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New Directions: Online Courses & the University of California’s A-G Subject Area Requirements PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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New Directions: Online Courses & the University of California’s A-G Subject Area Requirements. Monica H. Lin, Ph.D. Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions University of California | Office of the President Available online at:

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New Directions: Online Courses & the University of California’s A-G Subject Area Requirements

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New Directions:Online Courses & the University of California’sA-G Subject Area Requirements

Monica H. Lin, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions

University of California | Office of the President

Available online at:

California Consortium for Independent Study (CCIS) Conference

January 31, 2013


Policy background

The “a-g” course lists & course update process

New “a-g” review process for online courses

Policy implementation: challenges & successes

Policy Background

UC and Online Learning

  • University of California priority: accessibility of a broad range of high-quality, rigorous college-preparatory courses

  • UC keeping pace with the changing landscape of online learning

    • Facilitate students’ access to “a-g” online courses

    • Encourage online educators to uphold promising practices of online learning for student success

  • Revised policy to offer improved guidance and more efficient process of satisfying UC admission requirements

Highlights of Policy Revisions

  • UC “program status” requirement for online entities has been eliminated

  • New policy focuses on quality assessment of online courses for “a-g” purposes

    • Flexible to accommodate differing types of online courses

    • Addresses UC faculty online learning guidelines

  • Policy revisions incorporate national quality standards for online courses and programs

  • Partnership between UC and the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN)

A-G Course Lists &Course Update Process

A-G Course Lists

  • UC and CSU admissions requirements include satisfying a 15-course pattern of college-preparatory “a-g” courses

    • High school courses must undergo “a-g” review and approval to appear on the “a-g” course list

  • The “a-g” course list is an important component of the applicant review process

    • All “a-g” course lists must be updated each year to maintain accuracy for applyUC and for UC’s comprehensive review

  • Updates to the “a-g” course list are submitted using the UC Online Update website:


*2013-14 update cycle will open March 1, 2013

A-G Course List Update Timeline

New A-G Review Process for Online Courses

Online Course Publisher vs. Online School

  • UC now differentiates between an online course publisher and an online school

    • Online course publishers develop their own curriculum and sell or license their online courses for delivery by a teacher within a high school or district

    • Online school is a credit- or diploma-granting institution that offers courses strictly through Internet-based methods, with time and/or distance separating the teacher and learner

  • Institutions that act as both an online course publisher and online school will follow the procedures for online schools

Assess the online course against the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Courses and CA content standards

Submit online course to CLRN for review*


CLRN-certified OR


Conduct subject-specific review against UC faculty’s content criteria

Submit online course to UC for “a-g” review


Approve course for “a-g”?


Add course to online publisher’s or online school’s “a-g” course list; approval expires in 3 years

*If not eligible for CLRN review, the online course must be self-assessed by the online publisher or school.

Review of Online Courses

Step #1A: CLRN Certification

  • Effective for:

    • Online course publishers serving public institutions

    • Public online schools

  • A CLRN-certified online course must:

    • Meet at least 80% of CA Content or Common Core Standards

    • Fulfill all 15 “power standards” from the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Courses

    • Satisfy at least 27 (or 80%) of the remaining iNACOL Standards

  • Courses not aligned with a set of standards must be self-assessed (Step #1B)

  • To submit a course to CLRN:


Step #1B: Self-Assessment

  • Effective for:

    • Online course publishers serving only private institutions

    • Private online schools

    • Any online courses not aligned with state standards

    • 2014-15 school year: Non-online high schools, districts, and programs

  • Institution conducts self-assessment against iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Courses

  • Self-assessment will be incorporated into the course submission process for UC “a-g” review

Step #2: UC A-G Course Review

  • Only CLRN-certified or self-assessed online courses can be submitted to UC during the course list update cycle

  • Basis for “a-g” course review and approval:

    • “a-g” course evaluation guidelines

    • Subject area course requirements

  • All courses are reviewed by a subject area analyst

    • “Blind” reviews

    • Goal: new CLRN-certified online courses reviewed within 2-4 weeks

  • To submit a course to UC:


Access UC’s “a-g” Online Update website

Indicate intent to add previously approved online course(s)

Certify that program/school/district will satisfy UC’s online learning guidelines and policy for online courses to receive “a-g” approval (once per annual update cycle)

Select online course to add to “a-g” course list

Add online course to “a-g” course list

Adding A-G Online Courses

Policy Implementation

Challenges & Successes

  • Definitions of online entities are not always clear-cut

  • Elimination of principal certification for non-UC-approved online courses

    • Not acceptable for online courses completed in 2013-14 academic year and beyond

  • Re-evaluation of policy regarding online courses in laboratory science and in visual & performing arts

    • Under current policy: online science courses require supervised, on-site wet lab and online VPA courses not allowable

  • UC encourages educators to incorporate promising practices for excellence in online teaching and learning


  • Helpful links:

    • California Learning Resource Network (CLRN)


    • International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)


    • UC Doorways websites:

      • “a-g” Course List website –

      • Online Update website –

  • Contact UCOP High School Articulation:

    • E-mail: [email protected]

    • Phone: (510) 987-9570

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