Skip to Content

Course Procedure

Getting Started

Your enrollment date in a self-paced correspondence course is confirmed by email to your Texas State email address by our office and is specified when you register and pay for your course. You should purchase the course materials within thirty days of your registration. A study guide will be provided if you are enrolled in a print-based course. Note: If you are enrolled in an online course, you will not need a study guide; all course information is found on the course site in TRACS. For a print-based course, the study guide contains all the instructions and lessons needed to complete your course. Whether print-based or online, each course contains a set number of lessons. Start your course by reading the correspondence course orientation information at the beginning of the course. Then, carefully read the Introduction or Syllabus, making note of all course objectives. Once you are familiar with what is expected of you in the course, you may begin Lesson One. When you reach an assignment to be submitted for grading, follow the procedures listed at the beginning of your course and in your course's Introduction or Syllabus. You may submit assignments by mail or online for all print-based courses. When submitting an assignment by mail, be sure to attach an Assignment Cover Sheet.

For all courses, you may submit assignments in TRACS or by mail. Whatever method of assignment submission you use, never send an assignment directly to your instructor. Assignments submitted by mail will follow this routing procedure:

  • You submit your assignment to the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.
  • We log in your assignment as "received" and send it to your instructor for grading.
  • Your instructor grades your assignment and returns it to the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.
  • We return the graded assignment to you.

You should normally wait for your assignment to be returned with a grade before submitting the next assignment. If you submit your assignment by mail and would rather pick up your graded assignment in the Office of Distance and Extended Learning, write “For Pick Up” in the address box on the assignment cover sheet. Pay close attention to the professor’s comments on graded assignments. This practice is one of the primary ways that learning takes place in correspondence study. Some students—either because of deadlines or because they have an excellent understanding of the course material—may wish to submit assignments at a faster rate. Unless the course study guide or Web site states otherwise, you may submit no more than two assignments per week. Be sure to retain a copy of all work you complete and of all assignments you submit. On rare occasions, assignments may be lost or damaged in the mail, or completed online work may be lost because of technical difficulties. The best protection you have against delays and extra work is to retain duplicate copies of your work.

Mail Time

Assignments and exams are mailed to instructors daily, Monday through Friday. Keep in mind, however, that faculty teach correspondence courses in addition to their regular teaching load. They are given up to one week to return graded assignments and exams to our office. On average, it takes two weeks from the time you place assignments in the mail or your non-Texas State proctor places exams in the mail for items to be graded and returned to you. Assignments that are submitted via TRACS are usually graded and returned in a shorter amount of time. Turnaround time is usually longer around Christmas, Spring Break, and semester breaks, when faculty members take time off. Take this circumstance into account when devising your self-paced correspondence study schedule.

On-Campus Drop Boxes

Students may drop off assignments at the Office of Distance and Extended Learning during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, you may use one of these drop boxes:

The Office of Distance and Extended Learning
The drop box is located on the first floor outside the entrance of the Academic Services Building North. This box is checked Monday through Friday.

J.C. Kellam Building
A campus mail drop box is located on the first floor of the J.C. Kellam Building in the campus post office. Make sure that all assignments are sealed in an envelope and addressed to the Office of Distance and Extended Learning. No postage is necessary for items sent through campus mail.


Keep in mind that correspondence self-paced courses are taught by faculty in addition to their regular teaching load. Instructors are given up to a week to grade assignments.

On average, it takes two weeks from the time you place assignments in the mail for items to be graded and returned to you. Assignments submitted online, in person, or via on-campus drop box are usually graded and returned in a shorter amount of time than assignments submitted via mail. Turn-around time is usually longer around Christmas, Spring Break, and semester breaks, when faculty members take time off. Take this circumstance into account when devising your correspondence study schedule.

Every assignment, including online assignments, will be graded by your instructor and either returned to you or made available for your review online, with an accompanying grade and any comments from your instructor. If you leave a segment of the assignment unfinished or misunderstand the directions, the instructor may give you a failing grade on the assignment, or return the assignment ungraded and ask that you resubmit it with the appropriate changes.

Pay close attention to the instructor’s comments on graded assignments. This practice is one of the primary ways that learning takes place in correspondence study.


