Statement on Experimental Courses
Procedure for Submitting Curriculum Proposals
School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach Office of Professional Development
Policy for Synchronous and Asynchronous Electronic Course Delivery at ETSU
ETSU Policy for SACS COC Substantive Changes
Policy for ETSU Study Abroad Courses
Policy and Procedures for Awarding Credit
In addition, courses for ETSU Study Abroad submitted for initial approval as “experimental” courses must include logistical descriptions and a complete budget. Forms are provided on the ETSU Curriculum Process System and also are available from the Office of International Programs & Services. Logistics and budget must be reviewed and approved by the International Advisory Council (or its designated committee) prior to final approval of an experimental Study Abroad course.
09/15/79; 03/91; 07/11
Other sites of interest regarding curricular matters at ETSU include the following:
ETSU Graduate Catalog http://www.etsu.edu/reg/catalog/graduate.aspx
ETSU Undergraduate Catalog http://www.etsu.edu/reg/catalog/undergraduate.aspx
ETSU Proficiency-Intensive Course Listing http://www.etsu.edu/uged/gened/
TBR Academic Policies http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=998
TBR Form A-010 http://www.tbr.edu/offices/academicaffairs.aspx?id=500
THEC New Program Review Criteria http://www.tn.gov/thec/Divisions/AcademicAffairs/aa_main.html
Teaching and consulting opportunities are open to ETSU faculty and staff and are negotiated on a program-by-program basis. Compensation received for instructional and consultation services cannot exceed 20% of the faculty or staff member's salary. Staff scholarships are available for faculty and staff to attend some programs, based on proper application and the availability of funds.
ETSU follows TBR Guideline A-070 in the administration of distance education courses.
The goals of the Office of eLearning are to:
The Office of eLearning complies with the TBR definition for distance education. The Office of eLearning complies with TBR policies, when applicable, related to Program Review, Admissions, Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards, Classification of Students, Faculty Promotion, Payment of Student Fees and Enrollment of Students. The Office of eLearning also complies with TBR’s Guideline A-020 Inter-institutional Relationships and Off-Campus Affairs .
All students in distance education courses have access to academic support, library services, and other instructional support that other students have. Links for these services are provided online at http://online.etsu.edu for all distance education students and faculty.
Identification Of Distance Education Courses
The Office of eLearning is responsible for providing academic chairpersons materials to review in the consideration of telecourses for broadcast, video checkout, and video streaming for college credit. Potential courses may be identified by faculty or academic chairs and recommended for offering as a telecourse.
Internet (Web-based) Courses
In consultation with the Director of Academic Technology Support, academic departments identify synchronous and asynchronous Web-based courses. Academic Technology Support provides training and support for Internet courses.
Instructional Television (ITV) Courses
Academic departments/colleges, in consultation with the Director of Instructional Television Services (ITV), identify instructional television courses. All new distance education faculty receive training. The Director of ITV Services is responsible for interactive television and telecourse training. A copy of the ITV Handbook is updated annually and available online at:
Faculty teaching synchronous and asynchronous courses, depending upon the course delivery medium, are responsible for the best practice guidelines set forth in the Office of eLearning Memorandum of Understanding related to electronic delivery of courses.
Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline A-075 on Intellectual Property Rights ( http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=1674&terms=intellectual%20property ) addresses faculty development of instructional materials for Web-based courses. ETSU complies with the TBR policy regarding intellectual property rights.
ETSU Memorandum of Understanding
A web-based course is defined as a course in which more than 50% of the course content or traditional contact hours are delivered via some form of Internet activity. All Web-based courses at ETSU must be coordinated through the Office of eLearning, and faculty are advised to contact this office for information and assistance early in the process of developing an Internet-based course.
Faculty who plan to develop an Internet-based course to be offered at ETSU should complete a memorandum to formally clarify the nature of the course and establish a record of understandings regarding rights to the Internet-based course and course materials. The form to be used for the memorandum of understanding is available online at http://www.etsu.edu/academicaffairs/elearning/ats/online/faculty/development/mou.aspx .
If a faculty member is being employed or assigned specifically to create the Internet-based course or materials for the university/department, faculty and administrators should also consult TBR Guideline A-075, Distance Education and Intellectual Property ( http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=1674&terms=intellectual%20property ) and, when appropriate, complete a Work Made for Hire Agreement.
An overview of professional staff responsibilities is covered in the ITV Faculty Handbook. Job descriptions for part-time support staff (e.g., production assistants, faculty assistants, classroom assistants) are included in the appendix.
The Office of eLearning administers distance education student surveys for faculty in selected distance education courses every fall and spring semester. The student surveys also evaluate the effective use of the medium of instruction.
The Office of eLearning administers faculty questionnaires for all distance education courses every semester.
