Historical Rule for the Texas Administrative Code

RULE §535.65Responsibilities and Operations of Providers of Qualifying Courses

(a) Responsibility of Providers.

  (1) A provider is responsible for:

    (A) the administration of each course, including, but not limited to, compliance with any prescribed period of time for any required course topics required by the Act, Chapter 1102, and Commission rules;

    (B) maintaining student attendance records;

    (C) verifying instructor qualification, performance and attendance;

    (D) proper examination administration;

    (E) validation of student identity acceptable to the Commission;

    (F) maintaining student course completion records;

    (G) ensuring all advertising complies with subsection (c);

    (H) ensuring that instructors or other persons do not recruit or solicit prospective sales agents, brokers or inspectors during course presentation; and

    (I) ensuring staff is reasonably available for public inquiry and assistance.

  (2) A provider may not promote the sale of goods or services during the presentation of a course.

  (3) A provider may remove a student and not award credit if a student does not participate in class, or disrupts the orderly conduct of a class, after being warned by the provider or the instructor.

  (4) If a provider approved by the Commission does not maintain a fixed office in Texas for the duration of the provider's approval to offer courses, the provider shall designate a resident of this state as attorney-in-fact to accept service of process and act as custodian of any records in Texas that the provider is required to maintain by this section. A power-of-attorney designating the resident must be filed with the Commission in a form acceptable to the Commission.

(b) Use of approved Instructor.

  (1) Except as provided by this subsection, a provider must use an instructor that is currently approved by the Commission to teach the specified course;

  (2) Each instructor shall be selected on the basis of expertise in the subject area of instruction and ability as an instructor;

  (3) A provider shall require specialized training or work experience for instructors teaching specialized subjects such as law, appraisal, investments, taxation or home inspection;

  (4) An instructor shall teach a course in substantially the same manner represented to the Commission in the instructor's manual or other documents filed with the application for course approval form; and

  (5) A provider may use the services of a guest instructor who is not approved as an instructor by the Commission for qualifying real estate or inspector courses provided that person instructs for no more than 10% of the total course time.

(c) Advertising.

  (1) The following practices are prohibited:

    (A) using any advertising which does not clearly and conspicuously contain the provider's name on the first page or screen of the advertising;

    (B) representing that the provider's program is the only vehicle by which a person may satisfy educational requirements;

    (C) conveying a false impression of the provider's size, superiority, importance, location, equipment or facilities, except that a provider may use objective information published by the Commission regarding pass rates;

    (D) promoting the provider directly or indirectly as a job placement agency, unless the provider is participating in a program recognized by federal, state, or local government and is providing job placement services to the extent the services are required by the program;

    (E) making any statement which is misleading, likely to deceive the public, or which in any manner tends to create a misleading impression;

    (F) advertising a course under a course name other than the course name approved by the Commission; or

    (G) advertising using a name that implies the course provider is the Texas Real Estate Commission, including use of the acronym "TREC", in all or part of the course provider's name.

  (2) Any written advertisement by a provider that includes a fee that the provider charges for a course must display all fees that the provider charges for the course in the same place in the advertisement and with the same degree of prominence.

  (3) The provider shall advertise a course for the full clock hours of time for which credit is awarded.

  (4) The provider is responsible for and subject to sanctions for any violation of this subsection by any affiliate or other third party marketer or web hosting site associated with or used by the provider.

(d) Pre-enrollment agreements for approved providers.

  (1) Prior to a student enrolling in a course, a provider approved by the Commission shall provide the student with a pre-enrollment agreement that includes all of the following information:

    (A) the tuition for the course;

    (B) an itemized list of any fees charged by the provider for supplies, materials, or books needed in course work;

    (C) the provider's policy regarding the refund of tuition and other fees, including a statement addressing refund policy when a student is dismissed or withdraws voluntarily;

    (D) the attendance requirements;

    (E) the acceptable makeup procedures, including any applicable time limits and any fees that may be charged for makeup sessions; and

    (F) the procedure and fees for taking any permitted makeup final examination or any permitted re-examination, including any applicable time limits.

  (2) A pre-enrollment agreement must be signed by a representative of the provider.

(e) Refund of fees by approved provider.

  (1) A provider shall establish written policies governing refunds and contingency plans in the event of course cancellation.

  (2) If a provider approved by the Commission cancels a course, the provider shall:

    (A) fully refund all fees collected from students within a reasonable time; or

    (B) at the student's option, credit the student for another course.

  (3) The provider shall inform the Commission when a student requests a refund because of a withdrawal due to the student's dissatisfaction with the quality of the course.

(f) Course materials.

