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Extended Learning's Roles and Responsibilites | Policies | CSUSM

Extended Learning's Roles and Responsibilites

Definition: A policy describing the roles and responsibilities of Extended Learning with regard to for-credit and not-for-credit programs. Describes the review and reporting relationship between faculty and Extended Learning in academic matters.
Authority: President of CSU San Marcos
Scope: Credit and non-credit courses offered by Extended Learning.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 06/27/2012
Originally Implemented: 05/05/1999
Signature Page/PDF: View Extended Learning's Roles and Responsibilites Policy



The Extended Learning program at California State University San Marcos provides increased access to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education and thereby contributes to the lifelong learning opportunity of students and community members, and to the continued health and economy of the communities served by the university.

As an educational unit of the university, Extended Learning is subject to the regulations of the State of California, the California State University, and CSU San Marcos. This document provides guidance for implementation of the applicable regulations and covers the following types of instruction.

A. Courses that may be used to satisfy requirements for a degree awarded by the university (university credit courses) – these include:

  1. Special session courses:  Courses listed in the university's catalog and offered in special sessions utilizing alternative times, locations, or modes of delivery.
  2. Contract credit/Special session courses:  Courses carrying university credit, approved/established by an academic department and approved by the Academic Senate, but not listed in the university’s catalog, which are designed primarily to address the needs of a specified client group or audience.
  3. Open University courses:  Courses offered to non-matriculated students on a space-available basis.

B. Courses that may not be used to satisfy requirements for a degree awarded by the university (noncredit courses) – these include, but are not limited to:

  1. Courses which lead to certification of particular skills.
  2. Courses intended for professional development that award continuing education units.
  3. Courses which serve the intellectual and avocational interests of members of the community.

C. Courses that award university credit that may not be used to satisfy requirements for a degree awarded by the university (extension credit).


  • University credit courses and programs offered through Extended Learning must have been approved through the standard curriculum review and approval process. The offering of such courses through Extended Learning must be approved by the Dean (or designee) of the College offering the courses and the Dean of Extended Learning (or designee). The offering of such programs through Extended Learning must be approved by the Dean (or designee) of the College offering the programs, the Dean of Extended Learning (or designee), the CSUSM Academic Senate (via a policy to be developed by the BLP), and the President (or designee).
  • Instructors who teach Extended Learning courses offered for university credit must be approved in advance and in writing by the department chair or program director of the appropriate discipline and the appropriate college/library Dean each time a course is taught.
  • credit courses offered through Extended Learning shall be evaluated in the same manner as courses offered through state-support. Copies of evaluations shall be provided to the instructor, the appropriate department chair or program director, and the appropriate college/library Dean offering the courses.
  • Only non-matriculated students may enroll in courses available through the Extended Learning Open University program. Students who have been disenrolled from the university may enroll in Open University courses only with the prior permission of Enrollment Services and course instructor.


A. Extension credit provides non-degree units and allows CSUSM to offer a wider array of credit courses to a larger audience and have these units appear on a CSU transcript.  These are typically professional advancement courses that are credit worthy, but not applicable to a degree or part of the standard CSUSM curriculum.  These courses are developed to meet special needs of particular groups or communities, e.g. K-12 teachers; the extension credit that they confer denotes an investment of time and accomplishment comparable to that required in established university courses.

B. Courses that carry extension credit are numbered in a series other than those used for university degree courses and carry the prefix of the corresponding CSUSM department.  Extension credit courses are not listed in the academic catalog.

C. All such courses and instructors require the review and approval of the corresponding college/department, in a manner similar to that which special session and/or special topics courses require.


A. Non-degree credit courses offered by Extended Learning may award continuing education units, 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 award of a degree.

B. Non-degree credit courses offered by Extended Learning are subject to the approval of the Dean of Extended Learning and the President or designee but are not subject to approval by the CSUSM Academic Senate.

  1. When planning a course or program for non-degree credit, Extended Learning shall inform the Deans and/or designee of the appropriate colleges/library, who shall notify the faculty of the appropriate disciplines. The communication shall specify the course or program’s:
    • purpose;
    • intended audience;
    • content;
    • instructor qualifications; and
    • sites and facilities.
  2. Each time it offers a non-degree credit course, Extended Learning shall consider:
    • the appropriateness of intended sites and facilities;
    • the qualifications, teaching interests, and availability of CSU San Marcos faculty members in the appropriate disciplines; and
    • the qualifications, teaching interests, and availability of lecturers for the course.
  3. Extended Learning will contract directly with instructors of courses offered as non-degree credit.
  4. Extended Learning will obtain student evaluations of each Extended Learning non-degree credit course and will provide copies to the instructor. Evaluations will be retained for three years and will be available for inspection by the Dean of Extended Learning and other university personnel in accordance with applicable campus policies.


A. The Dean of Extended Learning will provide by the end of September of each year to the Provost and Chair of the Academic Senate a report of the progress of Extended Learning, including an overview of the types of courses and programs offered, enrollment data, their collaboration with academic departments, locations of where the courses or programs were held, and an assessment of the success of these programs in meeting the unit's goals and objectives. This report will provide an assessment of the prior fiscal year's activities and a self-evaluation, which addresses:

  • the quality of the Extended Learning programs and courses;
  • the adequacy of the curriculum in meeting the needs of students and the community; and
  • the adequacy of the sites and facilities used.

B. As a way to seek the active collaboration and consultation of the Academic Senate in course and program planning and evaluation, Extended Learning will include at least one Senate-appointed faculty member from each college and one from the Library to serve on its Program Advisory Council.