Academic Courses: Study-Abroad, Study-in-America and Off-Campus Courses
AA/PPS No. 02.01.20 (2.03)
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 2/09/2015
Next Review Date: 12/01/2017 (ONY)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, Extended and Distance Learning
- The purpose of this PPS is to establish the policies and procedures relating to Study-Abroad, Study-in-America, and off-campus courses to be taught either by resident credit or by extension credit. This PPS conforms to the rules and regulations of the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System (BOR), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and to the quality standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Courses subject to this PPS include the following:
courses whereby the student receives more than one-half of the instruction outside Texas but in the United States, which are deemed Study-in-America courses;
courses whereby the student receives more than one-half of the instruction outside the United States, which are deemed Study-Abroad courses; and
courses whereby the student receives more than one-half of the instruction within Texas but away from the main campus, which are deemed off-campus courses.
Study-Abroad, Study-in-America, and off-campus courses must meet all of the quality standards that are required of similar instruction offered on-campus.
Academic credit course - A college-level course that, if successfully completed, can be applied toward the number of courses required for achieving a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Degree - Any title or designation, mark, abbreviation, appellation, or series of letters or words, including “associate’s,” “bachelor’s,” “master’s,” and “doctor’s” and their equivalents and foreign cognates, that signifies satisfactory completion of the requirements of a program of study that is generally regarded and accepted as an academic degree-level program by accrediting agencies recognized by the THECB.
Extension course - Academic credit course delivered face-to-face or by distance education, including correspondence, for which semester credit hours are not submitted for formula funding. Face-to-face, academic credit extension courses may be delivered on-campus or off-campus.
Formula Funding - The method used to allocate appropriated sources of funds among institutions of higher education.
Formula-funded course - An academic credit course delivered face-to-face or by distance education, including correspondence, for which semester credit hours are submitted for formula funding.
Institutional report - A report describing distance education and off-campus instruction delivered for academic credit.
Off-campus course - Course in which one-half or more of the instruction is delivered with the instructor and student in the same physical location away from the main campus. The course may receive formula funding or be given by extension.
Study-Abroad course - Credit instruction that is delivered outside the United States primarily to regular on-campus students.
Study-in-America courses - Credit instruction that is delivered outside Texas but in the United States primarily to regular on-campus students.
COURSE STANDARDS AND CRITERIA
The following provisions apply to all Study-Abroad, Study-in-America, and off-campus courses.
Each course offered shall be within the role and mission of the university and shall be on the university’s inventory of approved courses.
The university shall provide notification to peer institutions of Study-in-America and off-campus courses.
The university shall report Study-Abroad, Study-in-America, and off-campus courses submitted for formula funding in accordance with the THECB’s uniform reporting system and the reporting provisions contained in Subchapter E.
The university may submit Study-Abroad, Study-in-America, and off-campus courses for formula funding.
Study-Abroad, Study-in-America, and off-campus courses offered by the university, or by an approved consortium composed of Texas public institutions, shall be approved by the THECB Commissioner in order for the semester credit hours or contact hours generated in those courses to receive formula funding.
All courses covered under this policy shall meet the quality standards applicable to on-campus courses. They shall also adhere to the following guidelines and standards:
Courses that offer either academic credit or Continuing Education Units shall do so in accordance with the standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Students shall satisfy the same requirements for enrollment in an academic credit course as on-campus students.
Faculty shall be selected and evaluated by equivalent standards, review, and approval procedures to those used by the institution to select and evaluate faculty responsible for on-campus courses.
The instructor of record shall bear responsibility for the delivery of instruction and for evaluation of student progress.
Faculty for graduate-level courses shall be approved in the same manner as graduate faculty for on-campus courses.
Students shall be provided academic support services appropriate for off-campus learners, such as academic advising, career counseling, library and other learning resources, and financial aid.
Facilities (other than homes as distance education reception sites) shall be comparable in quality to those for on-campus courses.
Institutions shall adhere to additional criteria outlined in the Guidelines for Institutional Reports for Distance Education and Off-Campus Instruction.
