Our Story

Our Story » Why Etudes » Board

Twenty years since its inception, Etudes, Inc. continues to develop academic software applications using the same principles with which it began: ease of use, pedagogical goals, and responsiveness to user needs.


Etudes, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, offering quality educational software applications at an affordable cost. Inspired by Foothill College Professor Michael Loceff in 1994, Etudes Classic was one of the first learning management systems (LMS) that pioneered distance education in California Community Colleges. Foothill College offered its first Associate of Arts degree fully online in 1997 with Etudes Classic LMS.

In 2002, the Etudes Consortium was formed, extending the use of Etudes Classic LMS to dozens of California community colleges that were looking for an affordable platform for their distance learning course delivery. 

Etudes Classic LMS served colleges for a decade. It was retired in June of 2007. Etudes-NG (next generation) LMS was launched in January of 2005 and was adopted by all Etudes member institutions. 

Etudes, Inc. was established as an independent 501(c)(3)  non-profit Corporation in May 2008. 

In 2015, Etudes, Inc. expanded its offerings and is developing tools to support online instruction in other systems, like Canvas and Sakai.

What’s in a Name?

Etudes is pronounced A-tudes. 

Names say a lot about intentions and goals. Here is how the name for Études was coined, by the original developer in 1994:

“I tried to capture the concept of ‘easy’ and started from there. Easy to Use, Etu … Then I remembered my piano lessons as a child, Etudes. An etude (from the French word  étude meaning “study”) is a short musical composition designed to provide practice in a particular technical skill in the performance of a solo instrument. A learning system for studying… and the name was born.”  — Michael Loceff, Developer of Etudes Classic

Our Mission

  • To foster the development of teaching, learning, and collaboration applications and related components;
  • To promote collaboration, sharing of good practices, and dissemination of results of innovative approaches to applying technology in education; 
  • To support the delivery and management of teaching, learning, research, and collaboration through Etudes applications;
  • To solicit grants and other funding to permit the development and refinement of educational software and related professional development activities; 
  • To engage in such activities permitted under the California Nonprofit Corporation Law incident or beneficial to the foregoing purposes.


Subscription to our software apps is available to academic institutions and organizations with programs and missions consistent with the purposes of Etudes.