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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 1TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD
CHAPTER 7DEGREE GRANTING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES OTHER THAN TEXAS PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
SUBCHAPTER AGENERAL PROVISIONS
RULE §7.4Standards for Operation of Institutions

All institutions that operate within the State of Texas are expected to meet the following standards. These standards will be enforced through the Certificate of Authority process or the Alternative Certificate of Authority process. Standards addressing the same principles will be enforced by recognized accrediting agencies under the Certificate of Authorization process. Particular attention will be paid to the institution's commitment to education, responsiveness to recommendations and suggestions for improvement, and, in the case of a renewal of a Certificate of Authority, record of improvement and progress. These standards represent generally accepted administrative and academic practices and principles of accredited postsecondary institutions in Texas. Such practices and principles are generally set forth by institutional and specialized accrediting bodies and the academic and professional organizations.

  (1) Legal Compliance. The institution shall be maintained and operated in compliance with all applicable ordinances and laws, including the rules and regulations adopted to administer those ordinances and laws. Career Schools and Colleges also shall demonstrate compliance with Texas Education Code, Chapter 132 by supplying a copy of a Certificate of Approval to operate a career school or college or a Letter of Exemption from the Texas Workforce Commission.

  (2) Qualifications of Institutional Officers.

    (A) The character, education, and experience in higher education of governing board administrators, supervisors, counselors, agents, representatives, and other institutional officers shall reasonably ensure that the institution can maintain the standards of the Board and progress to accreditation within the time limits set by the Board.

    (B) The chief academic officer shall hold an earned advanced degree appropriate for the mission of the institution, preferably, an earned doctorate awarded by an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, and shall demonstrate sound aptitude for and experience with curriculum development and assessment; accreditation standards and processes as well as all relevant state regulations; leadership and development of faculty, including the promotion of scholarship, research, service, academic freedom and responsibility, and tenure (where applicable); and the promotion of student success.

    (C) In the case of a renewal of a Certificate of Authority, the institutional officers also shall demonstrate a record of effective leadership in administering the institution.

  (3) Governance. The institution shall have a system of governance that facilitates the accomplishment of the institution's mission and purposes, supports institutional effectiveness and integrity, and protects the interests of its constituents, including students, faculty and staff. If the institution has a governing board consisting of at least three (3) members, and that board focuses on the accomplishment of the institution's mission and purposes, supports institutional effectiveness and integrity, and protects the interests of its constituents, this standard will be considered as met. In the absence of such a governing board, the burden to establish appropriate safeguards within its system of governance and to demonstrate their effectiveness falls upon the institution.

  (4) Distinction of Roles. The institution shall define the powers, duties and responsibilities of the governing body and the executive officers. There shall be a clear distinction in the roles and personnel of the chief business officer and the chief academic officer.

  (5) Financial Resources and Stability. The institution shall have adequate financial resources and financial stability to provide education of good quality and to be able to fulfill its commitments to students. The institution shall have sufficient reserves, line of credit, or surety instrument so that, together with tuition and fees, it would be able to complete its educational obligations to currently enrolled students if it were unable to admit any new students.

  (6) Financial Records. Financial records and reports of the institution shall be kept and made separate and distinct from those of any affiliated or sponsoring person or entity. Financial records and reports at a not-for-profit institution shall be kept in accordance with the guidelines of the National Association of College and University Business Officers as set forth in College and University Business Administration (Sixth Edition), or such later editions as may be published. An annual independent audit of all fiscal accounts of the educational institution shall be authorized by the governing board and shall be performed by a properly authorized certified public accountant.

  (7) Institutional Assessment. Continual and effective assessment, planning, and evaluation of all aspects of the institution shall be conducted to advance and improve the institution. These aspects include, but are not limited to, the academic program of teaching, research, and public service; administration; financial planning and control; student services; facilities and equipment, and auxiliary enterprises.

  (8) Program Evaluation.

    (A) The institution shall establish adequate procedures for planning and evaluation, define in measurable terms its expected educational results, and describe how those results will be achieved.

    (B) For applied associate degree programs, the evaluation criteria shall include the following: mission, labor market need, curriculum, enrollment, graduates, student placement, follow-up results, ability to finance each program of study, facilities and equipment, instructional practices, student services, public and private linkages, qualifications of faculty and administrative personnel, and success of its students.

    (C) For applied associate degree programs relating to occupations where state or national licensure is required, graduates must pass the licensing examination at a rate acceptable to the related licensing agency.

  (9) Administrative Resources. The institution has the administrative capacity to meet the daily needs of the administration, faculty and students, including facilities, laboratories, equipment, technology and learning resources that support the institution's mission and programs.

  (10) Student Admission and Remediation.

    (A) Upon the admission of a student to any undergraduate program, the institution shall document the student's level of preparation to undertake college level work by obtaining proof of the student's high school graduation or General Educational Development (GED) certification. If a GED is presented, to be valid, the score must be at or above the passing level set by the Texas Education Agency. The academic skills of each entering student may be assessed with an instrument of the institution's choice. The institution may provide an effective program of remediation for students diagnosed with deficiencies in their preparation for collegiate study.