Results of distance education faculty questionnaires and student surveys provide data on assessing and/or improving distance education services.
The Office of eLearning shares revenue, after expenses, for all distance education courses funded from the regular academic year and summer budgets. The Office of eLearning maintains a budget to acquire and maintain distance education hardware and courseware.
The Office of eLearning maintains records of revenue and operating costs.
Data is maintained in files in the Office of eLearning.
Faculty and chairs will be involved in the determination of maximum enrollments for distance education courses in consultation with eLearning staff.
Specific section numbers and instructional delivery methods must be identified for all distance education courses. Academic units can contact the Office of eLearning for scheduling information.
Course scheduling information for ITV is available at:
Final approval for offering a video check-out telecourse is dependent upon:
Telecourse Program Sources
The Office of eLearning provides a course management system site for all ETSU course sections. In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), access to all courses defined as distance education courses must be via the ETSU course management system. Faculty must comply with ETSU’s Web-based course standards and policies, as described in the Memorandum of Understanding for Web-based course development available at: http://online.etsu.edu .
1. logistics between faculty on-campus and off-campus sites via courier services
2. faculty assistants,
3. Faculty Handbook and policies available at http://elearning.etsu.edu ,
4. copyright compliance,
5. training, including teaching guidelines, instructional design, course management,
6. course scheduling information,
7. library services at on-campus and off-campus sites,
8. off-campus testing services,
9. classroom facilitators and production assistants for on-campus overflow classrooms and off-campus sites,
10. student assessment of instruction,
11. procedures for inclement weather or missing class.
The ETSU Bookstore supplies faculty with pre-populated Textbook Requisition Forms (TRF) for courses in October for the Spring term and in March for Summer and Fall terms to allow sufficient time for ordering and receiving textbooks/materials prior to the beginning of a term. If a faculty member wants to change a previous selection, he or she should so indicate on the TRF, provide pertinent information about the new selection, and return for a cost statement.
Information regarding instructor-specified required and supplementary textbooks/and materials is available to students by term on the ETSU Bookstore Web site ( http://www.neebo.com/east-tennessee-state-university ). This information includes cost, title, author, publisher, edition, International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and whether the textbook or materials are required, recommended, or optional. New or used textbook/materials and costs are also available. It is recommended that any college/department printed or online information regarding textbooks/materials include costs.
Each ETSU Bookstore TRF includes costs of new and used textbooks/materials, and each instructor must affirmatively aknowledge the price of the textbooks and materials giving approval to order. The bookstore will only order after instructor authorization.
Faculty members should consider ways to reduce the cost of course materials prior to ordering. Cost-minimization strategies, information about course textbook/materials costs, and buy back considerations are posted on the Faculty Senate Web site ( http://www.etsu.edu/senate/default.aspx ). As standard practice, bundled materials are discouraged. When bundled materials are requested on the TRF, the department chair also must sign the form verifying review of costs.
The ETSU Bookstore allows students to purchase a textbook separately from a bundled package of course materials that include a textbook(s). When possible, the bookstore sells study products separately from each other.
The ETSU Bookstore promotes convenient book buy-backs through several advertised means in order to increase the availability of used textbooks.
Copies of textbooks provided by publishers at no cost will be available to students through departmental libraries or Sherrod Library where they will be placed on reserve, thus allowing maximum hours of access to students.
The ETSU Bookstore staff will comply with this policy, including the textbook inventory and monitoring charge.
09/15/79; 3/17/95; 02/07/08;
East Tennessee State University recognizes the responsibility of the COC to review substantive changes that occur between decennial reviews and to determine if the University continues to meet defined standards and federal regulations.
East Tennessee State University faculty and administrative officials that approve substantive changes at appropriate levels of the institution are identified in the Substantive Change Procedures for Academic Programs, Distance Education, Off-campus Sites, and those unlikely to be proposed by ETSU. The campus community accesses the policy and procedures from the ETSU Faculty Handbook, ETSU SACS Web site [http://www.etsu.edu/sacs/] , ETSU Curriculum Process System [http://infosys.etsu.edu/cps/], and ETSU Chairs Handbook [http://www.etsu.edu/chairshandbook/].
ETSU guidelines for procedures and all necessary student and faculty forms are available from the Office of International Programs & Services by request or from their website: http://www.etsu.edu/honors/international/faculty/proposeteach.aspx.
In addition to content review for academic standards, Study Abroad courses are also subject to review of logistics and budget. The ETSU Office of International Programs & Services advises faculty and staff on necessary logistical arrangements and budgets. The International Advisory Council serves an additional advisory role and provides final approval of logistics and budget for all study abroad course offerings. Third-party provider/service organizations may be used, but contractual agreements are subject to all current ETSU financial policies and procedures and may require review by the ETSU University Counsel and Chief Financial Officer.
