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PS-03.A.33 - Continuing Education Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 13, 2012

ISSUE #: 1

PRESIDENT:​  William Flores

PURPOSE

This policy describes the role of Continuing Education (CE) in the mission of the University of Houston-Downtown, and it delineates the guidelines by which the CE Programs and curricula become established, operations are managed, and records are maintained.

DEFINITIONS 

2.1 Continuing Education Programs: Financially independent and self-sustaining organizational entities within Academic Affairs which offer curricula, certificate programs, extension courses, online courses or other self-supporting courses that are not for academic credit and for which fees are charged. Each program has a Director who manages it. The Program may or may not be part of an academic department or college. 

2.2 Continuing Education Curriculum: A group of related courses, designed to culminate in a specific body of knowledge or certificate, which are not for academic credit and for which fees are charged. 

2.3 Continuing Education Course: The guided study on a particular area of knowledge, which may or may not be part of a larger curriculum, which is not for academic credit, and for which the institution does not collect academic tuition or receive formula funding. 

2.4 Executive Director of Continuing Education: The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (hereinafter, Provost) or the administrator to whom the Provost delegates the supervision and coordination of Office of CE for the University. The Executive Director coordinates the efforts of all the Program Directors and serves as the supervisor of those Directors not supervised by a college or department. 

2.5 Continuing Education Council (CEC): The advisory body, chaired by the Executive Director and composed of Directors of CE programs and members appointed by the Provost, which meets regularly to advise the Provost on the conduct of CE programs and serves as a clearing house for CE ideas and proposals. 

2.6 Continuing Education Unit (CEU): Credit granted by CE programs for courses or curricula. These non-academic credits are authorized by the American National Standards Institute or other recognized national or international organizations. 

2.7 Continuing Professional Education Unit (CPE): Credit granted by CE programs for courses or curricula approved by the State of Texas or professional accrediting agencies. 

POLICY 

3.1 Scope: The provisions of this policy statement apply to all CE programs, curricula, and courses. 

3.2 Principles: 

3.2.1 Consistent with its educational mission, the University of Houston-Downtown, in addition to the credit courses offered in the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs, offers CE to the public. 

3.2.2 CE is under the authority of the Provost, who appoints the Executive Director of Continuing Education. 

3.2.3 CE instruction may be offered in a variety of settings (on campus, off campus, online, and so on) consistent with best educational practices. 

3.2.4 Because each CE program may vary in population served and course or curriculum delivered, each program establishes, under the guidance and approval of the Executive Director, its own written program operating procedures which set the calendars, the forms and formats, the processes and procedures, and the reporting structure required to meet the guidelines set forth in this policy statement. 

3.2.5 Pursuant to Section 54.545 of the Texas Education Code, each participant registered in a UHD CE course will be charged a reasonable fee which is set in an amount sufficient to recover the cost of providing the course. That cost includes approved charges directed to reimburse administrative units for the support or facilities that they provide to the CE program. 

3.3 The Continuing Education Council (CEC) 

3.3.1 The CEC has primary responsibility for recommending to the Provost those policies and procedures which directly affect the CE programs. 

3.3.2 The CEC meets at least quarterly to review issues in CE and makes recommendations to the Provost concerning, but not limited to, the following areas: existing or prospective CE programs, governance and organization of CE programs, the viability of proposed new programming or curricular delivery systems, and the CE needs of the university and general public. 

3.3.3 New programs or curricula will be vetted by the CEC for quality, risk, and benefit to the university, and the CEC will provide its recommendations to the Provost. 

3.3.4 Courses or programs developed to answer immediate needs or opportunities are not to be delayed in implementation if the need arises between CEC meetings. Such courses or programs must be approved by the Provost, who will consult with the President concerning fees. Such programs will be brought to the next CEC meeting for review. 

3.3.5 New proposals for programs requiring but having no source of seed money may be taken on by CE directors who are to share the attending risk and possible profits and who will provide overall leadership for such programs. In this way, such programs will have university governance until such time as they become CE programs in their own right. 

