Non-Degree-Non-Credit Programs with External Users

JHU has created a process to successfully launch programs to external, non-JHED learners using Canvas. Programs with external users are required to obtain approval before launching on Canvas. The approval process provides guidance on JHU policies and offers support from IT@JH to plan for a smooth launch. Once the application is completed and approved, the program can start offering courses to external users through a public storefront,, or their own system and enroll these users in Canvas courses.  Learn more about the process for launching programs with external, non-JHED Users.

This application and process is co-sponsored by the Provost’s Office and IT@JH in consultation with the LMS Steering Committee and the Canvas Lifelong Learning Working Group. 

Table of Contents

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who does this apply to?  

  • Non-degree non-credit programs 
  • Lifelong learning programs 
  • Programs that offer non-academic courses to external, non-JHED students 

What systems does this give access to?   

  • Canvas – with planned access for external, non-JHED users  
  • (i.e., Canvas Catalog – a public storefront for Canvas course registration) 

Why go through the approval process?  

  • It allows you to host canvas offerings for external, non-JHED users 
  • It allows you to add your offerings to a public listing that includes courses across JHU 

Who should I work with to fill out the application?  

  • Your division’s teaching & learning center 
  • Your division’s business office  
  • IT@JH Academic Technology Department  
  • Your leadership 

How long does the review take?  

  • Once the application has been submitted, it can take 2-4 weeks to process by the committee.  
  • An incomplete application may be returned to the program for more information which can extend the process.  

Application Process 

  1. Access the application: Request the application from your division’s teaching and learning center or, if you do not have a divisional contact, reach out to [email protected].
  2. Fill out the Application: Review the application with your team and include other key groups in your division including your division’s teaching and learning center and business office (if you plan to accept payment). Depending on your division’s process, you may need to check with your leadership for internal approval prior to applying. 
  3. Coordinate with IT: Set up a meeting with IT@JH by contacting [email protected] to discuss your plan and how it can be implemented in Canvas and the enrollment system. This will help you fill out the technical portion of the application.  
  4. Complete the Application: Finalize your application making sure that all the questions are filled out. You can see how the reviewer will evaluate your application from the checklist under each section. Make sure that you have addressed all those points in your answers to avoid delays.  
  5. Submit the Application: Submit your completed application to the Canvas LL Application Submission Form. Your application will be added to the queue, which can take 2-4 weeks to process. 
  6. Review by the Committee: The Canvas Non-Degree Non-Credit Review Subcommittee is part of the larger LMS Steering Committee. It includes representatives from the Provost’s Office, IT@JH, and divisions that run mature programs. The goal is to ensure that the application complies with JHU policy and has a technically sound launch plan. The committee will follow the checklist in the application and provide written feedback on any elements that need refinement. 
  7. Possible Outcomes from the Committee: 
    •  Approval: The committee finds that this program has done the due diligence needed for a successful launch and would be at low risk to the university. Approved programs can work with the division and IT@JH to launch their program based on the documented plan. 
    •  Conditional Approval: The committee finds that this program has most of the preparation needed but needs to provide some additional information or clarify certain elements (usually 1-3 sections) to be prepared for a successful launch. A brief re-review will allow for launch.  
    •  Significant Changes Needed: The committee finds that significant additional information is needed to prepare for a successful launch and ensure the program is low risk to the university. (Usually, 4+ sections need more information). A full re-review is required prior to launch.   
    •  Denial: The program does not align with the mission or vision of the University. Confer with divisional leadership. Resubmit with a plan more aligned with JHU guidelines or divisional goals.
  8. Launch Preparation: After approval, the program will work with the division’s teaching & learning center and IT@JH to launch the program according to the written plan.  
    • If a payment gateway needs to be set up the division’s teaching & learning center and IT@JH will work with Canvas to set it up.  
    • The program will be connected with the appropriate IT@JH department for account creation.  
    • (i.e., Canvas Catalog) – if applicable 
      • Admin access to can be requested by elevated subaccount admins in Canvas within the division. 
      • Sub-catalog development in for the approved program. 
      • Training (if not already completed) and configuration of initial listing support.  
    • IT@JH can provide a Go Live review of the first offering to support a smooth launch.

Estimated Timeline 

This is the estimated time for programs going through the approval and launch process. It will vary based on program complexity and clarity of program requirements. It is important to build in this set up time and some buffer before your plan to market and host your first offering.  

  • 3-8 Weeks – Prepare the Application: Fill out the application with all the needed information and testing (depending on the complexity and size of the program). 
  • 2-4 Weeks – Application Review – Reviewed by Canvas Lifelong Learning Review Subcommittee.
  • (If applicable) Variable – Application Revisions: If the original application was not complete then the program will need to provide the missing information and submit it for re-review.  
  • 2-4 Weeks – Launch Preparation: Work with IT@JH and your division’s teaching and learning center to prepare for your initial launch. This assumes that you have the content built and ready in Canvas. More complicated launches with payment gateways may take longer than simpler launches.  

Additional Submissions, Re-Reviews, and Yearly Renewals  

If a program with different leadership, objectives, or technical needs wants to launch, they need to apply, even if they are part of the same division. This review ensures that this program knows what JHU policies impact their offerings and empowers them with the support and tools to launch effectively. New programs within a division may be able to streamline the application if they share significant elements with existing programs.  

All approved applications must be renewed yearly. Review the annual renewal process for non-degree non-credit programs.

Related Resources

  • Different Account Types in Canvas: JHED v. External Users – walks you through the different types of accounts that can access Canvas along with their pros and cons.
  • Information – JHU has a storefront that allows external users to purchase and take non-degree non-credit courses on Canvas. Programs that wish to offer courses need to complete an approval process to be able to post offerings to external users on the platform.
  • Canvas Non-Academic Listing Pre-Launch Checklist – Once the program is approved, it is up to the program to ensure that listings and courses comply with JHU guidelines. This checklist empowers approved programs to launch listings.

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