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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 §7.7Institutions Accredited by Board-Recognized Accreditors

An institution which does not meet the definition of institution of higher education contained in Texas Education Code §61.003, is accredited by a Board-recognized accreditor, and is interested in offering degrees or courses leading to degrees in the State of Texas must follow the requirements in paragraphs (1) - (5) of this section.

  (1) Authorization to Offer Degrees or Courses Leading to Degrees in Texas.

    (A) Each institution and/or campus location must submit an application for a Certificate of Authorization to offer degree(s) or courses leading to degrees in Texas. The application form for the Certificate of Authorization may be found on the Board's website. The application must contain the following information:

      (i) Name of the institution;

      (ii) Physical location of campus, or in the case of only providing clinicals or internships in Texas, the physical location of all clinical or internship sites, number of students in clinicals or internships and start and end date of clinicals or internships;

      (iii) Name and contact information of the Chief Administrative Officer of the campus and name and contact information of the designated Single Point of Contact as defined in §7.3 of this chapter (relating to Definitions). In the case of an application based on clinicals or internships, name and contact information of clinical or internship site supervisors;

      (iv) Name of Board recognized accreditor;

      (v) Level of degree, degree program name, and CIP code as authorized by the Board-recognized accreditor;

      (vi) Documentation of notification to students and potential students of any program which does not make the graduate eligible to take required professional examinations in that field or to practice regulated professions in that field in Texas;

      (vii) Dates of accreditation granted by the Board-recognized accreditor;

      (viii) Acknowledgement of student complaint procedure, compliance with the institutional accrediting agency's standards for operation of institutions, annual review reporting requirements, substantive change notification, and student data reporting requirements contained in this section, §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title (relating to Student Complaint Procedure), §7.4 of this chapter (relating to Standards for Operation of Institutions), §7.11 of this chapter (relating to Changes of Ownership and Other Substantive Changes), and §7.13 of this chapter (relating to Student Data Reporting), respectively;

      (ix) Texas Workforce Commission Certificate of Approval or a Texas Workforce Commission exemption or exclusion from Texas Education Code, Chapter 132.

    (B) Board staff will verify information and accreditation status and upon confirmation, will provide a Certificate of Authorization to offer in Texas those degrees or courses leading to degrees for which it is accredited, or in the case of only providing clinicals or internships in Texas, a Certificate of Authorization for an institution to offer in Texas identified clinicals or internships in connection with those degrees or courses leading to degrees for which the institution is accredited. The Certificate of Authorization will be issued to the institution by name, city and state.

    (C) Certificates of Authorization are subject to annual review for continued compliance with the Board-recognized accreditor's standards of operation, student complaint processes, financial viability, and accurate and fair representation in publications, advertising, and promotion.

      (i) Institutions must submit the following documentation on an annual basis for Board staff review and recommendation to the Board for continuation or revocation of the Certificate of Authorization:

        (I) Annual audited financial statements, issued less than one year from time of submission, prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles by an independent certified public accountant;

        (II) Certification that the institution is providing accurate and fair representation in publications, advertising, and promotion, including disclosure to students and potential students of any program which does not make the graduate eligible to take required professional examinations in that field or to practice regulated professions in that field in Texas. The institution shall further certify that it is maintaining any advertising used in Texas for a minimum of five years and shall make any such advertisements available to the Board for inspection upon request.

        (III) An annotated copy of the student catalog or student handbook showing compliance with the principles addressed in §7.4 of this chapter with cross-reference to the operational standards of its institutional accrediting agency;

        (IV) A copy of the institution's student complaint policy, links to online student complaint procedures and forms, and summary of all complaints made by Texas residents or students enrolled at a Texas-based institution concerning the institution in accordance with §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title. The complaint summary shall include complaints which have been filed, with the institution, its accrediting agency, or the Board within the 12 months prior to the annual review reporting date and shall indicate whether pending or resolved;

        (V) Official statement of current accreditation status and any pending or final actions that change the institution's accreditation status from the institution's Board-recognized accreditor, including changes in degree levels or programs offered approvals, changes in ownership or management, and changes in physical location within the 12 months prior to the annual review reporting date;

        (VI) Attestation that all documentation submitted is true and correct and continued acknowledgement of student complaint procedure, annual review reporting requirements, substantive change notification, and student data reporting requirements contained herein this section, §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title, §§7.4, 7.11, and 7.13 of this chapter, respectively.

      (ii) Annual reviews are conducted based on an institution's name and initial date of authorization.

        (I) Institutions with names starting with "A" through "O" must submit annual review documentation by January 15 of each year. The Board will review staff recommendations at the annual July Board meeting.

        (II) Institutions with names starting with "P" through "Z" must submit annual review documentation by July 15 of each year. The Board will review staff recommendations at the annual January Board meeting.

        (III) Institutions that have received their first Certificate of Authorization less than six months from the due date for submission of annual review documentation may wait to submit documentation until the following annual review submission date.

      (iii) Prior to making a recommendation to the Board, staff has discretion to conduct a site visit at the institution if warranted by facts disclosed in the annual review documentation. The Board-recognized accreditor will be notified and invited to participate.

    (D) Certificates of Authorization, upon Board staff recommendation after annual review, expire at the end of the grant of accreditation by the Board-recognized accreditor.

      (i) If a new grant of accreditation is awarded by the Board-recognized accreditor, the Certificate of Authorization may be renewed upon submission of documentation of the new grant of accreditation.

      (ii) If an institution changes recognized accreditors, the institution must submit a new application for a Certificate of Authorization.

