Skip to Content

My Arts and Sciences

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.


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.

  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. For program development proposals, budgets should include fringe when personnel are involved, with justification detailing how the funds will be spent. Online Program development budgets may include proposed course buyouts and must comply with the CAS Course Buyout Policy [pdf].  Please note that online course development proposals cannot be used for course buyouts or course releases.  Budgets should also provide a list of 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. Please see the following examples of a completed Budget Justification and Sample Budget for guidance.
  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.
    1. 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.  
    2. 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. 
  4. Online Course Development Narrative (no more than 1 page per course): Provide a brief explanation as to why these courses were selected, why do they need to be moved online and/or revised, course enrollment numbers, and list of faculty and/or graduate students who will be developing the course(s). Include any other pertinent details, such as – Carolina Core course, gateway course, major course needed to move program online, capstone course, experiential learning course, bottleneck course, a course that serves (xx) majors in another college (list college) who need this course online to meet their scheduling needs, etc.


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 the Spring semester but should begin by May at the latest.
  • 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 2023-2024 academic ye
    A final brief report detailing accomplishments is required; tentatively due May 2024. 
  • Units should specify a target launch date for the online program. 
  • 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 must submit an online syllabus for approval by the end of the first academic year of the funded project.  Approval must be obtained prior to when the course will be first taught online.  

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.  
Online Program Development Project Activities
  • Cohort Kickoff/Orientation
  • Attend professional development workshops
  • Consultation with Dean’s Office C&C Tema
  • Submit Pre-Authorization to Provost’s Office
  • Hold unit-level program development & curriculum planning meetings
  • Submit USC Online Program Modification APPS Proposal, CHE Application and other required materials
  • Develop and/or revise online courses
  • Launch program
  • Submit project progress report
  • Attend cohort wrap-up meeting
Online Course Development Project Activities
  • Faculty team outlines roles and responsibilities
  • Cohort Kickoff/Orientation
  • Attend professional development workshops
  • Team lead consults with Director of Assessment & Distributed Learning
  • Team lead consults with instructional design support
  • Develop an online syllabus for 100% online asynchronous course 
  • Submit for APPS for DL-approval, if needed
  • Develop online course content
  • Finalize online course development & Bb Sandbox (by August 15)
  • Teach course online
  • Submit final report
  • Attend cohort wrap-up meeting

Submit Application

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.