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Offer an Existing Degree/Certificate Program via Distance Education

Academic Action

Offer an existing degree or certificate program using distance education methods.

Curricular Requirements

A degree or certificate program is considered distance education when a substantial number of credit hours (fifty percent or more of the courses for the program) will be delivered through distance education.

Originator of Process

 Interdisciplinary/Disciplinary Unit Executive Committee

Approval Process

 CourseLeaf: Program Admin: Edit Program

Approvals/Recommendations Needed:

A – Approval Needed

R – Recommendation

I – Information Only

AInitiating Executive Committee
RDistance Education Coordinator
ROther Interdisciplinary Unit Executive Committee(s)
AGraduate Academic Affairs Council
AAcademic Affairs Council
AProvost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
AUW System Administration
IUW System Board of Regents

Approval Process

The chair of the Executive Committee that will be responsible for the distance education degree or certificate program prepares a proposal as part of the Edit Program form in CourseLeaf . The faculty committee may consult the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), Graduate Studies, the Library, and/or other institutional offices for advice on program development and support.

The faculty committee consults the Distance Education Coordinator for guidance in the development of the program.

If the degree/certificate program includes courses or other requirements that are outside of the jurisdiction of the Executive Committee, the proposal must be reviewed by the unit(s) impacted by the modifications.  The chair of the initiating faculty committee is responsible for sending (electronically) a complete proposal to the chair of the unit(s) impacted.  As the proposal progresses through the approval process it must include written documentation from all of the unit(s) consulted. 

The proposal may be revised based on the comments received.  When a final proposal is approved by the initiating Executive Committee, the proposal and all supporting documentation is forwarded to the Dean for review and approval.

The Dean reviews the proposal and supporting documentation.  He then forwards all to the Registrar and the Library for review and recommendation.

After review and recommendation or non-recommendation by the Registrar and the Library, the Dean has the option of approving the proposal, not approving the proposal or requesting changes to the proposal.  Approved proposals and supporting documentation are then sent to the Academic Affairs Council (for undergraduate majors) or Graduate Academic Affairs Council (for graduate majors) for its review and approval.

The proposal with supporting documentation is reviewed by the Academic Affairs Council or Graduate Academic Affairs Council.  Following the AAC or GAAC review, an approved proposal is forwarded to the Provost.  If not approved by the AAC or GSC, the proposal is returned to Dean.

The Provost reviews the proposal.  If approved, it is forwarded to the Chancellor for final institutional approval.  If not approved, the proposal is returned to the appropriate dean.

The proposal and recommendations are reviewed by the Chancellor, who approves or does not approve the new degree.

If approved, the Provost Office forwards the proposal and supporting documentation to the UW Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI).  

If approved by the UW Associate Vice President, the Provost notifies the initiating Executive Committee Chair, Dean, Distance Education Coordinator, Registrar, Library, and SOFAS are informed that the program has been approved along with the effective date of the action.

It may be necessary for the Provost (or designee) to submit approval to the Academic Program Planning with UW System.  Approval from System may be required if the Distance Education represents a level the institution does not currently offer, represents a significant departure from current degree programs, or requires substantial financial investment or resources.  For more information, see the Online Program Planning Form.