Policy and Guidelines for Offering Existing SFSU Degrees via College of Extended Learning

Reference Number: F98-204
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, September 01, 1998


Policy and Guidelines for Offering Existing SFSU Degrees

via College of Extended Learning

Academic Senate Policy F98-204


At its meeting of December 1, 1998, the Academic Senate approved the following policy and guidelines for offering existing SFSU degrees via the College of Extended Learning:



The purpose of this policy is to:

1. enable SFSU to deliver instructional programs to potential students who cannot participate in general fund programs because either they cannot attend classes at the 19th Avenue campus or the traditional campus schedule of classes is not compatible with their other commitments;

2. facilitate the growth of SFSU's student population without placing additional resource burdens on existing general fund programs;

3. provide colleges and departments the opportunity to offer existing degree, certificate and credential programs through CEL. The mechanisms for students to register through CEL are in place;

4. provide safeguards to assure the academic integrity and quality of the student learning experience in the programs to be offered under this policy;

5. ensure that departments and programs shall determine the viability and appropriateness of offering programs through CEL.



Schools/departments/programs (simply referred to as departments henceforth) may offer existing degree/credential/certificate programs (simply referred to as degree programs henceforth) through the College of Extended Learning (CEL) upon approval by the appropriate units as outlined in this policy.


All programs must be completely self-supporting, since these are not general-fund programs. All relevant costs of facilities (e.g., library, computers, classrooms, laboratories), and services (e.g., administrative, clerical, advising, counseling, career center, security, student union, health, campus events, financial aid) must be incorporated in the particular program’s fee structure. The non-resident fee and tuition may be used as a model.


Students in CEL degree programs must comply with all regular admission and graduation requirements and procedures. Units earned in these programs are considered to be resident units. Students admitted to and attending a CEL-offered program will be considered to be matriculated for purposes of completion of requirements for the degree.

Program Quality and Program Review:

The faculty of the department offering the program are responsible for ensuring that the quality of CEL programs is comparable to that of programs offered through the general fund. These programs are subject to the regular APRC (Academic Program Review Committee) review process. Departments must review programs offered through CEL during the same cycle that they are reviewing general fund programs. Although both general fund and CEL degree programs will be reviewed in the same cycle, they must be assessed separately.


The faculty in the department that offers the program shall have responsibility for instruction, curriculum, advising, personnel procedures, and all other responsibilities normally associated with a degree program. All faculty personnel policies and procedures that apply to faculty members teaching courses in degree programs offered by the university but not through CEL (including but not limited to those policies and procedures defining workload, evaluation, and salary) shall also apply to faculty members teaching courses in degree programs offered through CEL. Departments may not require any faculty member to carry an overload (more than 12 WTUs for tenured or tenure-track faculty, more than 15 WTUs for lecturers) caused by teaching in CEL. Departments, colleges, and CEL shall provide appropriate additional compensation to faculty members, including lecturers, who assume non-teaching responsibilities in CEL-based degree programs.


Degree programs offered through CEL should not result in any negative impact on general-fund programs, facilities, services, faculty, staff and students. If some negative impact is unavoidable, a full assessment and steps to minimize such impact must be provided in the proposal. If the existing general-fund program is to be discontinued or suspended, the department must follow the Senate Policy on Program Discontinuation to grant an opportunity for the campus community to assess its full impact. Courses and programs supported through the general fund shall have priority for assignment of university facilities and space over courses and programs offered through CEL.


Approval Procedure

The following procedures apply only to proposals to offer an existing degree program through CEL. New degree programs must first go through the regular approval processes mandated by SFSU and CSU policies.

1. The department proposing to offer a degree program via CEL shall prepare a proposal addressing the items outlined under the section "Required Information" and submit the proposal to the appropriate college dean(s).


2. Upon approval by the college dean(s), the department shall submit the proposal to the Dean of the CEL. The department and CEL together shall determine whether the proposal is logistically and financially viable and that faculty are compensated appropriately (as defined in university policy and procedures, including this policy) for their teaching and other responsibilities.

