What It Means to be a Provider
The Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) provides online courses offered by Texas provider school districts or schools. In general, Texas Education Code Chapter 30A defines a provider school district or school as:
- Texas school districts open-enrollment charter schools with an acceptable rating;
- Texas public or private institutions of higher education, and
- Texas education service centers;
- and new for 2014, a nonprofit entity, private entity, or corporation is eligible to act as a course provider only if the nonprofit entity, private entity, or corporation: (1) complies with all applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination; (2) demonstrates financial solvency; and (3) provides evidence of prior successful experience offering online courses to middle or high school students, with demonstrated student success in course completion and performance, as determined by the commissioner. The Texas Education Agency and the TxVSN are developing new agreements and systems for nonprofit entities, private entities, or corporations to participate in the statewide catalog. We anticipate these being available in spring 2014.
Some provider school districts or schools elect to partner with a vendor; the eligible provider school district or school, however, is ultimately responsible for all aspects of instruction through the TxVSN.
The Texas Virtual School Network serves as a statewide catalog for courses provided by Texas school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, education service centers, and public or private institutions of higher education. Each course in the catalog is reviewed for alignment to course TEKS, to the North American Council for Online Learning National Standards of Quality for Online Courses, and to a set of predefined standards for online content accessibility (508, Title II compliance). Once approved by TxVSN, the online course catalog displays all approved courses with each course's description and objectives, associated technology specifications, schedule, assessments, costs, and other relevant data for each TxVSN Provider District. School personnel and students can review options to select the course that best meets students’ needs.
There are two distinct programs offered under the auspices of the TxVSN.
Details on the TxVSN Online Schools (OLS) program are available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=4826.
The courses offered by OLS participants are not listed as part of the TxVSN Statewide Course Catalog.
Thinking about becoming a Provider of courses through the TxVSN State-wide Course Catalog?
A LEA interested in providing courses should assess its capacity to serve students statewide. Some factors to be considered and discussed may include:
Online Course Instructors
- availability of Texas-certified teachers to teach online courses
- verification that instructors have met the professional development requirement
- consideration of the number of students that can be served effectively
- consideration of the number of sections or seats to be provided through the TxVSN
- adaptation of local online systems and procedures to meet student needs statewide
- availability of online course aligned to state and national standards
- capacity to update courses as Texas curriculum standards and national standards evolve
It is suggested that LEAs interested in providing courses review the TxVSN Policies and Procedures Manual, the TxVSN Provider Agreement, as well as the TxVSN Course Review section on this website.
Applying for access to the TxVSN Electronic Course Submission System (ECSS)
The Electronic Course Submission System (ECSS) is an electronic system used to facilitate course submission, review, and reporting. Using the ECSS, potential providers complete operational assurances and then submit online coursework for review.
NOTE: Only one ECSS account will be created for a submitting entity. It will be your responsibility to either enter the course information into the ECSS or at your discretion to share your login information with those instructors designated to submit courses on behalf of your institution.
To become a statewide catalog provider, an eligible Texas school district, open-enrollment charter school, education service center, or higher education institution must simultaneously apply and submit courses for review. Contact TxVSN Course Review at TxVSNCourseReview@txvsn.org to begin the application and submission process or to request information. Please submit the information below in your request.
- First Name:
- Last Name:
- Email Address:
- Work Phone:
- District Name:
- Do you have courses built, or are you planning on creating courses, or both?
- Courses you are considering offering:
Once approved as an eligible TxVSN Provider District, you will be given access to our Electronic Course Submission System which is the mechanism used to submit courses for review.