Distance Education: Distance education is defined as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction occurs when student and instructor are not in the same place and the instruction is delivered using technology. (Academic Programs handbook 2.3.7.b.)
Proposals for the delivery of 50% or more of existing programs via distance education approaches should be developed using the University System of Georgia form linked below. (For institutions’ initial use of distance learning, the BOR requires a separate approval process, which Georgia State has already completed successfully.)
Please note, if alterations to the existing program constitute a substantive change by SACSCOC definitions, the proposal will require approval from the BOR Academic Affairs Committee.
See new Degree Program process page for the guide to proposing new degree/major programs delivered primarily through distance education.
The approval process for proposals consists of the steps below.
- Proposals should be considered and approved by the originating academic department. Approval by the departments at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
- Proposals require the approval of the dean of the college responsible for the administration of the new program. Individual colleges may elect to require that proposals first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
- The dean should send approved proposals to the Vice Provost and to the chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs. The vice provost will review for compliance with Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) policies and will ask the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness to do the same for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requirements. Depending on the nature of the proposed program, the vice provost may ask others to review the proposal as well. For example, if the program involves collaboration with an international partner institution, the Associate Provost for International Affairs will also be asked to review the proposal.
- If the proposal is found to be in good order, the Vice Provost will notify the chair of CAP that it is ready for committee consideration. If problems are found with the proposal, the Vice Provost will contact the college dean to resolve the issues before initiating University Senate deliberations.
- Within CAP, the proposal initially will be deliberated on by a subcommittee, most typically the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council (depending on the level of the program being considered). The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.
- If any aspect of the proposed program constitutes a substantive change by BOR or SACSCOC standards, the university may be required to submit additional notifications or seek approval from either or both of these bodies. In such cases, the proposing units may be required to provide additional program information.
- The chair of CAP will notify the Vice Provost and the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness in writing of the recommendation of CAP.
- If the provost’s recommendation is positive, he or she will notify the University System of Georgia (USG) offices of the university’s decision and will forward the program proposal to the USG for reference.
- The provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on implementation of the new program.
- Normally, the program can be officially added to the university curriculum (i.e., added to the record of official programs in the Banner system) after return acknowledgment of the university-level approval from the USG. (A copy of the official University System acknowledgement will be forwarded to the originating college(s) upon receipt by the Vice Provost.)