Below are some frequently asked questions about the vendor course approval process. Please click on the question to view related answer
The North Carolina Vendor Approval Process is intended to ensure access to a variety of high-quality, standards-based courses from vendors and providers all over the country, while lowering costs by eliminating the need for each school or LEA to separately evaluate virtual course products. The NC Vendor Course Approval Process and the North Carolina Virtual Public School are guided by both state legislation and state board policy.
First, the NC General Assembly S.L. 2011-145 states in section 7.22 (h)(2), the following:
The Director of NCVPS shall continue to ensure the following:
- Course quality standards are established and met.
- All e-learning opportunities other than virtual charter schools offered by State-funded entities to public school students are consolidated under the NCVPS program, eliminating course duplication.
- All courses offered through NCVPS are aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
Second, SBE Policy # GCS-M-001 (“Course for Credit”) Section 4 states the following:
An e-learning course qualifies for course credit if it meets the following requirements:
4.1 Any K-12 e-learning course taken for credit towards a diploma must first be approved for credit by the NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS).
4.2 E-learning courses offering instruction in courses included within the NC Standard Course of Study must meet the Standard Course of Study competency goals and objectives. E-learning courses offered for AP or IB credit must align with the governing bodies of the AP and IB programs.
4.3 E-learning courses offering instruction in courses not included in the Standard Course of Study curriculum must have rigor, depth and breadth comparable to courses included in the Standard Course of Study. When determining whether an e-learning course has such rigor, depth and breadth, the NCVPS shall consider whether the course meets the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and/or International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) criteria for awarding credit or is offered for credit toward a degree by a UNC system institution, an institution in the North Carolina Community College System, or a regionally accredited college.
In partnership and collaboration with the NC Department of Public Instruction’s Curriculum and Instruction Division, the goal of the NC Vendor Course Approval Process is not to limit choices, but to consolidate as many high-quality courses as possible into a menu of options for schools and LEAs to better serve the needs of all students in North Carolina.
All course are reviewed according to the standards outlined by International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) for course and teacher quality.
There are two phases for the review process. All vendor courses go through Phase 1 for course quality and teacher quality. For course quality at Phase 1, reviewers evaluate the vendor course for alignment to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study; for teacher quality at Phase 1, reviewers evaluate whether the teacher holds a valid North Carolina teaching certificate.
If a course approves at Phase 1, then the course moves to Phase 2 (Full Course Review). During Phase 2, vendors will submit documentation, artifacts, and narratives for the remaining evaluation standards (Standards B-E for Course Quality and Standards B-J for Teacher Quality--refer to the documents linked in the first paragraph to this question.
Upon review completion, the vendor will be notified whether the course has been approved or not.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are not required to go through a formal review at Phase 1, provided the vendor can demonstrate that each AP course syllabus has been approved by the College Board. To satisfy the requirements of a Phase 1 review (determining standard/curriculum alignment), a vendor must follow the process to submit the appropriate AP Syllabus Audit and Approval from the College Board: http://bit.ly/AP-Approval.
If a new vendor requests a review for an AP course, and can provide the necessary syllabus approval and AP teacher preparation documentation, then the AP course moves directly to a Phase 2 review which includes a full review of Course Quality (Standards B-E) and Teacher Quality (Standards B-J).
- Approved Vendor Courses
- Credit Recovery
- Middle School
- High School Courses for Middle School Students
- Mastery Learning for First Time Credit
- OCS Blended Learning
- Supporting Blended Learning
- Physical Education with NCVPS
- Professional Learning
- Shared Courses
- Technology Requirements
- Unique Courses
- Vendor Approval for AP Courses
- Vendor Course Approval
- Visual Arts Courses