3.4 Turn-key programs 

3.4.1 A turn-key program developed by an individual or an organization as a curriculum or course complete in content, materials, staffing, and attendant program procedures but which requires university facilities and certification may be accepted as part of the University’s CE offerings, as long as the program reflects the university’s mission and purpose, and is vetted for quality by the Executive Director in consultation with the CEC. 

3.4.2 A turn-key program may be offered by an existing CE program under the supervision of its Director, or it may be offered by a temporary CE program, created by the Executive Director just for the particular turn-key program. 

3.5 Off-campus Programs 

3.5.1 CE Programs may offer curricula or courses off-campus, as well as in University provided facilities. All curricula and courses are subject to the same standards and rules, whether offered on campus or off campus. 

3.5.2 Cost analysis reports for off-campus programs must include the additional costs of facilities, transportation of staff and instructors, and any other pertinent costs specific to off-campus operations. 

3.6 CE Fees and Financial Matters 

3.6.1 The Executive Director in consultation with CE Program Directors will propose to the Provost fees for CE curricula/courses, including the basis for the charges and the proposed distribution of the funds. The Provost may approve or modify these proposed charges and distributions and present a recommendation to the President. The President has the final authority to approve CE fees/tuitions. Information regarding fees charged for CE courses will be maintained in the Office of Academic Affairs. 

3.6.2 The cost basis for a proposed fee should include, but not be limited to the following: all incremental costs of creating, marketing and delivering the course including salaries and applicable benefits for staff, faculty, and other instructional personnel, travel costs for both staff and instructional personnel; all facility charges including appropriate administrative overhead charges (i.e. institutional support, information technology support, library support, central administration/office support); charges for provision, maintenance and necessary upgrades of required equipment and software used by course participants or required to support the course offering; charges for textbooks, materials and supplies if provided directly to participants; miscellaneous costs including postage, fax and telephone expenses; and, for certain courses, the cost of supplemental seminars, events and activities required of participants. 

3.6.3 CE Programs charge students the fees for their courses and manage the receivables from those charges. These programs are required to maintain a separate set of financial records that must be reconciled to the University’s financial records in PeopleSoft Finance (PS). 

3.6.4 CE Programs will normally do business on a cash basis in that all fees must be paid before the start of the class. However, CE Programs may extend credit to course participants if it is considered appropriate, collectible, not prohibited by the State, and proper documentation of the transaction is maintained by utilizing the procedures outlined in this Policy Statement or governed by the contract in place. Billing, accounting and collections procedures shall be followed and documented. 

3.7 Assessment, Quality Assurance, and CE Credits 

3.7.1 Like all offices and instructional areas of the University, CE Programs are expected to incorporate appropriate measures of success in the delivery of their educational content and to use data derived from assessment to assure the quality of their curricula. 

3.7.2 Assessment measures should be built into any course offering or program, and reporting to the Executive Director on assessment results is part of the duty of every CE Director. 

3.7.3 CEUs will be issued by CE Programs in accordance with guidelines established by the American Standards Institute or other recognized national or international organizations. 

3.7.4 CPEs will be issued by CE Programs in accordance with guidelines established by the State of Texas Agency charged with approving CPE providers or professional accrediting agencies. 

3.8 Legal Matters and Public Affairs

3.8.1 CE Programs will follow all University policies on the execution of contracts and establishing vendors.

3.8.2 In their advertising and other materials, CE Programs should adhere to the University’s graphic standards. All such materials should include appropriate University authorized statements of compliance and disclaimers. 

PROCEDURES 

4.1 Financial Procedures 

4.1.1 Each CE Program will create and maintain financial records for each class to include student information, the charges for that student and the payment dates, method of payment, the receipt number for payment deposit, and the balance due. These records will be maintained for a period of 24 months after class/program is completed and the balance due is $0, whichever is longer. 