Academic standards for study abroad courses are determined by the academic unit offering the course. Academic content of Study Abroad courses are reviewed and approved by appropriate university Curriculum Committees according to current ETSU procedures and policies.
Credit for Study Abroad courses must meet TBR guidelines. Field trips, site excursions, and other cultural activities must be structured as a formal part of the course and integral to course learning objectives. In general, each week abroad in a Study Abroad course will equate to one credit hour, but course content, itinerary, and learning outcomes ultimately determine the appropriate number of credits assigned. Study Abroad courses must include two formal orientation meetings with students---one prior to departure (on campus or online), and a second meeting held upon arrival at the international site.
Academic departments and Faculty Leaders are advised to begin development of Study Abroad courses at least 12 months in advance of the first course offering to allow adequate time to develop plans, complete necessary documents, obtain approvals, and recruit students.
Study Abroad courses offered and led by ETSU faculty (or approved staff) are identified in course schedules with a special section code (-SA1,
Off-campus locations must be approved and assigned a Site Location number by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. ETSU International Programs & Services Office provides information on existing sites and assists faculty with appropriate forms.
Logistical and budgetary plans for Study Abroad courses are reviewed and approved by the International Advisory Council (or its designated committee) before any particular offering of a course is scheduled or advertised to students. Expedited review and approval is provided by Director of International Programs & Services for courses previously offered at the same destination site and relatively unchanged in logistics or budget. Review and approval of logistical and budgetary aspects will be deferred for initial approval of a formal course proposed as a general category of study abroad offerings within a discipline (i.e., destination site to be determined in the future). Logistical and budget approvals then follow standard procedures described above.
Faculty Leaders must be full-time faculty or staff members with the academic credentials appropriate to the Study Abroad course, discipline, and accreditation standards and are identified as Instructor of Record for the course. Exceptions with regard to full-time status of the Faculty Leader may be recommended by the chair and dean of the appropriate department and college to the International Advisory Council for review and final approval.
Workshops in developing and conducting Study Abroad courses are offered by the Office of International Programs & Services.
Faculty Leader Responsibilities
A faculty or staff member serving as a Faculty Leader is responsible for all aspects of developing and offering a Study Abroad course, including itinerary and logistics in the host country and all financial responsibilities as proposed, disclosed to students, and/or arranged with the University. Funds provided by students for travel costs and for maintenance fees, and processing of costs associated with an ETSU Study Abroad course must follow current ETSU financial policies and procedures.
Faculty Leaders are responsible for ensuring that course activities comply with and students are informed about pertinent laws and customs of the destination country. If assignments or projects that involve human subjects are proposed as a course activity, approval must be obtained from the ETSU Institutional Review Board and documentation provided as part of the review of logistics provided by the International Advisory Council.
Faculty Leaders should monitor advisories issued by the U.S. State Department and Center for Disease Control (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html and http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ ) and are responsible for keeping enrolled students informed of any advisories issued for the destination country. In addition, Faculty Leaders must register their group with the U.S. Department of State, which in turn will ensure that the U.S. Embassy in the destination country is informed.
Faculty Leaders are responsible for submitting all appropriate ETSU Study Abroad forms (e.g., medical information, assumption of risk, etc.) for each student to the Office of International Programs & Services prior to any departure.
Faculty Leaders are required to complete an Emergency Preparedness Workshop offered by the Office of International Programs & Services before departure and at least once every three years.
Faculty Leaders of ETSU Study Abroad courses must include two formal orientation meetings with students in their course plans---one orientation prior to departure (on campus or online), and a second meeting held upon arrival at the destination site (first or only).
Inclusion of Family Members of Faculty Leaders
Spouses and minor children of Study Abroad Faculty Leaders may be allowed to participate in study abroad programs if arrangements are made to ensure that their presence will not impair the operation of the program or infringe on participants. In addition, arrangements must be made to ensure that family expenses are not incorporated into the program budget.
Faculty Leaders who wish to include spouses and/or minor children must request approval of accompanying family included in the description of course logistics. The following information must be included: ages of minor children, begin/end dates of their intended stay, and descriptions of arrangements that will ensure their independence from budget and academic activities. Requests may be denied or other restrictions may be applied.
All appropriate ETSU Study Abroad forms (e.g., medical information, assumption of risk, etc.) must be submitted for accompanying family members to the Office of International Programs & Services prior to departure. Spouses and/or minor children are required to purchase any travel/medical insurance required of all program participants.
The ETSU Office of International Programs & Services and the Honors College provide staff and procedural support to the International Advisory Council.
