The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. (1) Accredited public school--Any public school in the state that is accredited by the State Board of Education. (2) Approved teacher education program--A teacher education program whose graduates are eligible for certification as teachers by the State Board of Education. (3) Board--The Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System. (4) Certification--A credential from the State Board of Education to teach in Texas. (5) Commissioner--The commissioner of higher education, the chief executive officer of the board. (6) Consecutive semesters--Semesters which immediately follow one another, excluding summer. (7) Cosigner--A cosigner of a note executed under the authority of the Teacher Education Loan
Program shall be such a person signing a note, other than the loan recipient, who is over 21 years of age and who is gainfully employed full time or otherwise demonstrates financial responsibility. Such a person may be a relative, except a spouse, and may not be a student. A cosigner is jointly and severally responsible for all promissory notes issued through the program and signed by the maker and him/herself. (8) Eligible institution--An eligible institution shall be any institution of higher education within the State of Texas that: (A) admits as regular students only those persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate; (B) is legally authorized within the state to provide a program of education beyond secondary level; (C) provides an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's degree;
(D) is a public or other nonprofit institution; (E) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; (F) is an institution having its parent campus in Texas; and (G) offers courses which will lead to teacher certification or endorsement by the State Board of Education. (9) Endorsement--Completion of specific course work approved by the State Board of Education which enables a teacher to teach in a field other than that for which certification was obtained. (10) Fund--Teacher Education Loan Program fund. (11) Graduate student--Any student who is pursuing a program, or has a bachelor's degree and is enrolled in courses which are normally part of a program, leading to a graduate or professional degree or certificate at an institution of higher education and has successfully completed the equivalent of at least three years of full-time
study at an institution of higher education either prior to entrance into the program or as part of the program itself. (12) Enrolled for at least one-half of a full course load--Formal admission to a program and enrollment in an eligible institution leading to teacher certification or a master's degree in a field in which the person holds teacher certification or is seeking certification. Enrollment as an undergraduate must be for six or more semester or quarter credit hours. Enrollment as a graduate must be for four and one-half or more semester or quarter credit hours. Enrollment as an undergraduate or graduate in a summer semester must be for six or more semester or quarter credit hours. (13) Junior--A student who has accumulated at least 60 hours of course credit at an institution of higher education and has declared his or her intentions to pursue teacher certification. (14) Pro rata--A proportionate basis upon which
amounts of loans will be scaled, depending upon the share of a full-time course load being carried. (15) Regularly employed as a teacher by a public school--A teacher who teaches more than 20 hours a week, who provides at least 175 days of instruction per year (not including substitute teaching), and who participates in at least eight days of inservice training and preparation per year. (16) Resident of Texas--A bona fide resident of Texas as defined in the Texas Education Code, §§54.052, 54.054, and 54.055. Nonresidents classified as Texas residents for purposes of paying Texas resident tuition and fees are excluded. (17) Shortage area--As defined by the State Board of Education. (18) Summer semester--The equivalent of 12 weeks of study regardless of the number of sessions.