Academic Programs

Contract Course Request for Approval

This page has been designed to answer questions regarding designing and teaching off-campus courses through distance education. Please take time to review this site. All requested materials are necessary to meet the guidelines for approval of a distance education course through the School of Education at Colorado State University. Additional information on individual courses can be found on Colorado State University Online.

What is a contract course?

A contract course is generally a course utilizing a contract between Colorado State University/SOE and a school district, BOCES or non-profit agency. With an approved contract course the payment of the instructor, advertising of the course and other course fees are paid by the sponsoring organization, not by CSU/SOE. Contract courses are set up on a 15 contact hours per credit hour basis, can only be awarded in full credits (half credits are not available) and are generally pass/fail courses.

Procedures for Establishing Contract Courses

Approval of Instructors

  • Every instructor must be approved by Continuing Education. All instructors must have appropriate academic credentials for the course being taught. Instructors for these courses must comply with the School of Education’s standards and would need either a Master’s Degree (preferred) that accurately reflects their area of expertise related to this topic, or a Bachelor’s Degree plus additional training/certification specifically related to the course.
  • A current instruction vita/resume is required, which includes any specific training.
  • The instructor will be responsible for organizing the course, developing the syllabus, coordinating the instructional activities, being present at each class session, evaluating student performance in the course and assigning student grades.
  • CSU/SOE is not responsible for payment to the instructor or for any expenses incurred during the course.

Course Information

  • The application for approval of a distance education course requests that the applicant provide a detailed contract course outline, which includes:
    • Title of the course
    • Date, days, time
    • Site of the class
    • Lead instructor, co-instructor, site coordinator
    • Purpose of the course
    • Specific course objectives
    • Course outline
    • Bibliographic/Support materials and textbook listing
    • Student evaluation criteria
    • A letter of request/support
    • Current instructor vita/resume

Important Course Considerations

  • Course title should clearly reflect the course content and the focus on professional development for educators. When titling the course remember the students’ need for future licensure, etc.
  • All contract courses are set up as EDUC 591 or EDCT 590 – Workshops. This is the title that will be recorded on a transcript. The enrollment receipt sent to the student after registration will list the full title of the course.
  • The course description should descript the course and how it aligns with educator professional development.
  • The course outline should document the content that will be covered in the course/workshop as well as how the 15 contact hours per credit hour (7.5 hours per day) will be accounted for.
  • A detailed description of student activities and methods used for grading students’ assessment of performance is required. Class attendance and participation combined can account for no more than 20% of the grade. These are graduate credits; therefore graduate level work is expected.
  • A letter of request/support from a staff development coordinator or other sponsoring agency on appropriate stationary is required.
  • Contract courses are generally pass/fail courses. Incomplete grades are only assigned when an agreement has been reached between the student and instructor.
  • Requests for course approval should be turned in at least two weeks before the course begins.

Request for Approval of a Distance Education Course

  • Please complete the form with all information as accurately as possible and mail for approval 2-3 weeks before the course begins.

Distribution of Registration Forms and Grades

  • Upon formal approval of the requested course, registration materials will be sent to the instructor and/or the sponsoring agency through an email. Registrations can then be printed off for attendees. Students will complete the registration form and attach payment on the first day of class. The instructor is responsible for collecting registration/payment and forwarding forms to the Continuing Education office shortly after the first day of class.
  • At the end of the semester, the instructor/sponsoring agency will receive a grade roll which will be completed and mailed, faxed or emailed to the Continuing Education office by the semester grading deadline.