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

Reference Number: S20-204
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, April 07, 2020
Presidential Approval Date: 
Thursday, April 23, 2020

Policy #:                     S20-204

                                                                                                Supersedes:                 F98-204

Senate Approval:        04/07/2020      

Presidential Approval: 04/23/2020     

Effective:                    Fall 2020

                                                                                                Last Review:               Spring 2020

                                                                                                Next Review:              Spring 2023


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


Source Committee: Academic Policies Committee

Unit(s) Responsible for Implementation: College of Extended Learning, Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) Committee, Academic Program Review Committee (APRC), Division of Academic Planning

Consultations: Division of Undergraduate Education & Academic Planning, Graduate Division, College of Extended Learning, University Curriculum Coordinator








Updates the original to meet requirements of E.O. 1099 and other legal/regulatory requirements.



Supersedes Original—F98-204



A.   Definitions

B.    Roles and Responsibilities

C.    Appropriate Offerings

D.   Resources

E.    Students

F.    Program Quality and Program Review

G.   Faculty

H.   Impact

I.      Approval Procedure

•       Required Information

J.     Role of CEL

K.   Re-examination of the Policy



The purpose of this policy is to outline the conditions and processes under which the College of Extended Learning delivers academic instructional programs.  

Note: this policy only refers to the academic, credit-seeking, programs of CEL (not Continuing Education Units (CEUs)).


A. Definitions

·       “Extended education (also known as special sessions and continuing education): a means whereby the instructional courses and programs of the CSU can be provided on a self-supporting basis at times and in locations not supported by the CSU Operating Fund.  Examples of extended education include but are not limited to: interim sessions between college year terms; course and degree program offerings scheduled online, at military bases, employment locations, organizations, correctional facilities, and other distant locations; and instructional programs for a specific client group requiring special services or scheduling accommodations” (CSU E.O 1099: Extended Education; Self-Supporting Instructional Courses and Programs).  CEL should be seen as the community’s access point to the University.

·      Open University (also called "open enrollment"): allows non-matriculated individuals paying self-supporting fees to enroll in state-supported course offerings on a space-available basis – after reasonable steps have been taken to provide full enrollment opportunity to eligible state-supported matriculated students. (Title 5 section 40202; EO 805)


B. Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and functions of the College of Extended Learning is to:

1. Enable SFSU to deliver instructional programs to “specialized audiences and local communities across the state and nation” (CSU E.O 1099) and to potential students who cannot participate in general fund programs because either they cannot attend classes at the 19th Avenue campus or Downtown Campus or the traditional campus schedule of classes is not compatible with their other commitments;

2. Serve the community without placing additional resource burdens on existing general fund programs;

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

4. Ensure that “Academic standards associated with all aspects of such offerings are identical to those of comparable state-supported CSU instructional programs.” (CSU E.O 1099: Extended Education; Self-Supporting Instructional Courses and Programs.)  


C. Appropriate Offerings

Schools/departments/programs (simply referred to as departments henceforth) may offer existing degree/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. 

“Extended education degree, credential, and certificate programs shall be operated in accordance with all appropriate campus and system policies and procedures.”  (“Basic teacher credential programs (those for multiple subject, single subject, and education specialist) shall not be offered on a self-supporting basis. However, the chancellor may grant exceptions based on the cost to students and the local demand for preparing new teachers. Proposed exceptions are to be addressed to the chancellor.”) (EO 1099)

1. During Summer Sessions or Intersessions Between College Terms

1.     Extended education instruction may provide continuing student access during summer sessions and intersessions, when CSU Operating Funds are unavailable or inappropriate.

2.     Students shall be charged the full cost of instruction and any applicable campus-based fees for extended education offered during summer or intersessions.

3.     No student shall be charged the nonresident tuition fee in addition to extended education fees.

4.     Students enrolled in state-supported programs with a year-round curriculum schedule that includes a required offering in the summer term shall be charged state-supported fees.