The following criteria will be met for every resident-credit (state-funded) course offered as Study-Abroad, Study-in-America, or off-campus instruction:
All students enrolled will meet all institutional requirements for admission and will be actually admitted to the institution or one of the participating institutions in an approved Texas Consortium. All students enrolled must pay the appropriate tuition and fees for their residency category for the total number of credit hours earned. The institution as appropriate may furnish additional financial aid.
All courses shall be appropriately integrated with the academic department(s) administering the corresponding on-campus courses. The supervision, monitoring, and evaluation processes for instructors shall be equivalent to those for on-campus courses. Instruction will be provided by faculty of the institution or by one of the consortium institutions and be supervised and evaluated according to appropriate institutional policies. Exceptions may be made to take advantage of uniquely qualified instructors at a Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus location if approved by the appropriate faculty or institutional officials such as the academic department or the Offices of Correspondence, Extension & Study Abroad Programs (OCESAP).
Each course must be a part of an approved degree or certificate program, and must be justified in terms of academic, cultural, or other resources available at the specified location.
Instruction must conform to all relevant academic policies of the institution. All courses must conform to the institution’s workload and enrollment requirements, contact hour/credit ratio, and similar matters.
Courses will not offer credit for activities undertaken primarily for travel, recreation, or pleasure.
Minimum course enrollments must conform to the same standards applicable were the course to be offered on campus.
Multi-course offerings taught by an individual faculty member and offered in the same time period and in the same Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus location may be considered as an aggregate for approval purposes.
Advertising or marketing for Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus courses should emphasize the instructional nature of the courses, and may not emphasize or create the impression that the courses are primarily credit-for-travel experiences.
Faculty and staff may not realize unusual perquisites or unusual financial gain for teaching Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus courses.
Except for funds specifically appropriated for international activities (e.g., state incentive programs, scholarships, etc.), state funds may not be used for faculty or student travel, meals and lodging, or other incidental expenses associated with Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus instruction.
Any free tickets for travel, accommodations, or other expenses provided by travel agents, carriers, or hotels must be used in direct support of the instructional program and may not be made as gifts to faculty or staff or their families.
All courses offered in a shortened format will consist of the same number of contact hours, normally 45-48, as courses offered in a regular or summer session. Students will not carry more courses at a time in a shortened format than will give them total credit of one semester credit hour per week of instruction. Pre- or post-travel course sessions may be scheduled to attain the required minimum length standard.
The instructor of record/academic program director must participate in the delivery of instruction and evaluation of student progress.
Criteria for extension-credit (non-state funded) Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus courses are the same as for resident-credit (state-funded) courses, except for the following:
All students enrolled must meet program/course standards for admission and will be admitted to the institution or one of the participating institutions in an approved Texas Consortium.
Enrollment levels, including minimums and maximums, must be financially viable, meet health and safety standards, and agreeable to the Academic Program Director and the Director of OCESAP.
For courses not eligible for formula funding (non-state funded), participants shall be charged fees that are equal to or greater than Texas resident tuition and applicable fees. Collected fees must be sufficient to cover the total cost of instruction and overhead, including administrative costs, benefits, computers, and equipment, and other related costs.
TRAVEL STANDARDS AND CRITERIA
The OCESAP will consult with travel advisory sources to gather related information about the location of the Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus course(s), and when such information cautions against travel to that location, the OCESAP will notify the instructor of record/academic program director. The Director of the OCESAP, the Director for Extended and Distance Learning, and the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will have the authorization to disapprove or cancel any Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus course(s) if travel to and/or at the location has been determined unsafe.
Students from other institutions who wish to participate in Texas State University-San Marcos-led programs will be given the same travel options as Texas Sate group members.
Additional travel standards and criteria are found in the Handbook for Faculty-led Programs Abroad.
Faculty-led programs abroad are approved using a two-step process. Step 1 is the feasibility proposal. Guidelines for the proposal are found in the Handbook for Faculty-led Programs Abroad. Step 2 is the Application for Study Abroad/Study in America/off-campus Courses.
The feasibility proposal is not required for Study-in-America/off-campus courses. Only the Application is required.
