Texas Tech University


[Major revision–posted 5/11/23 (replaces 11/10/20 edition)]
[Updated Attachments A–D; no additional change to OP]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 30.05: Office of the Provost Non-credit Activities

DATE: May 11, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to define the role of the Office of the Provost in providing university public and professional non-credit service through the media of institutes, short courses, seminars, workshops, and other non-credit educational activities (set forth in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 2010).

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of even-numbered years by the Office of the Provost with substantive revisions presented to the Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success, the Vice Provost for eLearning and Academic Partnerships, and the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP).


1.  Definition

For the purpose of this statement, the activities referred to are defined as, but not limited to, non-credit courses, workshops, institutes, seminars, certificate programs, clinics, conferences, trainings, or other special training activities (hereafter referred to as non-credit programming) sponsored by Texas Tech University, which involve academic instruction often leading to the granting of continuing education units (CEUs) or other similar educational measures. University Youth Programs (camps for minors) are excluded from this policy. Any non-credit programs not listed herein will be reviewed for exclusion on a case-by-case basis.

2.  Program Approval and Responsibility

Although there are several units of the university providing non-credit activities, the Office of the Provost is the official unit designated to coordinate and administer all non-credit educational activities of the university.

For any non-credit educational activities as defined above, approval must be obtained through the Office of Continuing & Professional Education via the Special Activities Program Approval form (Attachment A), which should be obtained from the Office of Continuing & Professional Education and completed in consultation with the Office of the Provost/Office of Continuing & Professional Education personnel. Academic responsibility for a program varies in conformity with the type of activity. General program types are:

a.    Programs of a specific nature limited essentially to the discipline-based interests of a single college or department

Academic responsibility for programs of this type lies primarily with the college or department. An example of such a program would be a symposium on the history of West Texas or a short course on engineering for extreme winds.

b.    Activities that involve the interests of more than one college or unit of the university

Academic responsibility for activities of this type rests with the deans and heads of the appropriate divisions involved or their designated representatives. An example of this type of program would be an agricultural law conference.

c.    Activities of a general nature

The Office of the Provost may conduct activities of this type on its own initiative. An example of this type of program would be the Human Resources Management Certificate Program.

3.  Start-up Funds

The Office of the Provost will not extend credit to develop, promote, or conduct a conference for any non-TTU professional organization (e.g., UPCEA, IEEE, ASM, etc.). This policy complies with OP 62.01, Extension of State Credit.

Start-up funds sufficient to cover all expenses incurred must be in place prior to planning in the event that (1) a non-credit educational activity does not make or (2) participation is not sufficient to meet “guarantees” established by the non-credit educational activity's host hotel or facility. Guarantee fees are typically commensurate with the number of participants who were expected to attend the non-credit program and may include penalties for blocks of hotel rooms initially set aside for participants.

Moreover, organizational planning meetings, marketing pieces and mailings, and other pre-program items must be paid for before registration begins. Alternative sources of funding for these and related costs include federal, private, or professional association funding or sponsorships. The Office of Continuing & Professional Education can provide guidance to begin this process.

4.  Registration Fee

a.    A registration fee for programs will be determined through anticipated expenses and enrollments and approved by the Office of the Provost via the Special Activities Program Approval form (Attachment A). Fees may be collected from each individual or included in a lump sum payment from a sponsoring agency that elects such procedure.

b.    The obvious purpose of a registration fee is to cover all the anticipated expenditures involved in the activity including, but not limited to, salary, wages, honoraria and lecture fees, travel costs, printing, mailing and publicity costs, the expense of physical accommodation, registration materials, certificates, awards, communication expenses, educational materials, administrative expenses, and other expenses necessary for the implementation of the activity.

c.    Unless exceptions are specifically approved by the Office of the Provost, registration fees will be charged for all Texas Tech University faculty, staff, and students who wish only to attend open sessions of academically related symposia, conferences, regional or national meetings, and similar gatherings held on the Texas Tech University campus on a space-available basis.

5.  Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Institutional CEU certificates, when appropriate, may be issued only by the Office of the Provost. CEUs can be issued for programs consisting of one or more hours of organized instruction. This requirement also applies to other CEU-type activities, including Continuing and Professional Education programs.

Institutional CEUs will be recorded on an individual transcript; however, the issuance of CEUs does not imply the awarding of traditional academic credits.

