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Courses and Programs Offered Through the School of Extended and International Education 

Recommended By: Academic Senate
Approved: Ruben Armiñana, President
Original Issue Date: June 23, 2014
Current Issue Date: June 23, 2014
Effective Date: June 23, 2014
Contact Office: Academic Affairs

  • Policy #2014-1
    1. Preamble

      The School of Extended and International Education (SEIE) at Sonoma State University provides increased access to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education for matriculated students and the community at large. As an educational unit of the University, SEIE is subject to the regulations of the State of California, the California State University, and Sonoma State University.

      The purpose of this policy is to describe the courses and programs offered through the School of Extended and International Education that are entirely self-supported, or are State-supported with a substantial self-support component,  and to delineate the processes for approval and evaluation of said courses and programs.
    2. General Principles for Courses and Programs Offered Through the School of Extended and International Education
      1. All Chancellor’s Office Executive Orders will apply to courses and programs offered through SEIE.
      2. Non-academic credit-bearing courses offered by SEIE may award certification of particular skills, or certificates of completion. Documents attesting to these awards must clearly specify the nature of the award in order to avoid confusion with the award of a degree.
      3. Each time it offers a course, SEIE shall consider: the appropriateness of intended sites and facilities; the qualifications, teaching interests, and availability of SSU faculty members in the appropriate disciplines; and the qualifications, teaching interests, and availability of faculty for the course. 
      4. The department Chair pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement must approve instructors who teach SEIE academic courses offered for University credit (CBA).
      5. Credit-bearing courses offered through SEIE shall be evaluated in the same manner as courses offered through state support as outlined by the SSU Curriculum Guide.  Copies of said evaluations will follow the same process as state-offered courses.
      6. If an academic credit-bearing certificate or degree program offered through SEIE is to be discontinued or eliminated, all appropriate procedures and regulations will be followed as outlined in the Sonoma State University Curriculum Guide.
    3. Overview of Proposal Process for Courses and Programs Offered Through the School of Extended and International Education
      1. Individual faculty members, staff, departments, programs, or schools of the University, or community members, may initiate proposals for new programs and courses.  Proposals will be submitted to the SEIE Curriculum Committee, which will determine format and required information. Proposals that do not meet the criteria for creation will be returned to the originator for revision with suggestions from the SEIE Curriculum Committee. (see 3. G. for curriculum committee staffing; see the Appendix  for a diagram of the approval processes that are outlined in this document.)  Once the Academic Senate has approved a proposal, substantial changes to the information in the original proposal must be submitted for further review. 
      2. The SEIE Curriculum Committee will review proposals of all courses and programs submitted to SEIE.
      3. All proposals will be reviewed for appropriate content, quality, and instructor qualificationsThe purpose of the proposal review process is to:
        • assess duplication of existing courses/programs in the stateside offerings;
        • ensure curricular review and offerings in academic unit;
        • assess resources available to sustain program; and
        • assess merit and alignment to the academic mission of SSU.
      4. Please see the attached diagram for the curriculum review process.  The SEIE Curriculum Committee may reassign the proposal for further review by the appropriate department or school curriculum committee, to review according to those individual department or school curriculum committee practices.  Comments and questions from the department will be submitted to the SEIE CC for review and discussion prior to offering the course(s).  Additionally:
        1. Special Sessions courses and programs, as well as Academic Credit Certificate Programs offered through SEIE, will be reviewed by the offering department and the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) according to the schedules set forth by the department, School, Academic Senate, Sonoma State University, and accrediting body (if applicable), using the criteria established by these entities.
        2. Adult Education course listings by term will be forwarded to the EPC for information purposes.
        3. Non-Academic Credit Certificate Programs will be reviewed in consultation with the offering department, school curriculum committee, and the EPC according to the schedules set forth by the department and School.
      5. The sponsoring unit (i.e., department, school, interdisciplinary area, SEIE) will designate an appropriate person to be responsible for coordinating the certificate program.  Academic programs require a faculty coordinator. 
      6. The SEIE Curriculum Committee shall be comprised of a member of the SEIE and one faculty member elected by each school, ideally with experience or interest in the SEIE programs offered.  Members will be elected from their respective schools and serve a staggered three-year term to be determined at the first convening meeting.  The committee members elect the Committee chair annually no later than the first meeting of the fall term.
    4. Definitions of Courses and Programs Offered Through the School of Extended and International Education
      1. Self-Support: The School of Extended and International Education does not receive funding from the State General Fund appropriations for most courses and programs it offers.  Instead, revenues generated by courses or program must be sufficient to cover all costs associated with such courses or program.
      2. Pre-College Courses: Non-credit courses offered to youth in the community and to incoming University students.
      3. Adult Education Courses:  Non-credit, personal interest workshops for adults.
      4. Continuing Education Courses: Non-academic courses or workshops that are typically professional development advancement courses that are Continuing Education Unit (CEU) worthy, but not applicable to a degree or part of the standard SSU curriculum.  These courses are developed to meet the special needs of particular groups or communities, and may include international programs. CEUs appear on the student’s transcript; one CEU is equivalent to ten hours of participation and denotes an investment of time and accomplishment comparable to that required in established University courses. (EO 255)
      5. Special Sessions:

        Special Sessions are a means whereby credit-bearing instructional programs can be provided to matriculated students on a self-support basis at times and in locations not supported by State General Fund appropriations. Such offerings shall be consistent with the CSU mission and applicable laws and regulations. Academic standards associated with all aspects of such Special Sessions are identical to those of comparable instructional programs.  Examples of Special Sessions include: interim sessions between college year terms; ongoing programs of a continuing nature offered at military bases, correctional facilities, and other distant or isolated locations; and instructional programs for a specific client group requiring special services.  (EO 1047) 

        Special Session courses and programs are not to supplant or compete with any traditional major or course of study; they must utilize alternative times, locations, or modes of delivery.  (California Education Code 89708). Up to 24 units of self-support course offerings in a non-matriculated status may be applied toward a Bachelor’s degree. (EO 805)  Post baccalaureate programs require at least 21 units in residence; the number of allowable non-matriculated units varies.

