Creation of a Task force for Developing System Policies Regarding On-line Degree Programs

AS-2989-10/AA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) urge the Chancellor to convene a Task force to study and recommend guidelines for online degree programs proposed by CSU campuses; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Task force should include representatives from CSU Academic Affairs staff, campuses (including Provosts, knowledgeable faculty members, Extended Education staff, academic technology experts, and students), and members of the ASCSU; and be it further

RESOLVED: That CSU Trustees be invited to serve on this Task force; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Task force be charged with studying policies regarding online degree programs at other multi-campus educational systems and other issues related to on-line education including the educational effectiveness of such programs, the impact of distance learning on maintaining a diverse student population, and the impact of distance learning on campus and system resources; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Task force also identify ways in which CSU campus faculty can best collaborate on the development and delivery of such degree programs; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Task force be also charged with formulating policy recommendations to the Chancellor’s Office for evaluating and sustaining such programs in the CSU, and be it further

: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, the CSU Chancellor, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate Chairs, CSU Provosts/VPAAs, and the California Faculty Association

RATIONALE: It is expected that the number of on-line degree programs offered by the California State University will be increasing over the next several years.  Much work has been done by the system on issues related to online learning (e.g. a Task force dealing with learning management systems and a recently constituted Task force looking at expansion of course and programs to better serve underserved areas and people through distance learning). Recently, the Legislative Analyst’s Office released the report The Master Plan at 50:  Using Distance Education to Increase College Access and Efficiency (see  This report highlights issues relative to distance learning and calls on the State’s public systems of higher education to look into ways that distance education can be used to better serve California’s students.

To date, there does not seem to have been an effort to develop criteria that can be used at the system level for deciding when a new on-line program should be approved.  Given the limitation of resources being faced by the CSU and the fact that online programs are not geographically constrained, it seems worthwhile that a task force be formed to examine this issue and offer recommendations.

Approved Without Dissent – January 20-21, 2011

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