Approval for CEUs must be obtained by the Office of Continuing & Professional Education via the Application for CEU Approval form (Attachment D).

6.  Responsibility for Academic Standards and Control

Responsibility for the academic content of a conference or other non-credit educational activities is vested in the department, college, school, or other unit of the university that serves as the academic sponsor of the activity. For each such program, the academic sponsor, singly or with the Office of the Provost, develops program content, recommends speakers, and performs other duties related to the maintenance of academic standards and quality.

7.  Responsibility for Administration and Coordination

The Office of the Provost has the responsibility, within the university, for the administration, organization, and management of non-credit educational activities as defined in section 2 of this policy, subject to policy guidance by the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP). Unless otherwise designated, the Office of Continuing & Professional Education is responsible for the administration and coordination of all such activities. This responsibility may include the following:

a.    Managing all funds, including registration fees and other assessments; settling program-related expenses; and establishing and approving each activity's budget in accordance with the fiscal policies of the university and state, including processing purchase requests. Each program is to be self-supporting, or receive a subsidy from an appropriate budget(s), so that costs are covered. A budget for the program must be established via the Special Activities Budget Summary form (Attachment B) before any promotion or publicity related to the program is done; such budget will include the costs of the Office of Continuing & Professional Education services, which will be determined via the fee structure in Attachment C.* The program budget will be approved by the sponsoring unit via the Special Activities Program Approval form (Attachment A). Should the program revenue not cover all program expenses, the responsibility for any deficit rests with the sponsoring unit.

b.    Planning and supervising all necessary registration procedures;

c.    Arranging for speakers and their travel, audio-visual, and other instructional needs;

d.    Setting up the promotion and marketing activities for the program;

e.    Arranging for accommodations where housing is required and for food service where regular and/or special meals may be required;

f.    Arranging for the physical facilities in which the program will take place (e.g., classroom space, banquet facilities, conference centers, etc.);†

g.    Organizing tours, social functions, special events, transportation, entertainment, and guest programs; and

h.    Arranging for the duplication of handouts or course notes and ordering any textbooks.

By mutual agreement, the above responsibilities may be assumed in part or fully by the sponsoring unit(s); however, in all cases, the budget for each activity will include either the minimum charge for the Office of Continuing & Professional Education's services (see 7.a above) or a mutually agreed upon amount.

In the event of disagreement as to (1) the type of prospective program as outlined in this policy; (2) responsibility of the designated representatives for activities listed in sections 2.a–c; or (3) the charge for the Office of Continuing & Professional Education's services, a decision shall be made by the PSVP after appropriate consultation with the parties involved.‡

8.  Auxiliary Services

In addition to the colleges and schools, it is recognized that other campus units, such as Student Life (Student Union, University Recreation, etc.), Museum, National Ranching Heritage Center, Library, ICASALS, Southwest Collection, and a variety of centers and institutes play vital and indispensable roles in the successful conduct of the non-credit educational activities under discussion; however, any such activities are subject to this policy, except for those specifically exempted in the definition of non-credit educational activities.

9.  Responsibility for Notifying Supervisors

It is the responsibility of each university faculty, staff, and administrative member to keep the appropriate department chairperson or administrative supervisor aware of the extent of his or her participation in the Office of the Provost activities. Faculty, staff, and administrative members should give the chairperson or supervisor advance notice of their anticipated participation in the Office of the Provost activities for which they will receive compensation. The Office of the Provost will assist in submitting the Request to Permit Exempt Employee to Earn Additional Compensation (OP 70.16, Compensation in Excess of Base Salary). Also, see OP 32.10, Additional Compensation for Faculty/Staff through the Office of the Provost.

10.  Summary

It is not the intent of this policy to be restrictive, but rather to have policy that is in compliance with the criteria of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and that is flexible enough to allow for and, indeed, encourage the development and implementation of non-credit educational activities throughout the university.


* In accordance with Section 07.04, Regents' Rules

† University space and facilities are available to all Office of the Provost programs as per Section 08.06, Regents' Rules, “TTU system space and facilities use.”

‡ In a case where the program in question is not under the control of the PSVP, the PSVP will consult with the appropriate vice president or the President to resolve any disagreement.


Attachment A: Special Activities Program Approval form

Attachment B: Special Activities Budget Summary form

Attachment C: Fee Structure form

Attachment D: Application for CEU form

Operating Policies & Procedures