal Student Aid - Basic Eligibility Criteria

Academic Advising Services

We have academic advisors available to help you in the decision making process. They will guide you and recommend the most suitable degree pathway for you.

For immediate assistance, please contact us:

Program Coordinator:  Jason Ward
Phone:  (714) 241-6326 X16323
Email:  learning1st@coastline.edu

Registered Students

Virtual Library Services

After you have been accepted into the program and registered with the appropriate institution(s), you will be granted access to their virtual library. For more information on obtaining your user log-in credentials, please contact us:
Phone:  (714) 241-6323
Toll Free:  (866) 422-2645 X16323
Email:  learning1st@coastline.edu

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