Department Chair

Are all online courses considered distance education?

While teaching online is certainly a type of distance education delivery, an online class can be classified as “Main Campus” or “Distance Education Campus” in Banner which will dictate the tuition that is charged. Online courses taught as part of a distance education program are usually classified as “Distance Education Campus.” Extended Academic Programs can give some advice about how the different campus codes can be best implemented. 


Are our off-campus site instructors paid a stipend, in addition to their regular teaching salary, to teach off-campus?

In fall and spring semesters, academic departments are responsible for instructor salaries for both on-campus and distance education courses, so this is a decision to be made within your department.

In Summer Sessions, 12-month salaried faculty and staff are not eligible for summer session salary. However, other eligible instructors teaching Summer Sessions courses offered as part of one of ExAP’s distance education programs are paid a teaching stipend by ExAP in accordance with Univeristy Policy 101.15 Additional Compensation for Professional Services to the University.  


Can we be certain our online courses have the same academic standards & accessibility as our on-campus courses?

Our office subscribes to the Quality Matters Program (QM),  QM Program, which provides a rubric for measuring quality of a course.  You can use the rubric in the planning, design, and review process for any of your courses.


How can our instructors receive training to develop and teach online courses?

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) provides training and instructional design support for all UNC Charlotte faculty members.


How much time do we need before we can begin delivering the program?


Distance education programs cannot be marketed until Extended Academic Programs has full SACS and UNC General Administration program approvals.  These distance education approvals are typically in addition to approvals for the same on-campus programs. Therefore program discussions with Extended Academic Programs should begin a minimum of one year prior to your anticipated program initiation date to allow time for approvals and appropriate marketing.  


Our program is offered at an off-campus site. Who pays the mileage for the instructors to travel to the site?

Academic departments are responsible for instructor mileage reimbursements.


The instructor at our program’s off-campus site has requested a room change. Does EXAP need to know?

Definitely!  Contact the Senior Program Manager.  No room changes should be made without prior approval from Extended Academic Programs.  We develop off-campus site facility use contracts and pay these facility use charges, so we need to be made aware of any change requests immediately.


We are offering a face-to-face program off-campus, but want to change sites. Do we have to let anyone know?

Definitely!  Contact the Senior Program Manager as soon as you are considering the change. Sites cannot be changed without SACS approval.  Extended Academic Programs develops off-campus site facility use contracts and pays these facility use charges, so we need to be made aware of any change requests immediately.



What are the first steps if my department chooses to offer a distance education program?

  • Assure the program and its courses are formally approved by UNC Charlotte’s Faculty Council.
  • Contact the Distance Education Department at 1-877-583-2966 or via email for initial planning and discussion of proposed program.
  • Obtain your Dean’s approval to offer the program as a distance education program.
  • Consider if you want to deliver the program through an online method, through face-to-face instruction at an off-campus site or as a hybrid program, a combination of the two.
  • Consider if the program audience should be only in-state or if the program can be advertised nationally and/or internationally.
  • Consider the number of distance education program students your department has the faculty to support; and, if you have a comparable on-campus, consider how a distance education program will impact you on-campus enrollments.
  • Frequent communication with the Distance Education Department.


What is Extended Academic Programs’ role in managing our distance education program?

Senior Program Managers manage distance education programs and their responsibilities include:

  • Initial program planning discussions
  • Continual communication with the academic department chair, the academic advisor, and the academic staff member responsible for scheduling courses
  • Market research
  • Developing and implementing a program marketing plan
  • Providing inquirers and students with program information through marketing materials and at our distance education website
  • Serving as a student services contact
  • Distance education program enrollment management
  • Annual formal evaluation of distance education programs as required by SACS


What is our department responsible for after the program is initiated?

Academic departments are responsible for:

  • Providing distance education advising
  • Including distance education courses in their departmental course scheduling so these courses are available to distance education students in the sequence communicated in marketing materials and on the distance education website
  • Communicating any distance education program changes to the Senior Program Manager


What resources are available to help us meet ADA requirements?

Extended Academic Programs expects instructors developing and teaching online courses to develop the courses and prepare online content to meet minimum ADA accommodation requirements even if no disabled students are currently enrolled (See Inside Higher Ed).  The Office of Disability Services can determine if your course meets these minimum standards. The Center for Teaching and Learning is also a valuable resource to assist you in adapting your course to meet accommodation requirements.


Who is responsible for SACS approvals?

A Senior Program Manager, in Extended Academic Programs, is assigned to each distance education program and guides the approval process; however, the academic department is actively involved in providing documentation for SACS and UNC General Administration distance education approval.


Who owns the online course product?

UNC Charlotte’s Copyright Policy gives direction on works created by faculty. In general, the academic department will retain the right to use the online course in its delivery of instruction to enrolled UNC Charlotte students.  The faculty member who developed the course will also retain the right to use the course package.


Who pays our faculty to develop the program’s online courses?


The academic department, the Director of Credit Programs, and the Senior Program Manager will discuss the departmental and Extended Academic Programs’ resources available to fund the program’s course development as well as the program’s course sequence and course development timeline.