To enhance the global dimension of Excelsior's mission, the College actively supports the development of focused international affiliations as well as the expedient and thoughtful preparation of such affiliations. New affiliations must reflect the priorities of the College and the school or unit promoting these affiliations with partners that meet the criteria stated in this policy. New and established affiliations must also adhere to the scheduled review process also established in this policy.
The purpose of this policy is not to limit those at the College with international interests, but to promote the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that are hallmarks of Excelsior College. As a leader in distance education, the College has designed this policy to meet its standards of academic integrity and administrative oversight.
In keeping with the multiple modes of providing educational opportunities to diverse populations of adult learners, affiliations with international partners may focus on online instruction, assessment of learning, and/or the aggregation of credit toward academic degrees.
International affiliations shall be established with a clear and achievable plan that will further the mission and goals of Excelsior College as well as those of the partner institution.
A. Approval of New Affiliations and Partnerships. Proposals for new international affiliations or partnerships may originate from any unit or individual in the College. A letter or email stating basic facts about the proposed affiliation, e.g., contact information, possible benefits to the College, etc. must be sent to the coordinator of academic partnerships who may then contact the unit or the individual for further information. If the institution meets the following criteria, the proposal is sent to the provost for further consideration:
1. The institution demonstrates a commitment to and capacity for promoting and maintaining the affiliation long-term.
2. The institution provides evidence that students will benefit from the agreement and will connect the students to Excelsior College in some way, e.g., by providing access to EC technology, EC exams.
3. There is evidence that Excelsior will enjoy a reasonable return on investment (ROI) from the agreement within two or three years of the signing of the initial agreement.
4. The institution demonstrates support from the top executive of the institution as well as from others who are critical for forming and maintaining the affiliation.
5. The institution has proper academic accreditation by a U.S. regional accrediting agency or a comparable accrediting agency within the country or region.
6. The size of the student body and/or the student beneficiaries of the affiliation is adequate.
7. The academic content and/or curriculum are in concordance with EC's academic degree programs.
8. Tuition and/or fees charged by the institution to its students are competitive with comparable institutions or partnerships.
9. The institution has gained a respectable reputation.
10. The institution agrees to all the terms and conditions as articulated in the EC template for international partnerships.
B. Faculty Review. The coordinator of academic partnerships will present the formal proposal to at least two internal faculty members at the College from the appropriate School or Schools. The faculty will review the proposal individually or confer with consulting faculty for their opinion. The internal faculty reviewers will either endorse the proposal, not endorse it, or send it back to the coordinator for more information. The formal proposal will include the following:
- A statement about the genesis of the prospective partnership.
- An explanation of the costs to start and maintain the partnership and what faculty, staff and financial resources are in place to support the partnership.
- An explanation of the impact the prospective partnership will have on other units within the College.
- An explanation of the potential benefits to Excelsior and the proposed beneficiaries of the agreement.
- A timeline for initial implementation of the agreement and clear benchmarks for review of the agreement.
C. Discussion by Academic Affairs Council and Student Academic Council. Following a faculty review, the coordinator of academic partnerships and/or the associate provost of the College present the formal proposal to both the AAC and SAC for discussion, comment and suggestions.
D. Review by the College's Legal Counsel. The coordinator for academic partnerships then brings the formal proposal, along with comments and/or suggestions from AAC and SAC, to the College's legal counsel, who then draws up a formal agreement using the template for international affiliations established by the College
E. Final Approval by the Provost. The provost will make the final determination on all international academic partnerships. If approved, the formal agreement will be signed by the provost. Some agreements (such as those with financial implications) may call for the signatures of both the provost and the president of the College.
G. Periodic Reviews. Reviews of the affiliation or partnership will be determined by the Schools and/or appropriate units in the College. They will be conducted by a representative from the appropriate School and/or unit, a representative from Enrollment Management, the legal counsel, and the provost. At a minimum, each agreement will be reviewed every three years.
H. Record of the Agreement. The coordinator of academic partnerships will maintain a record of all international affiliations and partnerships and will store copies of the formal agreement and reviews in the Digital Repository System.