Extended Credit Call for Courses

By working through the School of Extended & Lifelong Learning, community providers of education can offer university credit if their course meets UM's standards for academic rigor and the course is taught by an instructor with the appropriate credentials.

We are pleased to work with sponsoring organizations to help them offer courses in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. SELL helps to facilitate the approval of credit for sponsored courses by reviewing course proposals for credit criteria and gaining approval from department chairs, deans, and the graduate school.  Once credit is approved, students a) register with and pay a course fee directly to the sponsoring agency, and b) enroll for credit and pay a credit recording fee ($135/course) to SELL.  SELL manually processes student enrollments and enters grades, which appear on a UM transcript under a Continuing Ed term.

Sponsored courses expand UM’s ability to offer unique learning opportunities with a wide range of topics and experiences.  The most common sponsored offerings are field/experiential courses, continuing training for educators, and international travel courses.  Courses begin and end throughout each semester, and course length varies from a long weekend to several months. 

Sponsoring agencies who wish to propose a course should read the information below.  New sponsoring agencies are encouraged to contact us and discuss the proposed course before submitting a course proposal.  Questions should be directed to Holly Kulish at 406-243-4168 or holly.kulish@umontana.edu.

Course Proposal Information

A minimum of 15 hours of instruction over a 2-3 day period is required for each academic credit offered.

Instructors must possess a master's degree to teach undergraduate credit or a combination of undergraduate/graduate credit.  To teach graduate credit, a doctorate or other terminal degree is required.

A minimum of six to eight weeks is required between the submission of the Course Proposal packet and the course start date. This allows time for academic review and signature approval.  Courses may not be advertised for academic credit until signature approvals have been obtained, so plan to submit your course proposal 6-8 weeks before you wish to begin advertising.

Students will be charged a flat $135 credit recording fee for up to 5 credits for each course in addition to the fee charged by your agency.  Regular tuition and fees are not charged for sponsored courses.

The campuses of the Montana University System routinely offer academic credit via the sponsored funding model, in accordance with Montana Board of Regents policy.

Common examples of sponsoring agencies are a private business, non-profit organization, school district, association, or grant-funded project. 

The entity offering the course (sponsoring agency) shall collect all registration revenue from students, and all direct costs of the course shall be paid by the sponsoring agency.  Direct costs are defined as the instructional costs associated with an individual course, such as instructor stipend, travel costs, rental of space for the course, and promotion of the course.  The sponsor determines the cost of the course based on their own expenses.

In layman terms, using the sponsored funding model means the sponsor is financially responsible for the course.  The sponsor collects the revenue and pays the expenses of the course.  Only when a grant is funding the course should the revenue and expenses be administered through a University of Montana account.

While sponsored courses offer UM credit, they are quite different from state-supported courses due to their funding model. 

Since standard tuition & fees are not paid to UM, sponsored courses:

  • do not count toward the tuition flat spot
  • do not count toward minimum credits for UM student services (gym membership, UM health insurance, Griz Card, etc.)
  • do not generate FTE for the university

Additionally:

  • There is no price differential for residents and non-residents.
  • Courses are not publicly listed in Cyberbear or the Academic Planner
  • Credit enrollment is not through Cyberbear, but usually a paper Credit Registration Form distributed by the sponsoring agency. 
  • Formal admission to UM is not required.
  • Student financial aid does not automatically apply, but may be possible with additional paperwork.
  • Credits do not automatically apply toward a degree program, so students should ask their academic advisor before enrolling.

As an instructor or sponsoring agency, you will complete a Course Proposal Form detailing information about your course, prepare a syllabus to describe the course content, and provide an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae for the instructor of record. When your course proposal packet has been received and reviewed by Extended Courses, it will be forwarded to the appropriate academic department for the necessary signature approvals.  Approval of academic credit is not guaranteed.

After your course has been fully approved, you will receive a registration packet and instructions to help students register to receive academic credit. We will process academic credit registrations and provide you with a grade roster to assign grades.

We'll provide all the forms you'll need, definitions, guidelines, information on how to prepare a syllabus, and we'll consult with you throughout the process.

Sponsoring agencies who offer the same course year after year are eligible to submit a simplified Section Addition form instead of the full Course Proposal.

International courses only: If your course is held outside the United States, additional information is required by UM International Programs such as a risk management plan.  International course proposals should be submitted early to allow time for these extra steps.  Participants of an international course must possess international health insurance, complete an Agreement and Acknowledgement of Risk form, and register with the UM International Travel Registry.  Upon approval of academic credit, Extended Courses will connect you with UM International Programs to complete these additional steps. 

A complete course proposal packet includes:

There is no fee to submit a course proposal.

Send the complete course proposal packet to:

Holly Kulish
School of Extended & Lifelong Learning
University of Montana
Missoula, MT  59812

If you need to drop materials off, we are located on the top floor of the Todd Building on the UM campus.

Is your sponsored course essentially the same year after year?  If the course was approved for credit for any semester in 2013 or later and there are no substantial changes, you may now submit a Section Addition form instead of a full Course Proposal.  UM still needs to know course specifics, but there is no lengthy approval process.  Submit a Section Addition form several weeks before advertising that the course offers UM credit.

Submit a section addition form.

Substantial changes to a course may require submitting a full Course Proposal.  Substantial changes include:

  • Course number or course title
  • Number of credits
  • Grading method
  • Instructor
  • Major curriculum changes
  • If unsure, the sponsor/instructor should ask Holly Kulish for guidance (406-243-4168 or holly.kulish@umontana.edu)

The following elements of a syllabus are a good guide for any discipline.  If you'd like to review some sample syllabi, contact Holly Kulish at 406-243-4168 or holly.kulish@umontana.edu.

Department and Course Number  —  Title

Instructor(s) and contact information

Dates and location of course

1.  Paragraph giving overview of the course

2.  Expected student learning outcomes (meaningful, rigorous)

3.  Schedule of course topics and activities (dates, days and times)

4.  Assessment that clearly connects to learning outcomes above, along with appropriate grading scale.

If the course is offered for both undergraduate and graduate credit, please differentiate the undergraduate and graduate expectations for evaluative assignments. The differentiation must be substantive.

Grading Options:

  1. Credit/No Credit:  usually used for workshops that do not contain homework, research component(s), and library components
  2. Traditional letter grade option:  clear distinctions among letter grades with requirements for each, all learning outcomes appropriately assessed, participation/attendance not part of assessment, research component(s) for graduate credit

5.  Course materials/readings