        1. Special Sessions Courses:  Proposed courses, including those offered with the same curriculum as a resident program, will be reviewed according to University curriculum approval policies. Individual faculty members, departments, programs, or schools of the University may propose Special Sessions offerings, taking responsibility to offer such major courses, GE courses, and other service courses to enable students to enhance completion of their degree programs. Departments review courses and department chairs make faculty assignments according to University curriculum approval policies and faculty assignments as outlined in the CBA.
        2. Special Sessions Academic Programs: Academic programs offered through SEIE may include certificates and Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programs.  They may be offered on campus, off campus, or via hybrid or online instruction.
      6. Certificate Programs: 

        A certificate program teaches a coherent set of skills that does not lead specifically to a degree, but may be practically oriented towards professional occupations. Certificate programs are a way of organizing curriculum in order to serve students who wish to learn specific subjects, concepts, skills and competencies, and may include international programs.  Certificate programs may offer academic credit or CEUs (Continuing Education Units).

        The award of a certificate means that the holder has participated in a skill-based class or program or has completed the required academic coursework at a certain level of accomplishment.  A certificate indicates that the University validates the particular skill-based program or field of study. However, it neither credentials nor licenses the student in a particular field or profession, nor does it guarantee the ability of the student to put into practice what has been studied.

        Students will apply for certification through the School of Extended and International Education.  The Program Coordinator shall verify completion of requirements.  Award of the certificate will be noted on the student's transcripts.

        The School of Extended and International Education offers two types of certificate programs: Academic Credit Certificate Programs and Non-Academic Certificate Programs.

        1. Certificate Programs – Academic Credit:  Certificate programs which award academic credits that may be applicable towards an undergraduate or graduate degree.
          1. The curriculum must consist of a carefully defined set of courses, including an appropriate mechanism for practical application of theoretical knowledge such as an internship.
          2. When appropriate, the certificate will be offered in conjunction with a professional organization and will adhere to guidelines and standards specified by such organizations.
          3. A minimum of two-thirds of the required units must be graded on an A-F basis.
          4. All course work used to satisfy the requirements of a certificate must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for post-baccalaureate certificates.
          5. The Faculty Coordinator or Student Services Professional Advisor will be responsible for the review process employed and recommendation as to the appropriateness of a student's academic background for admission to the program.
            1. Undergraduate certificate programs: In order to be admitted to an undergraduate certificate program, a candidate must have completed 60 units of undergraduate courses with a 2.0 GPA with exceptions permitted upon presentation of special justification.
            2. Graduate certificate programs: In order to be admitted to a graduate certificate program, a candidate must have attained post baccalaureate standing in accordance with standard admission requirements and procedures.
        2. Certificate Programs – Non-Academic Credit: Groupings of or a series of classes that do not carry degree credit. They may award transcripted CEU hours for professional development/licensure requirements.
          1. The curriculum must consist of a carefully defined set of teaching objectives, with a focus on practical skill-building.
          2. When appropriate, the certificate will be offered in conjunction with a professional organization and will adhere to guidelines and standards specified by such organizations.
        3. All proposals will be reviewed for appropriate content, quality, and instructor qualifications. CEU instructors may be local professionals or others with an appropriate level of expertise. Academic Credit Certificate Programs must be approved by EPC. Non-Academic Credit Certificate programs must be reviewed as informational items for EPC.
      7. Open University:  Registration process by which a non-matriculated student may take existing, credit-bearing SSU classes offered by departments in regular session on a space-available basis for a per-unit fee.
        1. Enrollment through Open University is subject to guidelines provided by the University Registrar’s office.  It is open only to non-matriculated students in good standing and members of the community. Students who have been academically disqualified may not enroll through Open University until their good standing has been restored. 
        2. The course instructor shall consult with the Department Chair before signing the enrollment form.
        3. There are no stand-alone Open University classes; courses have already been reviewed through the regular academic review process.
      8. Courses or programs may be listed as more than one of the above types.  Courses or programs with dual listings, or with a State-supported component, will fulfill all required approval processes.
    5. Post-Approval Administration of Certificate Programs, Special Sessions, and Degree and Academic Programs Offered through the School of Extended and International Education
      1. Program, Course, and Instructor Evaluation
        1. Approved Academic programs and courses offered through the School of Extended and International Education will be regularly evaluated by the offering department, school curriculum committee, and the EPC according to the schedules set forth by the department, School, Academic Senate, Sonoma State University, and/or accrediting body, using the criteria established by these entities.
        2. Instructors teaching academic programs through SEIE will be evaluated each term under the Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) guidelines; a copy of the results will be sent to the department and to the instructor. Evaluations will be retained for a minimum of three years and will be available for inspection by the Dean of SEIE and other University personnel in accordance with applicable campus policies.
        3. Non-Academic programs and courses offered through the School of Extended  and International Education will be evaluated by SEIE Curriculum Committee.
      2. Administration
        1. SEIE will contract directly with instructors; those teaching in academic programs will be hired on terms according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  For non-credit courses, certificate courses, or CEU courses SETE’s may not be used.  Non-academic certificate programs require periodic review by the SEIE Curriculum Committee.
        2. All literature to be published and circulated in connection with certificate programs will have the prior clearance of the appropriate department chair and school Dean.

    Updated 7/18/14 by SSU.policies@sonoma.edu