2. During Regular College Terms
“For a degree, credential or certificate program, or for individual academic-credit-bearing courses to be offered in extended education: (1) CSU Operating Funds shall be either unavailable or inappropriate for supporting the offering(s), and (2) at least one of the following additional criteria shall be met: 

a)      “The courses or program is designed primarily for career enrichment or retraining (Education Code section 89708); or

b)    “The location of the courses or program offerings is removed from permanent, state-supported campus facilities; or

c)     “The course or program is offered through a distinct technology, such as online delivery; or

d)    “For new programs, the client group for the course or program receives educational or other services at a cost beyond what could be reasonably provided within CSU Operating Funds; or

e)     “For existing programs, there has been a cessation of non-state funding that previously provided for educational or other services costing beyond what could be reasonably provided within CSU Operating Funds.” (CSU EO 1099)

D. Resources

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. 

A self-supporting cost-recovery budget ensures that costs incurred by the CSU Operating Fund for services, products, and facilities provided to extended education and to CSU auxiliary organizations are properly and consistently recovered with cash and/or a documented exchange of value. (EO 1000) In other words, if extended education uses resources or personnel funded by the General Fund, extended education must reimburse the General Fund;  this could be an exchange of value agreed upon by all involved parties rather than just an exchange of cash but the first priority should be a cash reimbursement. 

In recruiting for students or programs, stateside (i.e., Operating Fund) programs are to be prioritized over CEL programs.


E. Students

Students in CEL degree programs must comply with all University regular admission and graduation requirements and procedures, as outlined and administered by undergraduate Admissions and Graduate Studies. Academic credits 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.

As a state institution, the CSU shall not require state-supported matriculated students to enroll in self-supporting courses in order to fulfill the graduation requirements of a state supported degree program. Each campus shall ensure that any course required as a condition of undergraduate degree completion for a state-supported program be offered as a state-supported course. (Education Code 89708)


Self-supporting students and state-supported students shall not be enrolled in the same academic course, except:

1.  As allowed though Open University; or

2.  When non-CSU students enroll in these special sessions terms: summer, winter, or spring intersession; or

3.  When self-supporting matriculated students also pay state supported Tuition Fee to enroll in state-supported courses; or

4.  When state-supported matriculated students pay self-supporting fees to enroll voluntarily in self-supporting courses. (Education Code 89708).


F. 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. Student reviews of course quality (i.e., SETEs) will be required in all CEL academic courses.

“Academic standards and requirements for state-supported on-campus and online educational activities, courses and programs are the same for comparable extended education instruction, including extended education instruction conducted online, out-of-state and out-of-country.” (EO 1099)

G. Faculty

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, for example, conducting the self-study for academic program review.

H. Impact

Degree programs offered through CEL should not result in any negative impact on general-fund programs, facilities, services, faculty, staff and students. 

“Self-supporting special sessions shall not supplant regular course offerings available on a non-self-supporting basis during the regular academic year. ‘Supplanting’ means reducing the number of state-supported course offerings on a campus while increasing the number of self-supporting versions of that same course on the same campus. ‘Reducing’ and ‘increasing’ are measured by comparing the academic year to the prior academic year. ‘The same course’ means a course with substantially the same course name, course description and student learning outcomes. (Education Code section 89708) CSU E.O 1099: Extended Education; Self-Supporting Instructional Courses and Programs / https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/6741737/latest/)

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. (See Academic Senate policy S12-177, revised.) 

I. 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. 

Departments seeking to offer an academic program through CEL shall utilize the same policies and procedures as if they were seeking to offer an academic program to be offered through the general fund. Non-Operating Fund programs have additional CSU policies and procedures they have to follow.

The program cannot be advertised or offered before receiving all necessary approvals.

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.

•       Confirmation any existing state-support offering is not being supplanted;

•       Specification of the program’s qualification(s) to operate as a self-support special session (per EO1099);

•       Rationale for the new support mode;

•       Detailed cost-recovery budget specifying student fees per unit and total student cost to complete the program;

2.     What the impact of the proposed program would be on other programs, including state-supported 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. What is the faculty capacity to offer this program through CEL? Include a matrix for at least 2 semesters indicating who would be teaching each course in the program.

4.  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.

5. 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 (anticipated enrollment).

6.The criteria and procedures used to select, evaluate, and retain faculty from the department 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.

7. 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 pivotal points of students advising will be addressed for students in an undergraduate program.

8. The steps to 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).

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

10. 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.

11. 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 Academic Planning Office.


J. 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. Taking the lead in publicizing and marketing 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.

K. Re-examination of the Policy

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.

Signed Memo: