Frequently asked questions


Yes. If the number of course modifications result in an increase in the proportion of program courses delivered online to 50% or more of the program courses, the program will become designated a distance learning (DL) program as defined by WSCUC. At the point where programs reach the 50% threshold for online courses, WSCUC requires a Substantive Change Review. In this review, WSCUC staff review a program screening form to determine whether a substantial departure from the original program has taken place. If the WSCUC staff deems that the change does not require review, the program is approved and added as a DL program on the NPS program list in the WSCUC portal in order to achieve and maintain accreditation. 

The ALO has developed an intake form to assist with this process.

Distance Education is defined as:

Education that uses one or more of the technologies listed below to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor or instructors and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor or instructors, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies that may be used to offer distance education include:

The internet;
One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable microwave, broadband, fiber optic, satellite, or wireless communication devices; Audioconference; Other media used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in this definition.
For the purposes of this definition, substantive interaction is engaging students in teaching, learning, and assessment, consistent with the content under discussion, and also include at least two of the following:

Providing direct instruction;
Assessing or providing feedback on a student's coursework; Providing information or responding to questions about the content of a course or competency; Facilitating a group discussion regarding the content of a course or competency; Other instructional activities approved by the institution's or program's accrediting agency. 

(Distance education definition adopted from Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR ยง 600.2)

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