Developing New Online Programs

Ready to reach a new audience of learners with your academic programs?

On the behalf of UTSA’s Academic Affairs, the division of Academic Innovation is the principal partner for UTSA academic colleges that wish to offer bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and certificates through the online modality.

The division of Academic Innovation provides assistance to colleges and departments throughout the process of developing and launching a new fully online degree program:

  • Market analysis
  • Program proposal
  • Coordination with Undergraduate Studies and Graduate School
  • Approval process
  • Course development
  • Faculty professional development
  • Instructional design and technology support
  • Marketing to prospective students

Additionally, Academic Innovation offers comprehensive, high-quality support services to prospective and current online students throughout their time at UTSA: admissions, advising, tutoring, etc.

To support new academic programs to get started in Academic Affairs, the division of Academic Innovation will cover key expenses during the program’s start-up phase (up to 3 years). In addition to the usual expenses (enrollment, marketing, retention and advising, reporting, etc.), the following costs are covered:

  • Instruction
  • Course Development
  • Course Refresh
  • Grading, Facilitation, Programming, etc.

For more information on UTSA Academic Affairs’ revenue distribution model for all online programs, see the flowchart on our SharePoint site; the funding model for online programs is part of the Incentivized Resource Management budget model, and uses a different financial formula for revenue and expense distribution than programs that are eligible for state formula funding.

UTSA faculty and staff also can download the MOU template for Financial Terms and Agreement for Fully Online Degree Programs for the College of Record, which includes responsibilities of College and UTSA Online, as well as full information on financial terms and revenue distribution in this university model.

Offering Co-Convened Online Courses

As UTSA continues to develop degree programs through the online modality, the university must also enable online-only students to complete courses that result in degree attainment and successful employment but that may not be offered solely through UTSA Online.

Accordingly, Academic Affairs and Academic Innovation have developed a process that enables UTSA Online students to take courses that are co-convened with residential students taking online courses within a specified department/college.

UTSA faculty and staff can download the MOU template for Offering a Co-Convened Online Course, which includes responsibilities of the instructor, department and UTSA Online, as well as faculty stipend information.

Co-Convene Course Requests

What is a Co-Convened Course?

A co-convened course allows fully Online Program (ONL or Option III) Students to advance through their degree with minimal disruption by attending Residential Online Courses. The co-convened course must be offered online and in an asynchronous format. Online students (ONL or Option III) are not expected to attend live course sections with a specific date and time.

Co-Convene Process   

Step 1:
Courses Need to be Co-Convened

Online Programs may find the need for co-convening a course before the Academic Department. Academic Departments may start the process by contacting Academic Innovation at

Step 2:
Meeting to Discuss Co-Convening Process

The meeting will cover the process, timeline, financial components and any questions or concerns.

Step 3:
Create Separate Sections

Academic Department will create a separate section in Banner for the ONL/Option III Students.

Step 4:
Send Course Information

The Academic Department will email the course information (Semester, Course CRN, Subject, Number, Section, Course Title & Instructor) to and
Please note all ONL sections must be coded with ON1, ON2, etc. (depends on how many online sections are a part of each course).

Step 5:
Academic Innovation Co-Convenes Sections in Blackboard

This process has a 10 to 14 business day turnaround. Please request co-convening at least 2 weeks prior to the start of each semester. Each co-convened course needs four weeks for course developers, and instructors to have the content ready and set the course dates for assignments, assessments, the adaptive release of content and course activity, etc.

Example of Co-Convened Course Information to Email

SUMMER 2020 32860 HTH 3013 ON1 Survey of Human Nutrition Keck
SUMMER 2020 32877 HTH 3013 ON2 Survey of Human Nutrition Keck

Important Notes:

The Office of Digital Learning must merge the INET & ONL sections before the course content is copied.

Do not copy the course content from the INET section to the ONL section before the Office of Digital Learning has merged the sections.

The creation of co-convened sections is not allowed once the course is live as it will disrupt the student experience. Co-convening of sections must be completed at least 2 weeks before student activity in the courses begins to give the instructor ample time to conduct quality control checks.

Co-Convene Request Due Dates

Semester Semester Start Date Co-Convened Courses Request Due By Late Requests
Fall 2021 August 23, 2021 July 5, 2021 August 9, 2021
Spring 2022 January 18, 2022 November 30, 2021 January 4, 2022
Summer 2022 May 31, 2022 April 12, 2022 May 3, 2022

  Questions on Co-Convening Courses?

Email the Office of Academic Innovation at


Contact for more information, to get your questions answered, and to begin the next steps toward developing an online degree program.