Instructional activities are not normally accessible to those outside the Empire State College community other than on the basis of invitation. All of the college's instructional activities, including individual faculty/student meetings, group studies, online learning courses and group sessions at residencies are intended to foster academic inquiry in an atmosphere supportive of academic freedom.
Attendance at instructional activities is normally limited to the students enrolled for the activity and the instructor(s). On occasions provided for in faculty evaluation procedures, the faculty member's supervisor or other designated evaluator may observe teaching activity. Faculty members may invite students not enrolled in the activity, faculty colleagues and other presenters or visitors, with the following stipulations: (1) students enrolled in the instructional activity should be informed and consulted about such visitors in a timely way; (2) when arranging to bring external visitors to the college, faculty members should inform or consult their supervisors as appropriate.
When the college has a formal partnership or contractual relationship with an external organization, such agreements commonly include provisions for evaluation of the program. When observation of instructional activity is part of a plan agreed to by the college and an external organization, the observation will be designed to avoid interference with instructional aims. Observations conducted for purposes of program evaluation will not be used in evaluation of individual faculty. Faculty and students or prospective students will be informed of such program evaluation plans at the outset of the program and will receive advance information about specific observational visits. When the college invites individuals to visit academic programs to introduce them to the college, the visitor will observe instructional activity only when such a visit is agreed to in advance by the faculty member, in consultation with students and the program administrator. If visitors offer unsolicited evaluative comments or written reports, these will not be considered in evaluation of the individual faculty member.
Individuals wishing to visit the college, e.g., community members, legislators, representatives of organizations with which the college has no formal relationship, should be referred to the appropriate administrator