Academic Policy Manual - 910116

Sam Houston State University

Academic Policy Statement 910116

Off-Campus Instruction


1.01 Sam Houston State University offers a broad array of off-campus credit courses which permit students to pursue appropriate course work without having to travel to the Huntsville campus. This policy provides specific guidance and procedures affecting students, faculty, and others who may be involved in off-campus credit courses.


2.01 Sam Houston State University desires to provide off-campus credit courses to eligible students at times, in formats, and at locations which are responsive to the educational requirements of individuals with career and/or family responsibilities.


3.01 Credit courses that are scheduled to be offered off-campus must be listed in the undergraduate or graduate course inventory. The proposed scheduling of such courses must first be approved by the appropriate department chair, academic dean, and the office of the vice president for academic affairs. After such approvals are obtained, the associate vice president for academic services submits the proposed offerings to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval.


4.01 All requests for off-campus credit courses should be submitted through channels on an appropriate off-campus course request form. (See attachment.) This form indicates the specific course, dates, times, and site for the proposed offering. Timely requests will ensure adequate promotion and publication deadlines for any courses to be offered.

4.02 Each department should develop a sequence of proposed courses for degree purposes at its off-campus locations.

4.03 It is important that appropriate resources and qualified instructors are available prior to a final confirmation of off-campus course offerings. The Director of the Newton Gresham Library is responsible for certifying the adequacy of library resources available to students at off-campus locations.


5.01 Academic deans and division/department chairs are jointly responsibility for the coordination of the off-campus program to ensure quality in the operational and academic aspects of the program. This includes textbook orders, media equipment, class rosters, grade report distributions, and classroom assignments. The associate vice president for academic affairs is responsible for all pertinent Coordinating Board approvals.


6.01 The Coordinating Board mandates that faculty employed for teaching off-campus courses must have the same qualifications required of faculty teaching courses on-campus. Off-campus faculty may be a full-time/part-time or adjunct faculty member who has taught on the SHSU campus within the previous twelve months.

6.02 Employment of faculty members to teach off-campus courses is contingent upon approval by the appropriate authorization sources, i.e., division/department chair, dean of the employing college, and the vice president for academic affairs.

6.03 Courses taught off-campus will normally be included as a part of the instructor's regular teaching course load.

6.04 Travel will be reimbursed on a per-mile basis as stipulated by the state of Texas. Travel reimbursement is based upon official state mileage from the SHSU Huntsville campus to the out-of-town teaching site and return. Travel vouchers should be submitted through channels one week prior to the end of a given month or semester.


7.01 Faculty members teaching off-campus have the same academic freedom and the same academic responsibility as those teaching on the main campus.

7.02 Requirements or competency level expectations for off-campus courses must be comparable to requirements for the same course when taught on-campus. Course requirements should include sufficient library assignments, term paper assignments, and tests to enable the instructor to assign discriminating grades at the completion of the course.

7.03 An off-campus instructor will furnish each student with a course outline or syllabus which provides needed information concerning the organization of the course, general course requirements, and textbooks.


8.01 Requests for scheduling off-campus facilities at Aldine High School, Conroe High School, and McCullough High School are coordinated by the associate vice president for academic services. Scheduling at all other locations are the responsibility of the department involved.


9.01 All new students or returning students who have not been continuously enrolled in SHSU must file an application for admission with the Admissions Office (undergraduate students) or with the appropriate academic dean's office (graduate and post-graduate students).

9.02 Students may register for off-campus courses by following the registration instructions as outlined in the official Schedule of Classes. Instructors will also be able to provide registration assistance during the first off-campus class meeting.

9.03 Each instructor will obtain from the Registrar's Office, prior to the first class meeting, a prepared packet of registration materials and instructions which they will use to assist students in completing registration.

9.04 Students must attend classes and sections as listed on the official class rosters. Students not on rosters cannot attend classes.

9.05 A student may drop a course or withdraw from the university without penalty during the early weeks of a semester or summer school. The last date for dropping or withdrawing without penalty is published in the graduate and undergraduate catalogues, and Schedule of Classes.

9.06 Drops or withdrawals after this penalty-free period are recorded as Q, WP, or WF indicating that the student was passing or failing at the time of the drop or withdrawal. A mark of Q, WP, or WF may not be assigned unless an official drop or withdrawal has been processed. The last date for dropping courses or withdrawing from the university is published in the graduate and undergraduate catalogues and Schedule of Classes.

9.07 Faculty members are responsible for meeting the classes assigned to them. Each instructor is expected to meet class punctually. Every effort should be made to notify students in advance of any deviation from scheduled class times.

9.08 Instructors should distribute to their students, in written form, information about attendance requirements, course requirements, office hours, grading procedures, and the method to be used in determining the course grade. This information should be kept on file by the department.


10.01 Regular and punctual class attendance is important to the attainment of the educational objectives of the university. The instructor should formulate an attendance policy consistent with department policies but suited to the needs of the particular off-campus course. The instructor's policy is to be in writing and explained in detail to the class at the beginning of the semester or summer session.

10.02 In the application of this policy to individual cases, the instructor is encouraged to consult with the department chair. However, determination of whether an absence is excused or approved is at the discretion of the instructor.


11.01 Effective classroom teaching necessitates the use of examinations both for the purpose of instruction and for evaluation of student achievement. The instructor as a diagnostician should utilize the type of tests pertinent to the evaluation sought.

11.02 Each instructor will determine and announce by the third class session the examination policy and approximate schedule. Examinations, other than make-up of final exams, are scheduled only during regular class periods.

11.03 Final examinations shall be administered and given in accordance with the official final examination schedule wherever possible. Exceptions shall be made only with the approval of the division/department chair and dean.


12.01 Examination grades and test papers should be returned to students within a reasonable time. Only under rare circumstances should written work be withheld from students until the end of the semester or summer session.

12.02 Grades and grading methods are subject to review by the appropriate department chair and dean when requested by a student.

12.03 Each instructor is responsible for turning in proper grade reports on all students who are officially certified as enrolled in class on the twelfth or fourth class day. These grades must be reported in accordance with the schedule as published in the graduate and undergraduate catalogues and Schedule of Classes.

12.04 Grades in off-campus courses are provided on the same basis as on the main campus.


13.01 The following guidelines for off-campus courses have been extracted from Section 5.152 of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules:

Off-campus resident credit courses will be comparable to those offered on-campus. They meet all the standards which this institution requires of those courses offered on-campus to regularly enrolled students.

At least one-third of the semester hours required for the degree program for any student enrolling in any of the proposed courses will be completed in course work on the campus, except in cases where the Coordinating Board approves the offering of an external degree.

All off-campus courses for resident credit will be administered by the same office or person administering the corresponding on-campus courses.

All students to be enrolled in the proposed courses will be admitted to the institution by the same procedures and under the same standards applicable to students enrolled on the campus.

Facilities for the proposed off-campus courses will be equivalent to or better than the facilities available for corresponding on-campus courses. All required classroom, laboratory and computer resources are certified as adequate for the courses they support.

All students registering in off-campus courses will have campus library privileges and have adequate library resources convenient for their use at the off-campus location.

All faculty members assigned to teach the off-campus courses will have prior or continuing significant annual involvement with this institution. Those assigned to teach graduate courses hold membership on the graduate faculty.

The teaching format (such things as syllabus, student-teacher ratio, student-to-student, and student-to-professor interaction) will be comparable to that on-campus. Faculty contact hours with each class will be equivalent to those for the same course when taught on-campus. The faculty member of record will teach each off-campus course.

Students' permanent records will indicate that each of the proposed courses was taken at an off-campus location.


Martin J. Anisman, President