    (B) Upon the admission of a student to any graduate program, the institution shall document that the student is prepared to undertake graduate-level work by obtaining proof that the student holds a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, or an institution holding a Certificate of Authority to offer baccalaureate degrees under the provisions of this chapter, or a degree from a foreign institution equivalent to a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. The procedures used by the institution for establishing the equivalency of a foreign degree shall be consistent with the guidelines of the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Education Credentials or its successor.

  (11) Faculty Qualifications. The character, education, and experience in higher education of the faculty shall be such as may reasonably ensure that the students will receive an education consistent with the objectives of the course or program of study.

    (A) Each faculty member, except as provided by subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, teaching in an academic associate, applied associate leading to required state or national licensure, or baccalaureate level degree program shall have at least a master's degree from an institution accredited by a recognized agency with at least eighteen (18) graduate semester credit hours in the discipline, or closely related discipline, being taught.

    (B) Each faculty member except, as provided by subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, teaching career and technical courses in an applied associate degree program, or career and technical courses that academic associate or baccalaureate students may choose to take, shall have at least an associate degree in the discipline being taught from an institution accredited by a recognized agency and or at least three (3) years of full-time direct or closely related experience in the discipline being taught.

    (C) Each faculty member, except as provided by subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, teaching general education courses in an applied associate degree program shall have at least a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting agency with at least eighteen (18) graduate semester credit hours in the discipline, or closely related discipline, being taught.

    (D) Except as provided by subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, graduate-level degree programs shall be taught by faculty holding doctorates, or other degrees generally recognized as the highest attainable in the discipline, or closely related discipline, awarded by institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the Board.

    (E) With the approval of a majority of the institution's governing board, an individual with exceptional experience in the field of appointment, which may include direct and relevant work experience, professional licensure and certification, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements, may serve as a faculty member without the degree credentials specified in subparagraphs (A) - (D) of this paragraph. Such appointments shall be limited and the justification for each such appointment shall be fully documented. The Board may review the qualifications of the full complement of faculty providing instruction at the institution to verify that such appointments are justified.

  (12) Faculty Size. There shall be a sufficient number of faculty holding full-time teaching appointments that are accessible to the students to ensure continuity and stability of the education program, adequate educational association between students and faculty and among the faculty members, and adequate opportunity for proper preparation for instruction and professional growth by faculty members. At the associate and baccalaureate levels, there shall be at least one (1) full-time faculty member in each program. At the graduate level, there shall be at least two (2) full-time faculty members in each program.

  (13) Academic Freedom and Faculty Security. The institution shall adopt, adhere to, and distribute to all members of the faculty a statement of academic freedom assuring freedom in teaching, research, and publication. All policies and procedures concerning promotion, tenure, and non-renewal or termination of appointments, including for cause, shall be clearly stated and published in a faculty handbook, adhered to by the institution, and supplied to all faculty. The specific terms and conditions of employment of each faculty member shall be clearly described in a written document to be given to that faculty member, with a copy to be retained by the institution.

  (14) Curriculum.

    (A) The quality, content, and sequence of each course, curriculum, or program of instruction, training, or study shall be appropriate to the purpose of the institution and shall be such that the institution may reasonably and adequately achieve the stated objectives of the course or program. Each program shall adequately cover the breadth of knowledge of the discipline taught and coursework must build on the knowledge of previous courses to increase the rigor of instruction and the learning of students in the discipline. A majority of the courses in the areas of specialization required for each degree program shall be offered in organized classes by the institution. An institution may offer for-credit coursework that does not directly relate to approved programs, provided that it does not exceed twenty-five (25) percent of all courses.

    (B) Academic associate degrees must consist of at least sixty (60) semester credit hours and not more than sixty-six (66) semester credit hours or ninety (90) quarter credit hours and not more than ninety-nine (99) quarter credit hours. Applied associate degrees must consist of at least sixty (60) semester credit hours and not more than seventy-two (72) semester credit hours or ninety (90) quarter credit hours and not more than one hundred eight (108) quarter hours. A baccalaureate degree must consist of at least one hundred twenty (120) semester credit hours or one hundred eighty (180) quarter credit hours. A master's degree must consist of at least thirty (30) semester credit hours and not more than thirty-six (36) semester credit hours or forty-five (45) quarter credit hours and not more than fifty-four (54) quarter credit hours of graduate level work past the baccalaureate degree.

    (C) Courses designed to correct deficiencies, remedial courses for associate and baccalaureate programs, and leveling courses for graduate programs, shall not count toward requirements for completion of the degree.

    (D) The degree level, degree designation, and the designation of the major course of study shall be appropriate to the curriculum offered and shall be accurately listed on the student's diploma and transcript.

  (15) General Education.

Cont'd...

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