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Online Programs and Courses

The College of Arts and Sciences invites proposals for projects aimed at developing sustainable, high-quality online programs and online course offerings within the college. Complete information and the online application form can be found on the McCausland Innovation Fund website.

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Online Program Development 

Awards will support units who are committed to moving an academic program online. All types and levels of for-credit academic programs in the college (undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, graduate or undergraduate certificates, majors, or minors) will be considered; these may be either existing or new programs. 

Online Course Development 

Units will also be invited to submit courses to be developed or revised for online delivery format using a team model for course development. This model is designed to support longevity in course offerings and provide a cohort learning community for collaborative faculty teams who will utilize best practices in online course design and pedagogy. 

Up to 5 programs and up to 12 courses will be supported. Priority for course development will be given to those units that will be developing online programs.  

Units may apply for awards in both of the above categories.  In these cases, chairs/directors should coordinate the information for program and course development into a single application for their unit.  

The college also recognizes the importance of faculty online teaching expertise. Thus, a portion of the funding will be provided for full-time FTE faculty to participate in professional development from national leaders in online learning, such as the Online Learning Consortium, Quality Matters, Educause, US Distance Learning Association, etc. 

Program Guidelines

  • Funding requests for up to $25,000 may be requested.  
  • The purpose of this award is to support units in researching, planning, developing a proposal, and securing approvals for a fully online degree program. Units who anticipate needing to develop new online courses as part of a new online degree program may also apply for additional funding through an Online Course Development Award (see below) 
  • Funding may be used for summer salary, technology, online course development, professional development, etc. 
  • Approval will be needed from chair/director. Note that faculty with Joint Appointments require approval from both units. 
  • Each course will receive up to $10,000 in funding to support the team development of an online course, with a limit of three courses per unit.  Note that cross-listed courses require approval from all impacted units. 
  • Funds can be used for summer salary (including fringe), technology, and participation in national professional development.  Course development funds cannot be utilized for course releases or course buyouts. 
  • Each course must have an FTE faculty lead but can include non-FTE adjuncts and/or graduate students on each team. 
  • Funding distribution per course: 
    • Salary – up to $7,500 (fringe is included in this amount) for all cohort members 
    • Technology – up to $1,750 
    • Professional Development – up to $750 
  • To build online teaching expertise within the college, we are encouraging full-time faculty participation in professional development training and workshops from national leaders in online teaching. For instance, funding can be used by faculty to become trained as prestigious Quality Matters Master and Peer Reviewers. 
  • Any faculty member who has received prior funding for course development projects should have completed their previous projects.  
  • Approval will be needed from chair/directors.  Note that faculty with Joint Appointments require approval from both units. 

The following materials should be submitted using the online form by November 15, 2022: 

  1. Project Lead and Faculty Partner CVs: A two-page curriculum vitae or resume in PDF format for each project lead and faculty partner. 
  2. Project Budget: An itemized budget using the McCausland Innovation Fund Budget Template is required.  Budgets should include fringe when personnel are involved, with justification detailing how the funds will be spent.  Budgets including proposed course buyouts must comply with the CAS Course Buyout Policy [pdf]. Budgets should also list resources sought or acquired from other sources. Approved technology purchases and other supplies are the property of the College of Arts and Sciences. Applicants should contact their unit CAS Budget contact with any questions about budget development or allowable expenses. 
  3. Online Program Development Narrative (no more than 4 pages):  A project narrative must be submitted outlining which program will be moved online, providing an overview, potential program format, proposal overview narrative, description of potential students, rationale for moving this program online, project activities timeline, and list of faculty who will be involved in this proposal development.   
  4. Online Course Development Narrative (no more than 1 page): A brief explanation as to why these courses were selected, course enrollment numbers, and list of faculty and/or graduate students who will be developing the course(s). 
  5. Online Course Development List (use template): A list of courses with DL-approval status, including a list of individuals who will contribute and their roles.  
  6. Online Program Timeline Planning Worksheet (use template):  This worksheet is meant to help with planning development and/or moving an academic program online from conception to program launch. The list of steps may not be all inclusive and can be re-organized based on applicant needs. 