  (1) Before the course starts, a provider shall give each student copies of or, if a student has online access, provide online access to any materials to be used for the course.

  (2) A provider shall update course materials to ensure that current and accurate information is provided to students as provided for under §535.62 of this subchapter.

(g) Presentation of courses.

  (1) Classroom Delivery:

    (A) The location for the course must be:

      (i) conducive to instruction, such as a classroom, training room, conference room, or assembly hall that is separate and apart from work areas;

      (ii) adequate for the class size;

      (iii) pose no threat to the health or safety of students; and

      (iv) allow the instructor to see and hear each student and the students to see and hear the instructor, including when offered through the use of technology.

    (B) The provider must:

      (i) check the photo identification of each student at class sign up and when signing in for each subsequent meeting of the class;

      (ii) ensure the student is present for the course for the hours of time for which credit is awarded;

      (iii) provide a 10 minute break per hour at least every two hours; and

      (iv) not have daily course segments that exceed 12 hours.

    (C) Makeup Session for Classroom Courses.

      (i) A provider may permit a student who attends at least two-thirds of an originally scheduled qualifying course to complete a makeup session to satisfy attendance requirements.

      (ii) A member of the provider's staff must approve the makeup procedure to be followed. Acceptable makeup procedures are:

        (I) attendance in corresponding class sessions in a subsequent offering of the same course; or

        (II) the supervised presentation by audio or video recording of the class sessions actually missed.

      (iii) A student shall complete all class makeup sessions no later than the 90th day after the date of the completion of the original course.

      (iv) Dropped status may not be changed by makeup sessions, and any hours accumulated by a student may not be transferred to any other course, prior to being dropped from a course.

      (v) A student who attends less than two-thirds of the originally scheduled qualifying course is not eligible to complete a makeup session. The student shall automatically be dropped from the course with no credit and the provider shall report the student's status to the Commission.

  (2) Distance Education Delivery. The provider must ensure that:

    (A) the student taking all topics of the course and completing all quizzes and exercises is the student receiving credit for the course through a validation process that meets guidelines approved by the Commission;

    (B) an approved instructor is available to answer students' questions or provide assistance as necessary in a timely manner;

    (C) a student has completed all instructional modules and attended any hours of live instruction required for a given course; and

    (D) an approved instructor is responsible for providing answers and rationale for the grading of the written course work.

  (3) A provider is not required to present topics and units in the order outlined for a course on the corresponding course approval form.

  (4) The periods of time prescribed to each unit of a topic for a qualifying course as outlined on the corresponding course approval form are recommendations and may be altered to allow instructors flexibility to meet the particular needs of their students.

(h) Course examinations.

  (1) The final examination given at the end of each course must be given in a form and with questions that were submitted to the Commission with the course approval form.

  (2) Final examination questions must be kept confidential and be significantly different from any quizzes and exercises used in the course.

  (3) A provider shall not permit a student to view or take a final examination before the completion of regular course work and any makeup sessions required by this section.

  (4) A provider must rotate all versions of the examination required by §535.62(b)(7) throughout the approval period for a course in a manner acceptable to the Commission and examinations must:

    (A) require an unweighted passing score of 70%; and

    (B) be proctored by a member of the provider faculty or staff, or third party proctor acceptable to the Commission, who:

      (i) is present at the test site or able to monitor the student through the use of technology acceptable to the Commission; and

      (ii) has positively identified that the student taking the examination is the student registered for and who took the course.

  (5) The following are acceptable third party proctors:

    (A) employees at official testing or learning/tutoring centers;

    (B) librarians at a school, university, or public library;

    (C) college or university administrators, faculty, or academic advisors;

    (D) clergy who are affiliated with a specific temple, synagogue, mosque, or church; and

    (E) educational officers of a military installation or correctional facility.

  (6) A provider may not give credit to a student who fails a final examination and a subsequent final examination as provided for in subsection (i) of this section.

(i) Subsequent final course examination.

  (1) If a student fails a final course examination, a provider may permit the student to take a subsequent final examination only after the student has:

    (A) waited at least three calendar days; and

    (B) completed any additional course work prescribed by the provider.

  (2) A student shall complete the subsequent final examination no later than the 90th day after the date the original class concludes. The subsequent final examination must be a different version of the original final examination given to the student and must comply with §535.62(b)(1)(G) and subsection (h) of this section.

  (3) If a student fails to timely complete the subsequent final examination as required by this subsection, the student shall be automatically dropped from the course with no credit.

  (4) A student who fails the final course examination a second time is required to retake the course and the final course examination.

(j) Course completion certificate.


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