Most Texas State correspondence self-paced courses require a student to take one or two exams. Because exams are the primary indicator of your mastery of a correspondence self-paced course, most exams must be taken in an approved, supervised location. If your course has a cumulative final exam, you must score 60 percent or higher on that exam to pass the course. For courses in which the final exam is not cumulative, the average grade on all exams must be at least 60 percent for you to pass the course. For an explanation of a specific course’s grading criteria, refer to the Introduction or Syllabus in your course. Exams will not be mailed to testing sites or administered on the Texas State campus until we have received all assignments due before the exam and received any exams previously administered for the course. If you submit assignments online or if specifically required for your course, the Office of Distance and Extended Learning must receive official grades from your instructor for all prerequisite assignments before your exam will be mailed to a proctor or administered. If you are taking a final exam, you are acknowledging that your course work is complete as submitted. All assignments received by your instructor to date will be factored into the computation of your final course grade, and no further submissions will be permitted.

For more information on exam procedures, visit the Testing page.

Course Grades, Incompletes, and Withdrawals

All assignments must be completed and all exams must be taken for you to receive credit for your course. Once you have completed your course and the instructor has determined your final grade, you will receive a final grade report. Letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F are used for final grades. The lowest passing grade is a D. There is no pass/fail grading option for any course except MATH 1311. Final course grades are reported by your instructor and should appear on your transcript within 24 hours.

Your final exam grade (for courses that have a final exam) and a course report are reported in TRACS or emailed to you upon completion of the course. You may also obtain a course grade on an official Texas State transcript. Transcripts are available from the Registrar’s Office, 111 J.C. Kellam Building, and may be requested on the website of the Office of the University Registrar

You may drop an uncompleted course at any time before your course expiration date using Flexible Registration. You may not drop a course after taking the final exam, or for courses that do not have a final exam, after submitting the final assignment. Please note that in order to receive a partial refund, you must drop a class within the first 30 days. Refer to the Withdrawal Refund Schedule for information on partial refund amounts. 

If you drop a course using before your nine-month enrollment period expires, no grade will be reported to the Registrar, the course will not appear on your transcript, and the course will not be included in attempted hours calculations.

If you do not drop or complete your course prior to your course expiration date, a “W” will automatically be applied to your transcript. Courses with a “W” will be included in attempted hours.  

The financial aid implications of a “W” applied to your transcript are detailed on the Financial Aid web page under the “Maximum Hours Limit” paragraph.

The implications of a “W” for tuition waivers and exemptions are detailed on the Student Business Services web page under the “Academic Progress for Waivers and Exemptions” paragraph.

To Drop a Course

  1. Go to Flexible Registration.
  2. Enter your NetID and password, and select “Manage Registration."
  3. Your courses will be listed, along with an action tab.
  4. Select “drop “and follow the remaining instructions.
  5. If you applied a coupon at registration or no longer have access through your NetID and password to your Texas State account, you will be unable to drop your course yourself. Please contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning for assistance in dropping your course.


Academic Honesty

The Texas State University Honor Code establishes the following:

  • Instructor responsibilities
  • Student responsibilities
  • Procedures for cases of academic misconduct (including rules about hearings and appeals)

The university expects both faculty and students, including correspondence students, to respect and follow the Honor Code.

As stated in University Policy and Procedures Statement 07.10.01,

Violation of the Honor Code includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource materials.

"Cheating" in general, but not limited to, means engaging or attempting to engage in any of the following activities:

  • copying from another student’s test paper, laboratory report, other report, computer files, data listings, programs, or from any electronic device or equipment;
  • using, during a test, printed, audio, or electronic materials not authorized by the person giving the test;
  • collaborating, without authorization, with another person during an examination or in preparing academic work;
  • knowingly, and without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, copying, or possessing, in whole or in part, the content of an un-administered test, or other academic products (i.e., study guides, etc.);
  • substituting for another student or permitting another person to substitute for oneself in taking an examination or preparing academic work;
  • bribing or coercing another person to obtain an unadministered test or information about an unadministered test or other academic products;
  • purchasing, or otherwise acquiring and submitting as one’s own work, any research paper or other writing assignment prepared by an individual or firm. This section does not apply to the word processing of the rough or final versions of an assignment by a professional service;
  • submitting the same essay, thesis, report, or another project, without substantial revision or expansion of the work, in an attempt to obtain credit for work submitted in another course;
  • falsifying data.

“Plagiarism” in general, but not limited to, means the appropriation of another’s work and the inadequately or inappropriately acknowledged incorporation of that work in one’s own written work, oral work, visual work, or the performance of an original act or routine that is offered for credit.

“Collusion” in general, but not limited to, means the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing any work offered for credit.

“Abuse of resource materials” in general, but not limited to, means the mutilation, destruction, concealment, theft, or alteration of materials provided to assist students in the mastery of course content.