An off-site instructional location is any place where a course is offered off the main UNT campus in Denton, Texas. This definition also applies to distance learning courses. There are a number of off-site educational locations throughout the region and the world where UNT offers courses or programs. Once approved, each of these sites are monitored by the Office of University Accreditation for reporting purposes.
To add a course to an existing offsite location including Hall Park, Inspire Park, CHEC, UCD, etc., an R6 should be completed and forwarded to UA each semester.
New Off-Site Instructional Location Approval
The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the U.S. Department of Education, and the Clery Act require specific reporting of off-campus sites for instruction. The Office of University Accreditation monitors these sites to maintain compliance with these requirements. If a department is planning on offering a degree or certificate program at an off-site location, they are strongly encouraged to consult with University Accreditation during the development of the proposal.
Any academic department planning to teach a course at a new off-campus instructional site should complete the UNT Form to Add an Off-Campus Site for Instruction. This form should also be used to reactivate a closed site. Offering instruction at a new off-site location requires approval within UNT before the class is added by the Registrar’s Office.
Once the new site is approved, departments are asked to send R-6 forms adding courses to the site each semester to the Office of University Accreditation for review. Once UA has reviewed the course, the R-6 is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office.
To assist us in properly identifying each new offsite location, please include the following information on the form:
- Full name of the building where instruction will be provided
- Full physical street address
- List courses and programs to be taught at this location during the first academic year
- The reason for the instruction at this site and whether there are plans to teach 25% or more of the program at the site
- The semester when instruction is to begin at the site
- The name and address of your contact at this location
- Attach copies of any written agreements or emails providing permission to offer the course at the site
When the form has been fully completed and signed by the Department Chair and the Dean, please forward it to the University Accreditation Office, Hurley Administration Building, Room 135. The form can also be submitted electronically to Dr. Kimberly Faris, Accreditation Coordinator in University Accreditation, at Kimberly.Faris@unt.edu. Once the information is reviewed, the form is sent to the Registrar’s Office by University Accreditation. After the Registrar’s Office sets up the new site in EIS, course sections can be assigned to the site.
Additional Guidelines for all Off-Site locations
25% Notification to SACSCOC
Before 25% of coursework required for a degree or certificate program is offered at an off-site location, SACSCOC must be notified. This requirement includes Study Abroad and dual credit locations. Academic departments should contact University Accreditation if an off-site location is nearing the 25% threshold for their degree or certificate program. The notification is prepared by Elizabeth Vogt, SACSCOC Liaison and Director of University Accreditation. Departments will receive a copy of the notification sent to SACSCOC.
50% SACSCOC Approval
Before a specific academic program offers 50% or more of the coursework required for the degree or certificate at an off-site location, UNT must receive SACSCOC approval and/or THECB approval. Academic departments should contact University Accreditation if they plan to offer 50% or more of the courses required for their degree or certificate program at a specific off-site location to determine which approval process is needed. If SACSCOC approval is needed, a substantive change prospectus must be prepared by the department well in advance, and sent to UA by the following due dates:
- June 1, 2019 for a spring 2020* implementation (January 1 to June 30)
- December 1, 2019 for a fall 2020* implementation (July 1 to December 31)
- June 1, 2020 for a spring 2021* implementation (January 1 to June 30)
- December 1, 2020, for a fall 2021* implementation (July 1 to December 31)
The prospectus is reviewed by University Accreditation and sent to SACSCOC by Elizabeth Vogt, SACSCOC Liaison and Director of University Accreditation. Contact Elizabeth Vogt at Elizabeth.Vogt@unt.edu or 940.369.5288 for additional information.
The THECB process begins when a department submits the VPAA form requesting to offer their program offsite. UA sends a 50-mile notification to area institutions and submits required forms to the THECB after a 30-day objection period. The THECB approval process can take 2-3 months and is described in the Approval of Distance Education, including Off-Campus Courses and Programs guidelines. Doctoral programs can only offer four courses offsite before gaining THECB approval.
Courses and programs offered via video conference or face-to-face at a new off-campus instructional site location must receive approval from the Office of University Accreditation (UA) for delivery to the new site. UA approves new off-campus instructional site locations; and monitors the number of credits offered at off-campus locations regardless of the modality of instruction.
In addition, courses and programs requiring students to meet in a specific physical address off the main Denton campus for 50% or more of the course must receive approval as an off-site location through the Office of University Accreditation. This requirement applies to courses offered face-to-face or by video conference.
If 50% of more of a course is offered via distance education, the course will need course approval through from the Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign (CLEAR). If a course is offered face-to-face and a video conference is streamed to a location synchronously, the course does not need CLEAR approval, only University Accreditation location approval. CLEAR manages the approvals for online courses and programs.
Dual Credit – High School Students
Any course that is offered as a dual credit course to high school students off the UNT campus should be approved by University Accreditation as an off-site location. There are special reporting considerations required with the THECB for dual credit courses. Academic departments should denote that the course is a dual credit on the R-6 form each semester. R-6 forms for dual credit courses should be routed to University Accreditation for approval. UA will forward the form to the Registrar’s Office.
Those interested in submitting a proposal to teach a course abroad should read the faculty leader handbook prior to starting the process. Once the Faculty-Led Program Proposal is approved, the Student Abroad Section Notice (SA-100) is completed and submitted to the Study Abroad Office with all required signatures. The SA-100 is furnished by the Study Abroad Office. The SA-100 routes through the University Accreditation office and to the Registrar’s Office before a Study Abroad course section is created. Study Abroad Location offerings must also be compliant with the 25% and 50% threshold SACSCOC requirements listed above.
Study in America (outside of Texas) and Travel Courses within Texas
Courses taught outside of the State of Texas, but within the United States, have special THECB reporting requirements. Faculty should complete the SiA-200 forms, and submit them to the University Accreditation office once the faculty, department chair, and dean signatures are obtained. The form should be submitted with a complete itinerary of the travel including specific dates, and on-campus meetings/dates. Please list the number of contact hours for the course met off-campus versus on-campus, if applicable. Once approved by UA, the SiA-200 routes through the University Accreditation Office to the Registrar’s Office before being added to EIS. Study in America location offerings must also be compliant with the 25% and 50% threshold SACSCOC requirements listed above.
For travel courses taught within Texas, the SiA-200 form should also be used to comply with THECB regulations. UA will send a notification to area institutions within 50-miles of the course’s location.
Closing an Instructional Site
If a decision is made to close an instructional site, the Office of University Accreditation must be notified prior to stopping admissions into the program. UNT is required to submit a teach-out plan to SACSCOC for approval in accordance with Federal regulations if that location provides at least 50% of a least one program. Teach-out plans and agreements must be approved prior to implementation.
Reactivating a Closed Site
Academic departments should follow the steps to open a new off-site instructional location to reactivate a previously closed site.