Montana State University

Standard 2.G

Standard 2.G - Continuing Education and Special Learning Activities

The changing nature of the demands placed upon individuals in today's society requires many of them to engage in life-long education. Many post secondary educational institutions have incorporated into their mission an extension and public service component to provide for life-long learning opportunities. These opportunities are referred to as continuing education, professional development, extension education, outreach, special programs, public and community service programs. Such programs may be for either undergraduate or graduate credit, or non-credit, may be offered on and off campus, and may be offered through a variety of instructional formats.

The provisions of this standard apply to:

  • Off-campus programs and courses for credit, including those at branch campuses, extension centers or satellite sites, external degree programs, and military base programs. Degree-completion programs.

  • Distance learning courses and courses taught esclusively on or off campus by special delivery systems, such as computer-based instruction, correspondence, television, video or audio cassette, or through other electronically-accessed means.

  • Practices providing credit for prior experiential learning.

  • Travel/study and study abroad programs.

  • Non-credit community service programs and courses, including those that offer Continuing Education Units (CEU).

  • Relicensure courses, in-service, and credential programs.

  • Testing, evaluation, and ezamination procedures for granting degree credit.

  • Workshops, seminars, short courts, conferences, institutes, special evening and seemlier programs.

Off-Campus and Other Special Programs Providing Academic Credit

Continuing education and special learning activities, programs, and courses offered for credit are consistent with the educational mission and goals of the institution. Such activities are integral parts the institution and maintain the same academic standards as regularly offered programs and courses. The institution maintains direct and sole responsibility for the academic quality of all aspects of programs and courses through the management and supervision by faculty and institutional administrators. Adequate resources to maintain high quality programs are ensured.

2.G.1 The institution provides evidence that all off-campus, continuing education (credit and non-credit), and other special programs are compatible with the institution's mission and goals, and are designed, approved, administered, and periodically evaluated under established institutional procedures.
2.G.2The institution is solely responsible for the academic and fiscal elements of all instructional programs it offers. The institution conforms to Policy A-6 - Contractual Relationships with Organizations Not Regionally Accredited, Accreditation Handbook, pages 108-111.
2.G.3 Full-time faculty representing the appropriate disciplines and fields of work are involved in the planning and evaluation of the institution's continuing education and special learning activities.
2.G.4 The responsibility for the administration of continuing education and special learning activities is clearly defined and an integral organizational component of the institution's organization.
2.G.5 Programs and courses offered through electronically-mediated or other distance delivery systems provi ready access to appropriate learning resources and provide sufficient time and opportunities (Electra or others) for students to interact with faculty.
2.G.6 There is an equitable fee structure and refund policy.
2.G.7 The granting of credit for continuing education courses and special learning activities is based upon institutional policy, consistent throughout the institution, and applied wherever located and however delivered. The standard of one quarter hour of credit for 30 hours or one semester hour of credit for hours of student involvement is maintained for all instructional programs and courses.
2.G.8 Continuing education and/or special learning activities, programs, or courses offered for academic credit are approved in advance by the appropriate institutional body and monitored through established procedures.
2.G.9 Credit for prior experiential learning is offered only at the undergraduate level and in accordance with Policy 2.3 - Credit for Prior Experiential Learning, Accreditation Handbook, page 39.
2.G.10 An institution offering an external degree, degree-completion program, or special degree has clearly articulated policies and procedures concerning admission to the program, transfer of prior-earned credit, credit by examination (e.g., College Level Examination Program (CLEP) of the College Entrance Examination Board and the institution's own examinations), credit for prior experiential learning, credit by evaluation, and residency requirements.
2.G.ll When credit is measured by outcomes alone or other nontraditional means, student learning and achievement are demonstrated to be at least comparable in breadth, depth, and quality to the results of traditional instructional practices.
2.G.12 Travel/study courses meet the same academic standards, award similar credit, and are subject to the same institutional oontrol as other courses and programs offered by the sponsoring or participating institution. Credit is not awarded for travel alone. The operation of these programs is consistent with Policy 2.4 - Study Abroad Programs, Accreditation Handbook, page 40 and Policy A-6 - Contractual Relationships with Organizations Not Regionally Accredited, pages 108-111.