Submit Application

Program Expectations 

  • Participate in proposed cohort course development and professional development activities. 
  • Finalize program and course development materials and submit APPs proposal(s) 
  • Develop high-quality online courses (shareable Bb shell, syllabus, reusable artifacts/materials, repository, templates, etc.) and consistently offer the courses online. 
  • Allow the program/course to serve as an exemplar for others within CAS. 
  • Upon completion of online teaching professional development, faculty will be asked to provide a list of 4-5 best practices learned that can be shared with colleagues. 
  • Projects may begin in Spring 2023. 
  • The expectation is that a unit will move an academic degree program online and submit the required approval forms and documentation to seek approval from Faculty Senate and CHE. 
  • Administrative tasks to launch the online program should occur within the 2022-2023 academic year, knowing that approval processes and development may extend beyond AY2023. 
  • Units should specify a target launch date for the online program. 
  • A final report brief detailing progress will be required; tentatively due May 2024. 
  • Course development funds cannot be used for course releases.  
  • Utilize a “master Blackboard template course shell”. 
  • Develop course(s) using a team model in a 100% online, asynchronous format (with no scheduled meeting times). 
  • Develop course in Bb in modules/units, each containing a module overview, module learning outcomes, and “task list,” with all instructional materials contained within the module, and the course should be ‘ready to teach’ by end of project. 
  • Blackboard Ultra Course View is highly recommended. 
  • Course development funds cannot be used for course buyouts. 
  • Courses that need DL-approval will need to submit an online syllabus for approval in Spring 2023.  

Proposal Evaluation 

The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals. 

    • Proposal Overview Narrative clearly outlines project. 
    • Project can be developed within a specified timeline. 
    • Program proposal clearly identifies and describes potential students. 
    • Rationale for moving this program online is well justified and long-term support defined.  
    • All courses submitted will be reviewed and considered individually. 
    • Proposal narrative clearly outlines rationale for course selection. 
    • Courses will be selected based on college and unit needs. Examples include: 
    • Courses to complete a major or minor courses online 
    • High demand course(s) that create bottlenecks 
    • Courses that if offered online would solve classroom space issues 
    • Carolina Core demands from other units or colleges 
    • Courses that support other colleges’ online programs 
    • Courses that support the development of an online program  
    • Faculty agree to develop course(s) using a collaborative, team model 
    • Proposals for new course conversions and course revisions of previously developed courses will be considered.  

Tentative Dates 


Call for Proposals 

September 22, 2022 

Call for Proposals launched 

November 15, 2022 

Proposal submission deadline 

December, 2022 

Review committee makes recommendations 

Program Development Project Activities 

January, 2022 

Online Program Development Kick-Off Orientation  

By January 31, 2023 

Project lead meets with CAS Dean’s Office staff  

By February 15, 2023 

Submit Pre-authorization to Provost’s Office 


Submit USC Online Program Modification Proposal, CHE Application and other required materials 


Submit other approvals, as needed 


Develop and/or revise online courses (see list below) 


Launch Program 

TBD, 2024 

Submit project progress report  

Course Development Project Activities 

January, 2023 

Teams internally communicate to discuss roles and allocation of labor 

January, 2023 

Cohort Kick-Off Orientation 

Jan-Feb, 2023 

Lead (or team) meets individually with Director of Assessment & Distributed Learning 

February, 2023 

Meet with instructional designer & set appointments for consultations  

Feb-March, 2023 

Develop online course syllabus for 100% asynchronous online delivery 

April 15, 2023 

Submit online syllabus for DL approval 

April – May, 2023 

Modify/Submit APPS proposal and course as needed for DL Approval 

March – July, 2023 

Develop digital instructional materials and assignment grading criteria/rubrics 

March – July, 2023 

Meet with ODL: help create, edit, caption lecture videos 

June – July, 2023 

Develop content in CAS Blackboard Sandbox 

August 10, 2023 

Finalize online course development & Bb Sandbox 


Teach course online 

Professional Development (All Awardees) 

April, 2023 

Cohort Learning Community Professional Development #1 

May, 2023 

Cohort Learning Community Professional Development #2 

June, 2023 

Cohort Learning Community Professional Development #3 

September, 2023 

Cohort Learning Community Professional Development #4 

October, 2023 

Cohort Wrap-up Meeting 


Submit Application

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