4.1.2 Payments are to be made at the Cashier’s Office by the designated date of the class/program. The receipt (currently the Banner receipt) must be returned to the Program office for recording. 

4.1.2.1 The Program should maintain a copy of the receipt and ensure that all deposits are reconciled between the unit records and PS Finance at closing of each month, maintaining documentation of all reconciliations in accordance with the Accounts Verification Policy, PS 05.A.14

4.1.2.2 On occasion, CE Programs may collect the payments within the Program instead of utilizing the Cashier’s Office. When this occurs, Programs must adhere to the UHD Cash Handling Policy, PS 05.A.18​​, to ensure the proper handling of cash, checks and credit card information. Programs will then reconcile these deposits between the unit records and PS Finance. 

4.1.3 If a payment plan is extended to an individual participant or organization for a CE curriculum/course, the participant/vendor completes and signs the University’s approved Payment Schedule form. The payment schedule outlines the due dates of future payments. Differing processes must be documented within unit operating procedures. 

4.1.3.1 If credit is being extended to an outside company, university or agency, a purchase order, letter of credit or other form of documentation indicating the amount approved for payment and payment terms should be obtained from the outside entity. The CE Program should keep copies of such documents and maintain a detailed record of all credit extensions, the amount and payments received via program records and PS Finance. The CE Program should ensure that the agreed upon payments are made and take adequate steps to collect all amounts due. 

4.1.3.2 All deposits of funds collected in payments of the accounts that received credit must be deposited in the Cashier’s Office using the appropriate coding so as to automatically reduce the receivable in PS Finance. The CE Program will reconcile the unit records with PS Finance to ensure all deposits are posted. 

4.1.4 Each month the Office of Business Affairs will prepare entries needed in PS Finance to record any outstanding accounts receivable balances, unrecorded revenues and entries to credit the reserve for doubtful accounts. The CE Program shall forward copies of each class record to the Business Affairs office at regular intervals based on the program/course. 

4.1.4.1 Copies of promissory notes, purchase orders, letters of credit or other documents used for the extension of credit, and detail of any payments received may be required in order to write the necessary financial entries by Business Affairs. 

4.1.4.2 Business Affairs will reconcile the accounts receivables each month to ensure payments are applied to the accounts receivable balance and the amounts reported are correct. 

4.1.5 The Vice President for Finance and Administration, Budget Office and Business Affairs shall monitor fee income and expenditure as a part of the monthly university budget, comparing it to prior year actual income and expenditure reports. 

4.1.6 CE Programs are to complete an annual break-even cost analysis report of revenues and expenses for existing or new programs to determine cost effectiveness. This report is to be completed within 60 days of the 998 closing period for the fiscal year. The annual report must be certified by the Academic Affairs Division administrator and approved by the Provost. 

4.2 New Programming

4.2.1 New programming proposals submitted to the CEC will include a program description and purpose, a delineation of the sources of seed money for set up, advertising and personnel, facility needs, projected income for a one-year and three-year period, a break-even analysis, the proposed fee/tuition, the type of certification provided at program end, proposed personnel, a description of the plan for assessment, and all other salient features of the course/program. 

4.2.2 The CEC will provide its recommendations to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost for new programming or the Executive Director may implement new programming, as opportunity presents itself and the project is judged advisable within the institutional mission. The Executive Director will advise the CEC of new programming at the next quarterly meeting and seek the members’ comments and advice. 

4.2.3 New proposals for programs requiring but having no source of seed money may be taken on by CE directors who are to share the attending risk and possible profits and who will provide overall leadership for such programs. In this way, such programs will have university governance until such time as they become CE programs in their own right.

EXHIBITS

There are no exhibits associated with this policy. 

REVIEW PROCESS

Responsible Parties: Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Review: Every three years on or before June 1st .

Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations.

POLICY HISTORY

This is the first issue of this policy.

REFERENCES

Texas Education Code, Section 54.545

PS 05.A.14

PS 05.A.18

Last updated 3/14/2022 6:33 PM