The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) rules define distance education as “The formal educational process that occurs when students and instructors are not in the same physical setting for the majority (more than 50 percent) of instruction.” Distance education can include courses and programs offered online, off-campus face-to-face, and electronic-to-groups.

THECB rules recognize two categories of distance education courses: fully distance education courses and hybrid/blended courses. A fully distance education course is defined as “A course which may have mandatory face-to-face sessions totaling no more than 15 percent of the instructional time. Examples of face-to-face sessions include orientation, laboratory, exam review, or an in-person test.” A hybrid/blended course is defined as “A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place.”

Rules

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules governing the offering of distance, off-campus, and self-sustaining education:

  • Chapter 4, Subchapter P (rules governing online, hybrid/blended, electronic-to-groups)
  • Chapter 4, Subchapter Q (rules governing off-campus face-to-face, out-of-country, out-of-state)
  • Chapter 7 (rules governing degree granting colleges and universities other than Texas public institutions)

Electronic to Individuals (Online)

Off Campus (Face-to-Face)

Off Campus (Electronic to Groups)

Out of Country