Policy Statement - 08-16 Guidelines For The Creation And Operation Of Cross-Border Existing Degree Or International Credit Certificate Programs


This policy was recommended by the Academic Senate on February 28, 2008 and 
approved by the President on March 4, 2008.

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is open to the possibility of creating cross-border existing degree, or international credit certificate programs with institutions outside of the United States.  It is essential, however, that all guidelines be strictly followed before an agreement is signed with a contracting body, and adhered to during the entire length of time while the program is in operation. 


I.  Guidelines for Initial Contact with and Explorations of Institutions Abroad

1.    The academic dean overseeing the program is charged with making appropriate background checks on a potential partner institution as to whether it is recognized by the Ministry of Education or other body charged with overseeing higher education in the country or sovereign entity in which it is located.  An additional determination must be made regarding whether a potential international partner (educational institution or business entity) is fiscally capable of fulfilling its partnering mission.

2.    Additionally, University College and Extension Services (UCES), in conjunction with the sponsoring academic dean, must fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities in all self-support programs by developing revenue/expense projections to verify that the proposed program will operate within acceptable fiscal standards. 

3.    All inquiries and negotiations at this point are to be considered preliminary, and there should be no commitment made on the part of anyone representing CSULB, or by the overseeing entity abroad, until all appropriately authorized approvals are in place.

4.    Although individual faculty members may be very much involved in the conceptualization of such programs, all proposals for cross-border existing degree, or international credit certificate programs are to be made only by a sponsoring college dean, or deans.

5.    UCES has a sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) already in place which can serve as a template for the creation of such cross border existing degree, or international credit certificate programs.  This template is provided to the sponsoring dean, who will in turn work with the potential international partner(s) to reflect their roles, responsibilities and benefits. 


II.  Approval Process

1.    Only the President, along with such other university officials as the Provost may deem appropriate, has the authority to sign agreements with institutions abroad which commit the university to cross-border existing degree or international credit certificate programs.

2.    Program proposals made by sponsoring college deans go to the Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs, immediately following the fiscal viability study performed by UCES.   

3.    The Provost appoints a Review Board, whose task it is to review proposals for cross-border existing degree or international credit credential programs.  The Cross-Border Existing Degree or International Credit Certificate Review Board (hereafter referred to as the Review Board) shall be composed of the following members:

a. Assistant Vice President for International Education and Global Engagement, or designee

b. Chair of the International Education Committee, or designee

c. Dean of University College and Extensions Services, or designee

d. Senior Director, Center for International Education, or designee

e. Two at-large faculty members from a college other than the one making the proposal, appointed by the provost

f. One representative from Enrollment Services

g. One representative from Student Services

h. The WASC Accreditation Liaison Officer

i.  ASI President, or designee

4.    The Provost sends the program proposal to the Review Board, which after an initial review may, or may not, provide the sponsoring dean with supporting suggestions and/or recommendations.

5.    The program proposal must be reviewed and approved according to all normal curricular and other program approval processes of the university. 

6.    After the above review processes have been completed, the program proposal is returned back to the Review Board for presentation to the Substantive Change Committee of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), if appropriate. 

7.    After all of the above steps have been completed, the university Review Board sends the program proposal back to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall thereupon  have the authority to sign the official Memorandum of Understanding. 

8.    Additionally, cooperating institutions, or other organizations with which CSULB has agreed to work, may themselves obtain requisite approvals of the Memorandum of Understanding, as required by their organization, and/or governing body.  


III.  Principles of Good Institutional Practice to be Followed in the Creation of Cross-Border Existing Degree, or International Credit Certificate Programs

1.    The program reflects the educational emphasis of the sponsoring college(s) in question.

2.    The college, in conjunction with UCES self-support fiscal standards, must demonstrate that it has the financial capacity to support the international program abroad, without adversely affecting its state supported degree programs.

3.    CSULB is in complete control of all advertising regarding the program, and no advertising of the program is made without CSULB’s review and explicit approval.

4.    All entrance criteria for students accepted into the program, including English language proficiency, are the same as for any other student accepted into a degree or credit certificate program at CSULB.

5.    CSULB exercises complete control over the admission of students into the program

6.    All exit requirements for students in the program, including completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), are the same as for any other student receiving a CSULB degree or credit certificate.

7.    Regular review is made on an on going basis by the sponsoring dean, or designee, to insure the academic integrity of the program.

8.    Appropriate and regular assessment of the program abroad is provided for under the direction of the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, or designee.

9.    Overseas faculty who are assigned to teach in the program abroad have appropriate academic preparation, credentials, and English language proficiency, as required of any adjunct faculty assigned to teach a CSULB course.

10. Students in the program are fully informed regarding all entrance and exit criteria, including the GWAR, and are advised of the services which will, and will not, be provided by CSULB and its oversees institutional partner.

11. Conditions for program termination are specified in the MOU, and provide for appropriate protection for enrolled students.

12. A wide variety of types of scheduling formats may be envisioned for cross-border existing degree, or international credit certificate programs.  For undergraduate degree programs these formats include 4 + 0 (2 years of articulated international coursework taught overseas and 2 years CSULB course work also taught overseas), 2 + 1+ 1  (2 years of articulated international coursework taught overseas, 1 year of CSULB coursework taught overseas, and 1 year of CSULB coursework taught on the CSULB campus), 3 + 1 (3 years of articulated international coursework taught overseas and 1 year of CSULB coursework taught on the CSULB campus), 2 + 2 (2 years of articulated international coursework taught overseas and 2 years of CSULB coursework taught on the CSULB campus).

For graduate degree programs there are a variety of scheduling format options that could range from offering the entire degree program at an international site or the scheduling of a combination of courses at an international site and on the CSULB campus

Other types of scheduling formats are possible, as well.  However, the precise nature of the program needs to be expressly delineated.  Additionally, note that whenever course instruction in self-support programs requires distance delivery, UCES systems such as Blackboard must be used.  An additional consideration is that anytime  50%  or more of the instruction is delivered at an international site in either a face-to-face format or via some type of mediated/technology format, WASC Substantive Change approval must be attained prior to beginning the program.

EFFECTIVE: Fall 2008