Extended Learning is an outreach unit of the university that makes the resources of the institution available in a variety of ways. It provides a flexible framework for courses, and activities that are outside the traditional university structure. These courses are delivered primarily to teachers for the purpose of continued licensure. VCSU was approved by The Higher Learning Commission in 2009 to offer an unlimited number of these credits to educators.

Extended Learning functions as an administrative, financial, and assessment entity responsible for supporting professional and continuing education activities held on and off the university campus. It oversees extended learning classroom quality and facilitates marketing strategies. Extended Learning is responsible for the collection and disbursement of fees associated with university sponsored or co-sponsored professional and continuing education activities. While fees are collected for these activities, some activities have other sources of financial support.

Policies and Procedures for Professional Development Courses (Course number 2000)

The following policies and procedures guide decision-making for Extended Learning in reference to "700" professional development courses. These policies establish minimum standards and qualifications which courses may exceed. Please refer to the Extended Learning website (https://www.vcsu.edu/academics/continuing-education/) for specific information and resources. Policies 1.0 through 3.0 are oriented toward the institution and faculty. Policies 4.0 are oriented toward the student.


1.0 Procedures

2.0 Graduate Professional Development Instructors

3.0 Course Requirements

4.0 Student Enrollment

1.0 Procedures

1.1 Course Numbering

  • 1.1.1 The course number used for graduate professional development courses is 2000. Prefixes determine which department is responsible for approval of the course based on its content.
  • 1.1.2Graduate courses recorded with a 2000 number may not be used as part of a degree program at VCSU.

1.2 Course Proposals

  • 1.2.1 A course proposal form is required for all graduate professional development courses. Instructors intending to teach a graduate professional development course must submit a course proposal form and course syllabus or outline PRIOR to delivery of the course.
  • 1.2.2 Professional development course proposal forms require approval by the department providing the subject for the course.
  • 1.2.3 Professional development course proposal forms require approval by the Dean for Graduate Studies and Extended Learning PRIOR to the delivery of the course. If approvals are not recorded in advance of the course, registration is not available, and credit will not be granted.
  • 1.2.4 VCSU must abide by individual state distance education regulations which may prevent approval of courses if they are intended to be offered in other states. Students from particular states may not be allowed to enroll in online extended learning courses depending on VCSU’s current approval status for that state. More information can be found at https://onestop.vcsu.edu/support/solutions/articles/10000052667.

1.3 Course Fees

  • 1.3.1 Extended Learning courses which impart no financial burden on the institution may be charged a recording or grading fee only.
  • 1.3.2 A technology fee may be charged for online professional development courses supported by VCSU technology.
  • 1.3.3 Other course fees may be charged as determined.
  • 1.3.4 The fee(s) charged for graduate professional development courses is allocated and distributed to help defray costs for creating, maintaining, and delivering the courses.
  • 1.3.5 Fees paid to faculty will be stated in a contract with the faculty member.

1.4 Course Assessment

  • 1.4.1 Courses offered through Extended Learning will be assessed based on the course and campus-wide assessment plan of the University.
  • 1.4.2 Courses may be offered for credit or as non-credit.
  • 1.4.3 Course may be graded by using letter grades or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
  • 1.4.4 Graduate professional development courses are not available for audit.

2.0 Graduate Professional Development Instructors

  • 2.0.1 Instructors teaching graduate professional development courses must hold a master’s degree or higher.
  • 2.0.2 Graduate professional development courses taught by VCSU faculty are taught outside the traditional load of the faculty member.
  • 2.0.3 Résumés must be on file in the Extended Learning office for all instructors who are not currently VCSU faculty before the beginning of the course.
  • 2.0.4 Guest lecturers may be used, but may teach no more than 25% of the course.
  • 2.0.5 At least 75% of a course must be taught by an individual with an advanced degree.

3.0 Course Requirements

3.1 Syllabus

  • 3.1.1 A syllabus or course outline must be submitted with each course proposal and should follow the professional development outline format.

3.2 Grading

  • 3.2.1 Courses may be offered in either an S & U or graded format. Faculty requesting the graded format must include a grading rubric with the course proposal.
  • 3.2.2 The grading rubric should contain expectations for each course objective that reflect the decisions the instructor will make about the student's work to determine each particular letter grade.

3.3 Course Delivery

  • 3.3.1 Face-to-face courses require 15 instructor contact hours for each credit hour. In addition, out of class study time of two hours for each contact hour or 30 hours is expected. Courses that offer credit for conferences require a paper upon completion and a student log of sessions attended, according to North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board.
  • 3.3.2 Online courses are expected to require the same amount of student effort as face-to-face courses.

4.0Student Enrollment

4.1 Admission

  • 4.1.1 Admission to VCSU is not required for enrollment in a professional development course; and enrollment does not ensure admission to VCSU. Individuals interested in enrolling in degree eligible credit activities must complete application procedures through the Graduate School Office.

4.2 Registration

  • 4.2.1 Graduate professional development courses are not degree eligible.
  • 4.2.2 Students are required to fill out the online Professional Development Registration for admittance into the course on the Extended Learning website available until the end of the first day of the event.
  • 4.2.3 Students registering for an Extended Learning graduate professional development course must have a bachelor’s degree, with the exception of students holding or pursuing a North Dakota Career and Technical Education license. Individuals who have not completed an undergraduate degree may not take dual-listed courses between graduate and undergraduate levels for graduate credit.
  • 4.2.4 Registrations to receive credit for the course will not be accepted after the event has been completed or grades have been posted.

4.3 State Authorization Regulations

  • VCSU Extended Learning must follow state authorization regulations which may not allow students from particular states to enroll in the courses. More current information is available on the VCSU Distance Learning webpage (http://onestop.vcsu.edu/support/solutions/articles/10000052667).

4.4 Cancelation of Registration

  • 4.4.1 Withdrawals must be completed through the office of Extended Learning.
  • 4.4.2 Withdrawals are not accepted after the first day of the course.
  • 4.4.3 Refunds are contingent on the VCSU policy.

4.5 Fees

  • 4.5.1 There will be no out-of-state tuition rate
  • 4.5.2 Tuition waivers may not be applied to extended learning courses.
  • 4.5.3 There will be no admission fee charged for extended learning courses as they will not count toward a program.
  • 4.5.4 Other fees may be charged based on self-support procedures.
  • 4.5.5 Payment is due at the time of registration and may be paid through VCSU’s secure online registration site, through third-party payment, or billed through the VCSU Business Office.


LE-2-20014 Course Syllabus (https://onestop.vcsu.edu/helpdesk/attachments/10004541248)

LE-8-2014 Professional Development Course Application (https://onestop.vcsu.edu/helpdesk/attachments/10004541249)

Sponsor: Director of Extended Learning

Approving Body: Faculty Senate

Approved: March 2010 

Revised:  Spring 2014

Revised:  September 2020