Teach Out Policy

Alverno College Teach-Out Policy

Last updated: February 4, 2019


Alverno College follows the guidelines of the Higher Learning Commission for program- and institution-level teach-outs, which the Commission publishes on its website. These guidelines include (and are not limited to) requirements for institutions to provide for the equitable treatment of students enrolled in affected programs; a reasonable timeline for enrolled students to complete the program; and notification to affected students of any additional fees or charges. Institutions have the option of developing internal teach-out plans, or reaching teach-out agreements with external institutions that allow students to complete their program requirements at another accredited institution. In many but not all cases, teach-out plans must be approved by the Commission.


The decision to close a degree or certificate program, or a program track, should be made only after extensive review and discussion among the college’s academic leadership. The college must be sensitive and responsive to the needs of affected students, faculty, and staff, which requires deep collaboration and ongoing, open communication among relevant academic and administrative department leaders across the institution.

For the purposes of the policy below, “program” refers to any degree or certificate program, or a program track.


Teach-out plans, including a communication plan, must have final approval at least 90 days prior to the intended date of announcing the program closure. Delayed approvals will result in a delay of both announcing the program closure and the final day of the teach-out.

Teach-out plans must be consistent with all requirements and expectations of external agencies, including any relevant licensing or accrediting bodies.

The college is not obligated to retain faculty members hired specifically for the teach-out plan. Full-time faculty currently working in a program that is moving to teach-out are subject to the guidelines and policies of the Educators’ Handbook.

Following the decision to move an existing program into an internal teach-out, the college will:

  • Create and execute a communication plan to address the needs of affected students, faculty, and staff;
  • Cease recruiting and enrolling new students in the program;
  • Withdraw all related marketing materials and advertising;
  • Establish and publish a course schedule and sequence that will enable all currently enrolled students to complete the program;
  • Describe and commit to faculty resources and academic support services, at an appropriate level to meet the requirements of accrediting and licensing bodies, for the duration of the teach-out period;
  • Publish guidance for how the college will assist affected students seeking to transfer to another institution instead of persisting through the teach-out;
  • Establish the date by which all teach-out activities will end; and
  • Maintain all academic and other relevant records in a secure manner for the required length of time, and make them available to college leadership as needed.

An internal teach-out requires a set of stipulations which students will be required to meet:

  1. The college must publish a schedule of all courses students need to complete the program before the teach-out end date. Students are expected to take the courses required when they are offered. Students who seek exceptions may request an Independent Study, which the college may provide if sufficient resources are available.
  2. Students who are unsuccessful in one or more courses in the published sequence can retake those courses only if they are offered again before the end date of the teach-out. Students who wish to earn the credit for one or more such courses at another institution must first secure the approval of their dean.
  3. Students who are dismissed from the program and either fail to appeal their dismissal or are unsuccessful in their appeal lose their right to benefit under the teach-out policy.
  4. Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the program, or take a leave of absence after the teach-out has been announced, may appeal to re-enter the program only if the courses they require to complete the program are available in the published course schedule and can be completed before the teach-out end date. Re-entry into a teach-out program is not guaranteed and is at the final discretion of the academic dean.
  5. Internal transfer students will not be admitted into the affected program except by approval of the academic dean.
  6. The college will assist those students who wish to transfer to another institution. Once students are accepted for transfer they will not be permitted to re-enroll in the program under teach-out.

The college is not obligated to accommodate students who fail to meet these stipulations.

An external teach-out (one that results in an agreement for students to complete their degree program at a different institution) requires a set of stipulations, established by the Higher Learning Commission, for the college to meet.