The IAC is responsible for oversight of funds distributed for student scholarships (as recommended by the Study Abroad Scholarship Awards Committee: http://www.etsu.edu/honors/international/abroad/scholarships/default.aspx ) and for faculty development support related to international education ( http://www.etsu.edu/honors/faculty.asp ). Requests for review of evaluations of Scholarship or Faculty Development awards should be directed to the IAC, with copies submitted to the Office of the Provost.
Visiting out-of-state students are eligible to enroll in ETSU Study Abroad courses at in-state rates. The Office of International Programs & Services is available to assist these students in obtaining the appropriate tuition charges.
The Office of International Programs also is responsible for advising Faculty Leaders about course development, required campus procedures, registration of travel groups with the U.S. Department of State, and travel and health advisories issued by U.S. government agencies.
A travel warning or alert issued by the U.S. State Department for a destination country that is scheduled for ETSU Study Abroad requires an assessment of safety considerations. ETSU University Counsel and Senior Administration will conduct the assessment and must provide approval before the Study Abroad course may be conducted. Additional safeguards, trip procedures, and/or student notification may be required.
In emergency situations, the ETSU Office of International Programs & Services is designated as the first contact for communication with Faculty Leaders. This Office is then responsible for initiating appropriate campus-based communications and procedures to arrange for the appropriate emergency responses. The ETSU Honors College and the appropriate department serve as secondary contacts.
Evaluation and Assessment of Study Abroad
Student evaluation of Study Abroad courses is administered by the ETSU Honors College, with results provided to the Faculty Leader, Department Chair, and the International Advisory Council. Additional course assessment instruments (e.g., the Intercultural Development Inventory) are offered on a voluntary basis.
Assessment of Study Abroad courses by Faculty or Staff Leaders is held annually and includes both an individual evaluation survey and outcomes reported in a meeting of all Faculty or Staff Leaders for discussion and evaluation of problems or needs.
The ETSU International Advisory Council is responsible for review and integration of all assessments and for initiating actions deemed necessary to ensure the future safety of students and the financial and academic integrity of ETSU Study Abroad courses.
Funds provided by students for travel costs associated with an ETSU Study Abroad course may be collected by the ETSU Faculty Leader or paid directly to a third-party provider, if used. Funds collected from students must be deposited in an ETSU Agency account. Disbursements of funds from this account must follow all ETSU financial policies and procedures.
Study Abroad courses are eligible for Study Abroad Cohort status, which provides access to all maintenance fees generated and provides Faculty/Staff Leaders with flexibility of salary and use of maintenance fees for travel costs. Participation as a Study Abroad Cohort course must be arranged in advance by contacting the ETSU Honors College at least four months prior to the course offering. Participation in the Study Abroad Cohort requires that Faculty Leaders agree in advance to salary adjustments in lieu of course cancellation due to low enrollment.
Initial offerings of Study Abroad courses usually require a minimum of 12 months advance preplanning to ensure adequate logistical arrangements in the destination country, as well as sufficient time for campus approval procedures and for advance recruitment of students. Faculty Leaders and academic departments are advised to begin development of their Study Abroad courses at least one year in advance and to begin student recruitment at least 6 months in advance of the planned departure dates.
The purpose of this document is to define credit, the criteria for determining credit, process for determining credit, and external confirmation. The U.S. Department of Education Regulatory Language is included. Note that ETSU prefers not to use “hour” in its policy as it places emphasis on learning outcomes not time.
This policy and procedures are approved by the East Tennessee State University Academic Council and published in the Faculty Handbook, Chairs Handbook, and Curriculum Process System. Compliance with the policy is assured. All course and program credit awards are documented electronically on the Curriculum Process System by the various proposal approvers.
A semester credit is a unit of educational accomplishment represented by learning outcomes.
In accordance with federal regulation (34 CFR 600.2 and subsequent guidance), one semester credit reasonably approximates the learning outcomes expected from one hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student academic engagement each week for 15 weeks. Courses offered in alternative calendars and course types require an equivalent amount of faculty and student engagement and learning outcomes.
College and university faculty committees conduct rigorous reviews of course and program proposals, including justifications for credit to be awarded, and are responsible for final approval of proposals. Final acceptance of a proposal by each appropriate review committee denotes the review and acceptance of the proposed number of credits.
Accreditation and program reviewers assess ETSU programs of study in accordance with discipline-specific best practices, including credits awarded for courses.
ETSU provides its policy and procedure for awarding of credit for compliance with Comprehensive Standard 3.4.6 and Federal Requirement 4.8 of the Principles of Accreditation, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and others.
In 34 CFR 600.2 of the final regulations (March 2011), ETSU defined a credit hour for Federal programs, including the Federal student financial assistance programs, as—
An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonable approximates not less than:
1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately
fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of
work over a different amount of time; or
2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the
institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
USDOE, Office of Postsecondary education, http://www.cappsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/GEN1106.pdf.