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Policy 10.2
Policy on Educational Experiences Provided by Non-Emory Entities

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Responsible Official: Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Administering Division/Department: General Policies
Effective Date: April 01, 2013
Last Revision: March 03, 2014

Policy Sections:


This policy draft addresses the need, as stipulated in the Southern Association Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for institutions to ensure the quality of educational programs offered to Emory students by other entities, evaluate ongoing compliance with Emory’s standards, and evaluate the purpose of any such relationships with respect to Emory’s mission.


The policy outlined here applies to two general categories of educational programs provided by entities other than Emory University.


  1. Contractual Relationships for Dual Degrees: wherein an institution enters an agreement for receipt of courses/programs or portions thereof from another institution.
  2. Consortial Relationships for Joint Degrees: typically one in which two or more institutions share in the responsibility to develop courses and programs that meet mutually agreed-upon standards.

Policy Details

Contractual Agreements

Emory recognizes that its students benefit from a wide array of educational experiences outside of Emory, provided by a variety of different institutions. While recognizing the benefits of such experiences, Emory notes that it is crucial that such experiences mesh with the institution’s mission; be of a verifiably high caliber; and reliably serve an educational purpose consistent with other curricular activities. As such, it is incumbent upon each school or department to ensure the fit and quality of such educational experiences upon initiating agreements with outside entities, and to have in place and execute policies pertaining to the periodic evaluation of those experiences.




Each School or Department should take steps when establishing relationships in which educational programs will be provided by outside entities, to ensure the following:

  1. The relationship and educational programming provided thereby fits within Emory’s mission.
  2. The programming complements students’ academic experiences at Emory.
  3. The programming is of high quality, consistent with Emory’s stature as national leader in higher education.
  4. The relationship between Emory and the outside entity is clear with respect to the responsibilities and roles of all parties to the agreement. 

While (I) and (II) may nearly be taken as givens, steps that ensure (III) and (IV) are integral to providing students with high-quality educational experiences. The clear elucidation of roles and responsibilities (IV) is best achieved through formal memoranda of understanding (MOUs), or formal contracts. Mechanisms for ensuring high-quality content (III) are discussed below.




Schools and departments must take steps to ensure that the educational experiences undertaken by their students outside of Emory, but as part of an Emory program, are of high quality. The following is a list of measures which can be part of a quality verification policy. Note that some of these can help establish the quality of an educational program, while others can only be undertaken post hoc due to their nature.


  • Verifying the credentials of program providers via third-party accreditation.
  • Undertaking site visits.
  • Coordinating closely with faculty or professionals at the providing entity.
  • Review of syllabi, educational, or testing materials from the entity.
  • Execution and examination of student exit surveys.
  • Evaluation of student products (i.e. reports or projects)
  • Requiring letters from pertinent educators or professionals at the entity attesting to the type, extent, and quality of student interaction and products.

 It is up to each school or department to determine the appropriate review intervals for each educational element offered by a non-Emory entity.




The policy promulgated here is not only a matter of best practices – it is important for Emory’s accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  SACSCOC policies directly address the provision of educational experiences by outside institutions. Not only must Emory be diligent in establishing the quality of outside programs and reviewing such relationships periodically, it must also take steps to ensure that it and its partners are abiding by SACSCOC’s accreditation standards. SACSCOC provides a document detailing the standards applicable to outside programs (http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/AgreementsInvolvingDualandJointAwards.pdf) .


Accreditation standards and policies that affect the implementation of collaborative academic agreements are listed below. Because these standards apply whether the credit is awarded by a Member institution or by a Partner, they should be considered when developing the collaborative academic arrangement documentation and, if necessary, the substantive change prospectus.

1.    Integrity (Section 1)

2.    Institutional Mission (CR 2.4)

3.    Faculty (CR 2.8 and CS 3.7.1)

4.    Learning Resources and Services (CR 2.9)

5.    Institutional Effectiveness: educational programs, to include student learning outcomes (CS

6.    Academic program approval (CS 3.4.1)

7.    Admission policies (CS 3.4.3)

8.    Acceptance of academic credit (CS 3.4.4)

9.    Practices for awarding credit (CS 3.4.6)

10. Consortial relationships/contractual agreements (CS 3.4.7)

11. Institutional credits for a degree (CS 3.5.2 and CS 3.6.3)

12. Student records (CS 3.9.2)

13. Physical facilities (CS 3.11.3)

14. Substantive change (CS 3.12.1)

15. Program curriculum (FR 4.2)

16. Publication of policies (FR 4.3)

17. Program length (FR 4.4)

18. Student complaints (FR 4.5)

19. Recruitment materials (FR 4.6)

20. Distance and correspondence education (FR 4.8), if applicable

21. Definition of credit hours (FR 4.9)

22. Policy: Collaborative Academic Arrangements: Policies and Procedures

23. Policy: Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions

24. Policy: Distance and Correspondence Education (if applicable)

Related Links

Contact Information

Clarification of Policy  Office of the Provost  404-727-7452  nbliwis@emory.edu 

Revision History