Online Schools

What is an online school?

An online school is a diploma-granting institution that offers the majority of their courses through Internet-based methods, with time and/or distance separating the teacher and student.

UC requires that online schools maintain accreditation, adhere to the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Programs [PDF] and meet the University’s expectations for online learning.

Course review

Online schools that develop and use their own curriculum must conduct self-assessments of their courses against the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Courses before submitting their courses for “a-g” review. UC will consider and review only self-assessed courses for “a-g” approval.

Once the online school has conducted a self-assessment against the iNACOL course standards, it can be submitted to UC for “a-g” approval using the A-G Course Management Portal (A-G CMP) during the annual course submission period, open from February 1 to September 15. The online course is reviewed by a subject area analyst using the same guidelines and criteria as all other new courses.

The University approves online courses for “a-g” purposes for a three-year term. After three years, the online school will be required to conduct another self-assessment against the iNACOL course standards before the course is resubmitted to UC for "a-g" review.

Online schools that purchase or license "a-g" approved courses from an online course publisher do not need to complete the two-step "a-g" online course review process. It is the responsibility of the publisher to complete the appropriate assessment process and to submit their courses to UC for “a-g” approval. However, courses from an online publisher that are approved must still be added to an online school’s “a-g” course list using the A-G CMP.

Establishing an "a-g" course list

Online schools must meet the same institutional requirements and will follow the same process for establishing an “a-g” course list as all other new schools. The Online School Self-Assessment Form [PDF] must also be included with the School Registration Form to ensure the online school operates according to the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Programs [PDF].

Online schools that act as both an online school and an online course publisher should also complete the registration form for online publishers.

Looking for an online school's course list?

Use the A-G Course Lists website to search for an online school's "a-g" course list and to determine which of their courses are "a-g" approved.

Questions? Contact us!

New online schools with questions on how to establish an "a-g" course list can contact courselistreg@ucop.edu.