3. Upon reaching agreement to proceed with CEL, the department shall submit the proposal for review by the Dean of the Graduate Division or the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, as appropriate, for review and approval.

4a) If approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division, the proposal shall be reviewed by the Graduate Council. If approved by the Graduate Council, the proposal shall be forwarded to the Provost.

4b) If approved by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the proposal shall be reviewed by the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee (CRAC) of the Academic Senate. If approved by CRAC, the proposal shall be forwarded to the Provost.

5. The program cannot be advertised or offered before receiving the final approval from the Provost.


Required Information

To ensure quality of the program and fairness to all parties involved, departments wishing to offer a degree program through CEL must include the following information in their proposal:

1. Why the department has chosen CEL as an appropriate mechanism to offer the program.

2. What the impact of the proposed program would be on other programs. A report of consultation with other related/affected programs, if any, must be attached. If the proposed program impacts existing students, a report on student responses to such a proposal must also be attached.

3. The steps that have been taken to give faculty in the department an opportunity to review and approve the proposal. Supporting documentation indicating the level of support for the proposal among department faculty must be attached. Because the faculty in the department that offers the program shall have responsibility for instruction, curriculum, advising, personnel procedures, and all other responsibilities normally associated with a degree program, the department shall submit a description of the current procedures used for these purposes and clearly indicate any changes as a result of offering the program through CEL.

4. The program design, including the setting and structure of the program to be offered (e.g., location, meeting schedule), characteristics of the students to be served and the number of students expected to participate.

5. The criteria and procedures used to select, evaluate, and retain faculty to teach in the program. If already selected, a list of faculty who will teach in the program, their qualifications, and their current status in the department is required. The impact on existing faculty’s teaching assignments and teaching loads must be addressed. Clearly indicate any changes in the criteria and procedures as a result of offering the program through CEL.

6. How the program will provide access to academic resources (e.g., library, advising, career counseling) and services (e.g., admissions and enrollment, financial aid). Specific mention should be made of how the five pivotal points of students advising will be addressed for students in an undergraduate program.

7. The steps which will be taken to ensure that students in the program have the fullest possible access to financial aid and other assistance programs (e.g., disability resource).

8. A description of a strategy to ensure that students experience an academic community setting comparable to that of a traditional residence program.

9. The review process by which the department will assure that the program receives the same faculty attention and quality assurance scrutiny as other traditionally delivered programs in the department. Special emphasis should be given to the mechanisms ensuring the effective integration of program content, program faculty, and program performance. Clearly indicate any changes in the criteria or process as a result of offering the program through CEL.

10. For programs to be offered at off campus sites, the department shall prepare and submit the document "Off Campus Degree/Credential Coursework in Cooperation with the SFSU College of Extended Learning: Points of Agreement." If 50% of the degree is offered more than 25 miles from the campus, the department shall also prepare a "Substantive Change Proposal" for submission to WASC through the Provost's Office.


Role of CEL

CEL’s role in offering degree programs is to provide a means of faculty-approved program delivery. In carrying out that role, its efforts will generally be limited to the following:

1. Setting and securing approval to establish a fee structure and a set of fund distribution guidelines that are consistent with this policy.

2. Assisting departments in needs assessment and the development of the proposal.

3. Helping to publicize such programs.

4. Providing logistical support (e.g., securing appropriate facilities, negotiating rentals).

5. Handling student registration for courses and other matters related to course registration.

6. Managing and distributing funds according to the university-approved guidelines as indicated in #1 above.

7. Providing input to departments for future improvements.

8. Facilitating access to financial aid and other university services.

9. Providing other mutually agreed-upon assistance to the department.



This policy shall be re-examined by the Academic Policies Committee three years after its implementation to evaluate its success and determine whether it shall continue in effect. Annual progress reports will be provided by CEL and the departments involved.


**Approved by President Corrigan on December 21, 1998, with the understanding that this policy neither expands nor diminishes the rights of faculty enumerated in the collective bargaining agreeement.**