The following forms will be submitted by the instructor of record and are collectively considered a Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus course proposal:
Feasibility Proposal (Refer to the Handbook for Faculty-led Programs Abroad);
Application for Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/Off-Campus Courses and includes a Travel/Study General Release; and
Each faculty member participating in faculty-led programs abroad must complete a Study-abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus course proposal and must be routed for review and approval in the following order:
Department Chair/School Director
Dean of the Graduate College (if applicable)
Director of the Offices of Correspondence, Extension, and Study-Abroad Programs
Director of Extended and Distance Learning
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Board of Regents, Texas State University System
A Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/Off-Campus course proposal must be submitted for BOR review at the November meeting for implementation in the following summer and fall semester; and at the August meeting for the implementation in the following spring. Earlier submissions are strongly encouraged.
The department chair/school director will review the proposal for compliance with all necessary rules and regulations, and having approved the proposal, will forward the proposal to the appropriate college dean. Should a proposal not be approved, the department chair/school director will notify the instructor of record/academic program director.
The college dean will review the proposal for compliance with all necessary rules and regulations, and having approved the proposal, will submit proposal to the Dean of The Graduate College when applicable. If the approval of the Dean of The Graduate College is not required, then the college dean will submit the proposal to OCESAP. Should the college dean not approve a proposal, the college dean will notify the department chair/school director who will in turn notify the instructor of record/academic program director.
The Dean of The Graduate College, if applicable, will review the proposal for compliance with all rules and regulations governing graduate study, and having approved the proposal, will forward the proposal to OCESAP. The Dean of The Graduate College will notify the college dean of any proposal not approved.
The Director of OCESAP will review the proposal for compliance with all necessary rules and regulations including OCESAP, BOR, THECB and SACSCOC, and having approved the proposal, will forward the proposal to the Director of Extended and Distance Learning. The Director of OCESAP will notify the college dean of any proposal not approved.
The Director of Extended and Distance Learning will review the proposal for compliance with all necessary rules and regulations, and then forward the proposal to the Provost for review. The Provost will notify the college dean of any proposal not approved, and of all proposals forwarded for BOR review.
The Director of Extended and Distance Learning will prepare the Board order as required for BOR review, and submit to the Vice President for Finance and Support Services.
For resident credit courses, the Director of Extended and Distance Learning will prepare and submit the certification documents for THECB review.
When the proposal is fully approved the Director of Extended and Distance Learning will notify OCESAP.
A course(s) that has been previously approved for a Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus location does not need to be resubmitted for BOR approval but must complete the required forms as indicated in the Handbook for Faculty-led Programs Abroad.
PAYMENT OF TUITION AND FEES
For resident credit courses, arrangements for registration will be made with the University’s CATS Registration System. Tuition and fee payments will be made with the Cashier’s Office. Travel and other fees associated with the Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus course(s) will be paid at OCESAP.
For extension credit courses, all course registration, travel, and other related fees for the Study-Abroad/Study-in-America/off-campus course(s) will be paid either through the OCESAP website or at the Cashier’s Office.
All students, faculty, or other participants who will travel with Study-Abroad must sign an Acceptance, Release and Waiver form and submit to OCESAP prior to departure. Students and other participants who travel with Study-in-America/off-campus course(s) must sign an Acceptance, Release and Waiver form and submit to OCESAP prior to departure. This waiver contains information with regard to the University’s expectations concerning personal conduct, behavioral responsibilities, illegal drug use, academic responsibilities etc. Forms are available in OCESAP.
The Faculty Evaluation must be completed by the instructor at the conclusion of the program and will be submitted to the OCESAP. Forms are available from the OCESAP.
Each student will have the opportunity to evaluate the program at its conclusion. The OCESAP will coordinate the evaluation process. The academic program director as well as department chair/school director will receive a summary of evaluation data after all grades for the course have been submitted. Forms are available from the OCESAP.
REVIEWERS OF THIS PPS
Reviewers of this PPS include the following:
Position Date Director, Extended and Distance Learning December 1 ONY Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs December 1 ONY
This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Director, Extended and Distance Learning; senior reviewer of this PPS
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs