Distance Education

UT Health San Antonio ensures the quality of programs it offers online through synchronous and asynchronous electronic delivery.  Schools offer academic programs and courses through a variety of distance education structures.

Definition of Online Programs and Courses:

Distance Education Programs:  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.

The institution currently offers the following programs of study through distance education:

 UT Health San Antonio Academic Programs Offered Via Distance Education

Degree School Delivery
Respiratory Care (BS) School of Health Professions 100% asynchronous
Respiratory Care (MS) School of Health Professions 100% asynchronous
Emergency Health Sciences (BS) School of Health Professions 100% asynchronous
Dental Hygiene (BS) School of Dentistry 100% asynchronous
Dental Hygiene (MS) School of Dentistry 100% asynchronous
Deaf Education & Hearing Science (MDEHS) School of Medicine 100% synchronous
Doctor of Nurse Practitioner (DNP) School of Nursing   85% synchronous

Distance Education Courses: 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.”

Distance Education for Students Outside of Texas

UT Health San Antonio is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC SARA).  NC SARA is a voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.

Participation is available for institutions accredited by an association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, such as UT Health San Antonio’s regional accreditor, SACSCOC and allows institutions to offer distance education courses and programs to students in other SARA participating states without seeking state authorization.  As a member of the association, the programs listed above are authorized to enroll and deliver instruction to students residing outside of Texas. For more information on SARA, including an up-to-date list of SARA States and Institutions, visit NC-SARA.org.

Additionally, NC SARA participating institutions agree to follow the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education Programs (Online Learning) for best practices in postsecondary distance education developed by leading practitioners of distance education and adopted by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC).  UT Health San Antonio abides by the guidelines and is led by an institutional advisory committee that monitors institutional distance education activity. Additional information for faculty and staff is available through the My UT Health Academic Effectiveness resources page.