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Distance Delivered and Off-Campus Programs

Distance delivery of courses and programs allows access to quality higher education to students who are unable to enroll in campus-based courses. Further, distance learning technologies strengthen and augment good teaching and life-long learning. Distance learning creates new opportunities to investigate learning styles and pedagogy. It can create more flexible and accessible opportunities for student learning. It creates new opportunities for collaboration within and across academic disciplines and between researchers, teachers, instructional support specialists, and learners. Learning through distance technology will continue to increase in importance as both a primary mechanism for the delivery of educational programs, as well as a supplement to traditional methods of instruction.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa established the Mānoa Distance Learning Committee (MDLC) in August 2001, which together with colleges and individual departments insures that the institution provides high quality programs via modern distance technologies. The Mānoa Distance Learning Committee consists of faculty, staff, and administrators who are appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Mānoa Substantive Change Review Committee, an MDLC subcommittee, reviews all distance learning proposals that come from the Mānoa campus.

The Accrediting Commission of the Western Association of Senior Colleges (WASC) requires that all degree programs be approved by the WASC Substantive Change Committee if 50% or more of the program is delivered off-campus or via distance modalities.

Approval Process

(Note: BOR approval is required for all new programs prior to submitting a distance proposal.)

Approval Process
  1. Department assesses program coherence, pedagogy, content, learning objectives, faculty support, and quality of delivery.
  2. Review and approval by appropriate unit’s program and curriculum committee and dean.
  3. OVCAA transmits proposal to Graduate Education (for graduate programs only) and to the Mānoa Distance Learning Committee for review and recommendation.
  4. Review and approval by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  5. Review and approval by the WASC Substantive Change Committee. WASC approval of distance and off-campus programs is required before the programs can be implemented.


Program Review and Assessment of Distance Delivered and Off-Campus Programs

All programs provided through distance technology are subject to the same requirements of program review as proscribed by UH Executive Policies E5.201, Approval of New Academic Programs and Review of Provisional Academic Programs, and E5.202, Review of Established Programs". This assures that the faculty and administration will periodically evaluate all programs, independent of the mode of delivery. The assessment of student learning outcomes is a critical component of the program review process.

UH Executive Policy E5.204, Distance Learning Plans, Policies, and Procedures, establishes broad policy guidelines for distance learning at the University of Hawaiʻi. Assessment is also mandated by UH Executive Policy E5.210, Institutional Accountability and Performance.