Academic Programs

Program Modality

At Cal Poly Pomona the utilization of online and hybrid approaches to teaching and learning engage 21st century technology in the delivery of an inclusive polytechnic education. The design of online and hybrid classes helps to make a CPP education accessible to more students, such as those with work, family or geographic limitations that present challenges for attending traditional face-to-face classes. The approaches to teaching and learning online and hybrid environments help to ensure that CPP students develop skills necessary for success in the modern workforce, where technology mediates much of what is done. The combination of knowledge, skills and habits of mind developed through an inclusive polytechnic education, and mastery of the ability to adapt to and utilize technology to accomplish their goals, will prepare CPP students for the future of work.

Online and hybrid education is a modern-day extension of CPP's commitment to experiential learning, multi-disciplinary perspectives, collaboration, and professional readiness in providing a one-of-a-kind educational experience. Consistent with Theme 5 of our Academic Master Plan, CPP is committed to development online and hybrid academic programs that are high-quality, inclusive, up-to-date, relevant, engaging, and immersive educational experiences that link theory and practice in curricular and co-curricular experiential learning activities.

Program Modality

Every program is approved by our accreditor, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) to be offered in one of two modalities: (1) on-site or (2) distance. The programs must then offer their curriculum so that the majority of the major units to degree are offered in the approved modality.

Institutions are allowed to develop local definitions for program modalities in order to better communicate their intent in program design. At Cal Poly Pomona, we will utilize the following three definitions of program modality:

  1. On-Site: the program offers the majority of the units in their major curriculum in the face-to-face instructional modality. Less than half of the units in the curriculum may be offered in online instructional modalities.
    1. These programs are approved as on-site by WSCUC.
  2. Hybrid: the program offers their curriculum utilizing a mixture of face-to-face and online instructional modalities. The major curriculum should be offered such that students do not have a fully online program.
    1. Hybrid programs must be approved as distance programs by WSCUC.
  3. Fully Online: the program offers their curriculum only in online instructional modalities.
    1. Fully online programs must be approved as distance programs by WSCUC.

WSCUC lists the official program modality for all approved programs on their site (click the program tab toward the bottom of the page):

The following principles will guide CPP in the scheduling of online and hybrid classes:

  1. The needs of students must be considered in the development of the class schedule. Lower-division, upper-division and graduate students each require unique considerations. For example, lower-division students tend to need greater in-person oppotunities for building community, development of relationships with faculty, and exploration of campus resources.
  2. The instructional modality of each course must be thoughtfully considered so that it facilitates the student learning outcomes of the course and allows for appropriate pedagogical approaches for student engagement and success.
  3. Faculty teaching an online or hybrid class will have participated in professional development opportunities centered around the unique issues of teaching in online and hybrid instructional modalities.
  4. All courses and other educational experiences will be accessible, welcoming and inclusive of all learners.


  1. The department develops a proposal and submits it through Curriculog Approval Process O. Program - Change Degree Program Modality.
  2. Campus reviews and approvals must then be obtained in the following order:
    1. Department curriculum committee
    2. Department chair
    3. College curriculum committee
    4. College dean
    5. AVP Academic Programs
    6. Provost
  3. WSCUC review and approval must then be obtained
    1. The ALO will complete this step
  4. The Chancellor's Office will be notified of the change
    1. The Office of Academic Programs will complete this step
  5. The program may convert modality at the start of the approved academic year
    1. Generally, for programs wishing to change from on-site to a hybrid modality, the change in modality may begin at the start of the next academic year.
    2. For programs wishing to become fully online, the change in modality may take more than one academic year to be implemented. The timing of the change will need to take into account the admission application cycles, as well as the need to teach out currently enrolled students.

  1. Desire modality: fully online or hybrid
  2. Describe the rationale for change in modality, and connect this to how the change in modality will support the program's offering of an inclusive polytechinic education.
  3. If the program holds a disciplinary accreditation, indicate whether the accrediting body needs to review and approve the program change prior to implementation, and describe the process and timeline for that review.
  4. Provide the overall plan for the curriculum, including which instructional modalities each course will be offered in (see list of instructional modalities here:
    1. If the program offers co-curricular experiences in support of the curriculum, how will these be offered?
    2. How will the program assure that course materials are accessible in design?
  5. Describe faculty preparation to teach in the proposed modality(ies), including experience and completed professional development; this information should be provided for each faculty member assigned to teach in the program. How will the program assure that new faculty are prepared to teach in the assigned modality(ies)?
  6. Attach the assessment plan for the program.
  7. Describe or attach the teach out plan for the on-site (i.e., face-to-face) program. (Required for change to fully online modality only)