Proposed Revisions to 304.2 - Continuing Education; Non-credit Programs



Board policy:


            1.  Direct costs for non-credit continuing education programs, whether designated non-credit or CEU programs, shall be self-supporting through collected fees or designated funds.


            2.  Indirect costs of non-credit continuing education programs shall be funded from collected fees or designated funds or in part through the current unrestricted operating funds of the unit.


            3.  Enrollment in continuing education non-credit programs shall not be counted and reported as part of each unit's regular enrollment, but shall be reported to the Commissioner of Higher Education under guidelines to be established by the Commissioner.


            4.  The units of Montana University System are authorized to award the Continuing Education Unit (CEU) as part of their continuing education programs.


            5.  Units of Montana University System shall maintain their present activities in continuing education and strengthen the cooperative effort among the six campuses, the colleges of technology, the community colleges and the private colleges.


            6.  Each unit campus shall establish procedures for the academic approval of continuing education non-credit offerings.


            7.  Credit options may be available for non-credit programs if the credit is approved by the appropriate academic unit.  The total charge for credit option programs must be equal to or greater than the Board of Regents fee per credit hour for an equivalent number of hours.  Exceptions to this fee structure may be granted by the Commissioner of Higher Education.


            8.  If a course is proposed to be offered in a community, the institution located closest to that community shall be notified so that it can respond to the course proposal assuming the course falls within the role and scope of the closest institution.  If that institution is unable or unwilling to respond to the course proposal the proposing unit may offer the course.  Adjunct professors shall be supervised by the unit offering the course.  The university units should include the private colleges, community colleges and vocational/technical centers the colleges of technology in the administration of this policy.


            9.  No unit institution shall withhold approval unless it actually plans to offer an essentially equivalent course in the same semester and in a location reasonably accessible to the same clientele.


            10. Where possible, plans should be made to deliver structured educational programs rather than individual courses.



            11. In courses in which veterans who are eligible for fee waivers are enrolled, the minimum class size may be increased by the number of such veterans.


            12. The awarding of Continuing Education Units will be confined to those significant learning experiences at the postsecondary level for which academic credit is not traditionally awarded but which are of sufficient professional, technical or vocational stature as to merit some kind of



Administrative procedures:


            When any unit campus of the Montana University System receives a request for a course, workshop, program, etc., which is not within the assigned role and scope mission of that unit campus, the following procedures should be used.


I.  The continuing education department receiving the request should:


            A.         Inform the person making the request that someone from the University System will contact them in the near future.


            B.         Contact the institution with the role and scope designation who appropriate mission shall assume full responsibility for further follow-up of the request.


II. The continuing education department with the role and scope mission designation shall respond to the request for the continuing education activity by:


            A.         Determining the feasibility and/or appropriateness of the requested proposal.


            B.         Determining the method of delivery.


            Contact with the person making the request may be necessary to obtain the information needed about the program.  Regardless of the circumstances the person making the request should be contacted as soon as possible but no later than one week.


Activities which are multidisciplinary may be offered by an institution if the primary emphasis of the activity falls within the institution's role and scope mission.  For example, The University of Montana could offer a workshop on "The Law and Nursing" provided the emphasis of the workshop is on law and not upon the practice of nursing.


            A.         An institution planning multidisciplinary activities should inform the other institutions with component role and scope programs.  Joint sponsorship may be an advantage.


    B.         Approval by the other institution is not required provided the primary emphasis of the activity falls within the sponsoring institution's role and scope mission.


Options for Delivery.


            The institution with the role and scope mission designation determines one of the four delivery systems as follows:


            A.         The role and scope unit mission institution delivers the complete program.


            B.         There is equal division of responsibilities and equal division of finances by co-sponsoring institutions.  The institution with the role and scope mission designation will control the assignment of responsibilities; the other institution has the option of accepting or rejecting those terms.


            C.         The institution with the role and scope mission designation accepts major program responsibilities, but contracts with the institution receiving the request for some services.  The services and fees may vary and are agreed upon in writing.


            D.         The role and scope unit mission institution permits the institution originally contacted to develop and provide the program.  However, granting and recording the credit is the role and scope unit's mission institution’s responsibility.  Written permission is granted to the proposed sponsoring institution by the institution with the role and scope mission designation.  Restrictions and terms should also be specified in writing at that time.


            If the institution with the role and scope mission designation determines that the proposed program is not appropriate then no unit of the system institution under the authority of the Regents will offer the program unless it is reviewed and approved by the Office of the Commissioner.




            1.  One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction.  Continuing Education Units are not applicable to, nor can they be translated into, credits for a degree.  This does not alter the prerogative of faculties to grant academic credit for nontraditional educational experiences such as CLEP, examination challenges, etc.


            2.  Direct costs are defined as the instructional costs associated with an individual course, such as instructor stipend, travel costs, rental of space for the course, and promotion of the course.



                Item 8-001-R0675, June 9, 1975 (Rescinded);  Continuing Education Recommendations Approved by the Board of Regents July 12, 1976 (Rescinded); Item 17-008-R0777, July 11, 1977, as revised April 11, 1978, and November 2, 1979, Board of Regents Minutes, December 12, 1978, Administrative regulations, March 27, 1984.