    (E) Certificates of Authorizations based solely on providing clinicals or internships in Texas expire one year from date of issuance.

      (i) If clinicals or internships are ongoing in Texas, the Certificate of Authorization based solely on providing clinicals or internships in Texas must be renewed on an annual basis. At least thirty (30) days, but no more than ninety (90) days, prior to the expiration of the current Certification of Authorization, an institution, if it desires renewal, is required to provide updated information regarding the physical location of all clinical or internship sites, number of students in clinicals or internships, and the start and end date of the clinicals or internships.

      (ii) The Board shall renew the Certificate of Authorization based solely on providing clinicals or internships in Texas if it finds that the institution has maintained all requisite standards.

  (2) An institution that has requested a Certificate of Authorization but has not received authorization from its accrediting agency to be included in its main campus' accreditation either on an interim or final basis may be granted a Provisional Certificate of Authorization. The Provisional Certificate of Authorization is an acknowledgment that the institution has qualified for a temporary exemption from Board rules based on the main campus' accreditation and is authorized to offer degrees and courses that lead to a degree. The Provisional Certificate of Authorization will be authorized until such time as the institution is granted accreditation or for a period of 15 months, whichever occurs first. The conditions will be outlined in the Provisional Certificate of Authorization letter that will accompany the Provisional Certificate of Authorization. If accreditation has not been achieved by the expiration date, the Provisional Certificate of Authorization will be withdrawn, the institution's authorization to offer degrees will be terminated, and the institution will be required to comply with the provisions of §7.8 of this chapter (relating to Institutions Not Accredited by a Board-Recognized Accreditor). Subsequent Provisional Certificates of Authorization will not be issued. At least ninety (90) days prior to expiration of the certificate, institutions operating under a Provisional Certificate of Authorization must submit either an application for a Certificate of Authorization under this section or an application for a Certificate of Authority under §7.8 of this chapter.

  (3) Grounds for Revocation of any Certificate of Authorization.

    (A) The Institution no longer holds a Certificate of Approval or Letter of Exemption issued by the Texas Workforce Commission.

    (B) Institution loses accreditation from Board-recognized accreditor.

    (C) Institution's Accreditor is removed from the U.S. Department of Education or the Board's list of approved accreditors.

    (D) Institution fails to comply with data reporting, substantive change notification requirements, or annual review reporting requirements.

    (E) Board staff recommends revocation based on deficiencies in compliance with the principles addressed in §7.4 of this chapter as evidenced by lack of compliance with the Board-recognized accreditor's standards, which are found in annual review documentation and not corrected by the institution upon request by Board staff.

    (F) Institution offers degrees for which it does not have accreditor approval.

  (4) Process for Removal of Authorization.

    (A) Commissioner notifies institution of grounds for revocation as outlined in paragraph (3) of this section.

    (B) Upon receipt of the notice of revocation, the institution must cease granting or awarding degrees or offering courses leading to degrees in Texas until it has either been granted a Certificate of Authority or Alternative Certificate of Authority to grant degrees, or has received a determination that it did not lose its qualification for a Certificate of Authorization.

    (C) Within ten (10) days of its receipt of the Commissioner's notice, the institution must respond and offer proof of its continued qualification for the exemption, or submit data as required by §7.13 of this chapter.

    (D) After reviewing the evidence, the Commissioner will issue a notice of determination, which in the case of an adverse determination, shall contain information regarding the reasons for the denial, and the institution's right to a hearing.

    (E) If a determination under this section is adverse to an institution, it shall become final and binding unless, within forty-five (45) days of its receipt of the adverse determination, the institution invokes the administrative remedies contained in Chapter 1, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Dispute Resolution).

  (5) Closure of an Institution.

    (A) The governing board, owner, or chief executive officer of an institution that plans to cease operation shall provide the Board with written notification of intent to close at least ninety (90) days prior to the planned closing date.

    (B) If an institution closes unexpectedly, the governing board, owner, or chief executive officer of the school shall provide the Board with written notification immediately.

    (C) If an institution closes or intends to close before all currently enrolled students have completed all requirements for graduation, the institution shall assure the continuity of students' education by entering into a teach-out agreement with another institution authorized by the Board to hold a Certificate of Authority, with an institution operating under a Certificate of Authorization, or with a public or private institution of higher education as defined in Texas Education Code §61.003. The agreement shall be in writing, shall be subject to Board approval, shall contain provisions for student transfer, and shall specify the conditions for completion of degree requirements at the teach-out institution. The agreement shall also contain provisions for awarding degrees.

    (D) The Certificate of Authorization for an institution is automatically withdrawn when the institution closes. The Commissioner may grant to an institution that has a degree-granting authority temporary approval to award a degree(s) in a program for which the institution does not have approval in order to facilitate a formal agreement as outlined under this section.

    (E) The curriculum and delivery shall be appropriate to accommodate the remaining students.

    (F) No new students shall be allowed to enter the transferred degree program unless the new entity seeks and receives permanent approval for the program(s) from the Board.

    (G) The institution shall transfer all academic records pursuant to §7.5(d) of this chapter (relating to Administrative Penalties and Injunctions).


Source Note: The provisions of this §7.7 adopted to be effective December 6, 2009, 34 TexReg 8515; amended to be effective May 26, 2010, 35 TexReg 4152; amended to be effective November 29, 2010, 35 TexReg 10497; amended to be effective February 26, 2013, 38 TexReg 1152; amended to be effective August 15, 2013, 38 TexReg 5070

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