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Distance Education Policy

Updated 8/30/23

This announcement updates our faculty and students on recent Distance Education (DE) developments in the U.S. and at Five Branches. 

  • Department of Education DE Policies (Updated Spring, 2023)
  • Five Branches Course Delivery Methods
  • International Student Limitations
  • Out-of-State Student Limitations

The US Department of Education established 7 October 2023 as the end date for COVID-19 driven waivers and flexibilities related to distance education. The President declared an official end to the public health emergency on May 11, 2023.  Realizing how much education has transformed during the 3 years of the pandemic, our accreditor ACAHM required that all of its member schools reapply for DE approval to ensure they were offering the highest quality distance education courses. FBU received ACAHM’s Distance Education approval on August 30, 2023.

Distance Education Disclosure

FBU has made the decision to provide courses in one of the following five delivery methods: 

  1. Synchronous On Campus (traditional in person): Students participate on campus simultaneously in real-time.
  2. Synchronous Online: Students participate online simultaneously in real-time. Faculty and students can see and hear each other and participate in discussions, and questions answers.   
  3. Synchronous Hyflex: Students may choose to participate on campus OR online simultaneously in real-time. Faculty and students can see and hear each other either in the classroom or online through their computers
  4. Synchronous Hybrid: Students participate in person AND synchronously online as specified in the course syllabus.
  5. Asynchronous: Students participate in online learning activities at different times.

Given the success of distance education over the past 3 years, FBU will continue to offer some didactic courses in a fully online format, either asynchronously or synchronously. Other courses will be available in the other methods specified. We offer the laboratory/practicum experience courses and clinical training courses synchronously on campus as required by ACAHM. 

Please note that FBU ensures student learning outcomes are the same regardless of the method of course delivery. All courses require students to complete the stated requirements in the time frames specified in their syllabi.  In addition, all courses require students to have Regular and Substantive Interactions with their faculty members and among themselves to maximize learning.   Faculty in all courses provide both on-going and end-of-course feedback to students in a timely manner.

FBU welcomes international students. As required by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), these students must maintain a full-time student status (minimum of 12 units each trimester for MAc/DAc/MAcHM/DAcHM; 7 hours for DAOM). International students may enroll in only 3 units of fully online classes towards their full-time load in each trimester.

States have different rules and regulations that govern online education programs or courses offered by schools in other states.  These rules require all post-secondary institutions who choose to provide online offerings to gain approval or exemption from relevant state agencies.  FBU is actively monitoring state requirements and engaged in efforts to gain the necessary authorization from additional states.  The results of our efforts are outlined below.

 After October 7, 2023, Five Branches cannot offer our programs or portions of programs via DE to residents of the following states.







District of Columbia


Rhode Island


New York



North Carolina


For the students from other states, please contact school admissions/administration departments for details. We will update the information including exceptions and approvals here as they are obtained.