Teaching Continuity at Caltech  /  Distance Education Policy

Distance Education Policy

Title IV of the Higher Education Act limits federal grants and loans to students attending accredited universities. In order to remain in compliance with the Department of Education's 2021 accreditation guidelines, Caltech has amended its distance education policy as follows.


  1. The expectation is that all Caltech course offerings, including instruction and office hours, will be conducted in person for all students enrolled in the course.
  2. The use of lecture recordings (even if some students attend the lecture live) or other technologies that enable remote participation, either synchronously or asynchronously, is not consistent with the expectation outlined above, except on rare, one-off, or ad hoc occasions.
  3. Instructors who wish to use strategies outlined in item 2 above on a regular basis should use form Distance Education Application to explain why they believe that an exception is warranted and to describe in detail how they plan to meet mandatory guidelines for distance education from the US Department of Education and Caltech's accreditor, WSCUC. Advance permission from the division chair is required before any regular and substantive distance education can move forward. The possibility of such approvals may be further contingent upon WSCUC institutional approval of Caltech to offer distance education.
  4. Nothing in this guidance prohibits the use of learning technologies or strategies that supplement, rather than replace, in-person instruction for all students enrolled in the course.