Several assumptions are central to these principles:
- The program or course offered electronically is provided by or through an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.
- The institution's programs and courses holding specialized accreditation meet the same requirements when offered electronically.
- The "institution" may be a single institution or a consortium of such institutions.
- These principles are generally applicable to degree or certificate programs and to courses offered for academic credit.
- It is the institution's responsibility to review educational programs and courses it provides electronically and certify continued compliance with these principles.
- Institutions offering programs or for-credit courses are responsible for satisfying all in-state approval and accreditation requirements before students are enrolled.
Curriculum and Instruction
- Benefits of online education are each program or course results in learning outcomes appropriate to the rigor and breadth of the degree or certificate awarded.
- A degree or certificate program or course offered electronically is coherent and complete.
- The program or course provides for appropriate interaction between faculty and students and among students. Qualified faculty provide appropriate oversight of the program or course that is offered electronically.
- Programs or courses offered electronically are offered on the campus of the institution where the programs or courses originate.
- Academic standards for all programs or courses offered electronically will be the same as those for programs or courses delivered by other means at the institution where the program or course originates.
- Student learning in programs or courses delivered electronically should be comparable to student learning in programs offered at the campus where programs or courses originate.
Institutional Context and Commitment
- The program or course is consistent with the institution's role and mission.
- Review and approval processes ensure the appropriateness of the technology being used to meet the objectives of the program or course.
Students and Student Services
- Program or course announcements and electronic catalog entries provide appropriate information.
- The program or course provides students with clear, complete, and timely information on the curriculum, course and degree requirements, nature of faculty/student interaction, assumptions about technological competence and skills, technical equipment requirements, availability of academic support services and financial aid resources, and costs and payment policies.
- Enrolled students have reasonable and adequate access to the range of student services and student rights appropriate to support their learning.
- The institution has admission/acceptance criteria in place to assess the extent to which a student has the background, knowledge and technical skills required to undertake the program or course.
- Advertising, recruiting, and admissions materials clearly and accurately represent the program or course and the services available.
- The program or course provides faculty support services specifically related to teaching via an electronic system.
- The institution assures appropriate training for faculty who teach via the use of technology.
- The institution provides adequate equipment, software, and communications access to faculty to support interaction with students, institutions, and other faculty.
Resources for Learning
- The institution ensures that appropriate learning resources are available to students.
- The institution evaluates the adequacy of, and the cost to students for, access to learning resources and documents the use of electronic resources.
Commitment to Support
- Policies for faculty evaluation include appropriate recognition of teaching scholarly activities related to programs or courses offered electronically.
- The institution demonstrates a commitment to ongoing support, both financial and technical, and to continuation of the program or course for a period of time reasonable and sufficient for students to complete the course or program.
Evaluation and Assessment
- The institution evaluates the program's or course's educational effectiveness, including assessments of student learning outcomes, student retention, and student and faculty satisfaction.
- At the completion of the program or course, the institution provides for assessment and documentation of student achievement in each course.