|(a) Each institution shall submit an Institutional
Plan for Distance Education ("IPDE") containing evidence of the institution's
compliance with the mandatory Principles of Good Practice for Distance
Education to the Coordinating Board prior to delivering any distance
education programs for the first time. Board Staff will develop the
IPDE form based on the standards and criteria contained in the Principles
of Good Practice.
(b) The Coordinating Board authorizes an institution
to offer distance education courses under Texas Education Code §61.0512(g)
upon approving an institution's IPDE in good standing or if the institution
is on provisional status pending final approval of their IPDE. An
institution may receive formula funding for distance education courses
under Chapter 13, Subchapter O, of this title. An institution shall
notify the Coordinating Board of intent to offer new Distance Education
Degree or Certificate Programs under §2.206 of this subchapter.
(c) Institutional academic and administrative policies
shall reflect a commitment to maintain the quality of distance education
courses and programs in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.
An IPDE shall conform to the Principles of Good Practice for Distance
Education in effect at the time the institution submits the Plan.
(d) Process to Review and Approve IPDEs.
(1) IPDE Due Dates.
(A) Initial Approval. Each institution of higher education
shall assess its distance education in accordance with the Principles
of Good Practice for Distance Education. Institutions must report
results of that assessment in an IPDE to Board Staff prior to seeking
approval to offer distance education programs or certificates.
(B) Renewal. Each public institution of higher education
shall assess its distance education on an ongoing basis in accordance
with the Principles of Good Practice for Distance Education. Institutions
must report results of that assessment in an updated IPDE to Board
Staff by the earlier of the following deadlines:
(i) no later than one year after receiving final disposition
of the institution's comprehensive renewal of accreditation report
from their institutional accreditor as required by 34 CFR §602.19,
(ii) no later than ten years after the approval of
their last IPDE to the Coordinating Board.
(C) An institution may submit a request to the Commissioner
for an extension of this due date of no more than two years. The Commissioner
may approve this request only if the institution demonstrates good
cause, e.g., the institutional accreditor has postponed the institution's
renewal of accreditation cycle beyond the ten-year period.
(2) Initial Board Staff Review. Board Staff must review
IPDEs for completeness and may request additional information from
the institution upon determining the submitted IPDE is incomplete.
Upon receipt of a completed IPDE, Board Staff must review the submission
and make the following determination:
(A) Institutions Accredited by the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges ("SACSCOC"). Board
Staff must determine whether the institution's IPDE has met SACSCOC
policy and procedure standards related to the delivery of distance
education during the prior renewal of accreditation cycle. Board Staff
must forward the IPDE for Learning Technology Advisory Committee ("LTAC")
review of the IPDE's adherence to the Principles of Good Practice
for Distance Education under subsection (d)(3) of this section.
(B) Institutions Accredited by an Institutional Accreditor
Other Than SACSCOC. Board Staff must forward the IPDE for LTAC review
of the IPDE's adherence to the Principles of Good Standards for Distance
Education under subsection (d)(3) of this section.
(C) Resubmitted IPDEs. If the IPDE is a resubmission
that was previously denied by the Commissioner under subsection (d)(4)(B)
of this section or by the Board under subsection (d)(4)(B)(ii)(II)
of this section Board Staff must forward the resubmitted IPDE to LTAC
review of the IPDE's adherence to the Principles of Good Standards
for Distance Education under subsection (d)(3) of this section.
(3) Learning Technology Advisory Committee Review.
LTAC must review and issue a recommendation as to the adherence of
an IPDE to the Principles of Good Practice for Distance Education
for the Board. LTAC may conduct this review using the following process:
(A) LTAC may assign each IPDE to a subcommittee chaired
by LTAC members and comprised of other LTAC members and/or distance
education experts who volunteer to serve in this capacity.
(B) The LTAC subcommittee assigned to review updated
Institutional Plans shall review those Plans for alignment with the
Principles of Good Practice. The LTAC subcommittee may ask questions
and consult with the submitting institution to make this determination.
(i) If the LTAC subcommittee reviews and finds an IPDE
in alignment with the PGP, the subcommittee shall issue a recommendation
to LTAC that the institution be approved to offer distance education.
(ii) If the LTAC subcommittee finds an Institutional
Plan is not aligned with the PGP, the subcommittee will identify areas
of misalignment, provide feedback for improvement, make suggestions
for the content of a remediation letter, and submit these recommendations
(C) LTAC may review and approve the recommendations
of the LTAC subcommittee and submit these recommendations to Board
Staff. Board Staff will submit these recommendations to the Commissioner
for Commissioner Review under subsection (d)(4) of this section.
(4) Commissioner Review and Approval. The Commissioner
has discretion to approve or deny an IPDE.
(A) Approval. If the Commissioner approves the IPDE,
the institution's IPDE will be filed in good standing with the Coordinating
Board. The Commissioner will send a notification to the institution
of this decision.
(B) Denial. If the Commissioner denies the IPDE, the
Commissioner will send an institution a remediation letter containing
a notification of this decision. The remediation letter may contain
the recommendations for improvement compiled by the LTAC subcommittee
under subsection (d)(3)(B)(ii) of this section. The institution may
then take one of two actions:
(i) Resubmission. The institution must resubmit the
revised IPDE to Board Staff under subsection (d)(2) of this section
no earlier than one year after the date of the letter containing Commissioner's
notification of denial. The institution will remain on provisional
status until final approval of the IPDE.
(ii) Appeal. The institution may appeal the Commissioner's
decision to the Board. The Commissioner may issue a recommendation
for approval or denial to the Board. The Board has final authority
to appeal or deny the institution's IPDE.
(I) Approval. If the Board approves the IPDE, the institution's
IPDE will be filed in good standing with the Coordinating Board.
(II) Denial and Resubmission. If the Board denies the
institution's IPDE, the institution must resubmit the revised IPDE
to Board Staff under subsection (d)(2) of this section no earlier
than one year after the Board's decision. The institution will remain
on provisional status until final approval of the IPDE.