What is a contract course?
Contract courses are courses offered under an agreement between the University of South Carolina and a school district or an outside state agency, or between a USC academic unit and a USC-funded project. These courses allow qualified students to enroll based on the needs of the agency or funded project. Contract courses may also be part of degree programs offered under contract with an outside state agency or academic unit.
How can this office help me?
The Office’s staff members provide services to anyone involved with courses and programs where the tuition is funded by a contracting group. Our staff members will assist in contract development and approval for courses and degree programs. Once the contract is established we will also provide student services support to ensure proper and efficient admission and registration. Lastly, we will carry out billing and transferal of revenue to the contracting unit. Our staff can meet with you to plan course or degree contracts, advise you on budgeting, suggest ideas for marketing, manage approvals, and ensure the success of a contract course or degree.
To initiate approval of a course to be offered under contract with an agency or school district (client), follow these steps:
Determine from the client the type of course desired and prepare a syllabus to address the need.
Secure an instructor for the course and negotiate a salary.
Determine the contract price or fee for the course (our staff can assist in determining the fee).
Complete the Course Contract Approval Form [pdf] consistent with #1-#3 above.
Submit to the Course Contract Approval Form and Course Syllabus to the Office of Educational Outreach who will review and provide an Approval Memo from the Director assuring adherence to USC academic and fiscal policies and procedures.
Use the sample Degree Program Memorandum of Understanding [pdf] to draft an agreement for offering a USC degree program to students sponsored by an agency or school district. As degree program contracts involve multiple decisions, consultation with Office of Educational Outreach staff early and often is highly recommended.
The Department Chair or degree program leader for the contracted degree will need to send a memorandum to the Educational Outreach Director requesting the scheduling of the course or courses required by degree program contract. The memorandum must include the following for each course:
Contract Client Agency/District Name (as listed on signed contract)
Course designator, number and title
Instructor name and, if applicable, instructor salary for teaching the course
USC Session including start and end date for course
Location of course (city, building, classroom number)
Meeting days and times
If the course does NOT meet during a standard USC time schedule, the course syllabus with details on specific meeting days and time must also be included with the memorandum. If the instructor is not a USC faculty member, a CV or resume is required. Instructors for graduate level courses must have a current term appointment to the USC Graduate School faculty.
A course addressing a special topic of interest to educators may be developed and
offered using the EDUC 632, 633, 634 or 635 numbers. These courses can carry between
1 and 3 credits. To propose a special topic course for approval, you will need to
develop a syllabus addressing the topic and document the course experience consistent
with the credit offered. The syllabus must include specific academic requirements
and a method of evaluation that clearly explains how the final letter grade will be
assessed as well as specific meeting days and times so a minimum of 700 minutes over
one week of study is included for each credit offered (i.e. a 3-credit course must
include a minimum of 2100 minutes of instruction over 3 weeks).
Once the syllabus is finalized, complete the Special Topics Graduate Course Approval form found at the Provost Office's site. If the course is a regular offering (not offered under a contract), submit to submit the Special Topics form to the Department Chair for review/approval.
If the course is to be offered under contract to a client district or agency, submit to the Office of Educational Outreach which will secure Graduate School approval prior to initiating the course contract.