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RULE §4.257Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Academic credit course--A college-level course that, if successfully completed, can be applied toward the number of courses required for achieving a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.

  (2) Board--The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

  (3) Commissioner--The Commissioner of Higher Education; as used in this subchapter, "Commissioner" means the agency acting through its executive, and his or her designees, staff, or agents.

  (4) Community College--Any public community college as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003 and §130.005, and whose role, mission, and purpose is outlined in Texas Education Code, §130.0011 and §130.003.

  (5) Continuing Education Course--A non-credit higher education technical course offered for continuing education units, has specific occupational and/or apprenticeship training objectives, and provides a quick and flexible response to business, industry, and student needs for intensive preparatory, supplemental, or upgrade training and education.

  (6) Continuing Education Unit or CEU--Ten contact hours of participation in an organized educational experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction and not offered for academic credit.

  (7) Degree--Any title or designation, mark, abbreviation, appellation, or series of letters or words, including "associate", "bachelor's", "master's", and "doctor's" and their equivalents and foreign cognates, which signifies satisfactory completion of the requirements of a program of study which is generally regarded and accepted as an academic degree-level program by accrediting agencies recognized by the Board.

  (8) Distance Education--The formal educational process that occurs when students and instructors are not in the same physical setting for the majority (more than 50 percent) of instruction.

  (9) Distance Education Course--A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent) of the instruction occurs when the student(s) and instructor(s) are not in the same place. Two categories of distance education courses are defined:

    (A) Fully Distance Education Course--A course which may have mandatory face-to-face sessions totaling no more than 15 percent of the instructional time. Examples of face-to-face sessions include orientation, laboratory, exam review, or an in-person test.

    (B) Hybrid/Blended Course--A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place.

  (10) Distance Education Degree or Certificate Program--A program in which a student may complete a majority (more than 50 percent) of the credit hours required for the program through distance education courses.

  (11) Doctoral Degree--An academic degree beyond the level of a master's degree that typically represents the highest level of formal study or research in a given field.

  (12) First-Professional Degree--An award that requires completion of a program that meets all of the following criteria:

    (A) completion of the academic requirements to begin practice in the profession;

    (B) at least two years of college work prior to entering the program; and

    (C) a total of at least six academic years of college work to complete the degree program, including prior required college work plus the length of the professional program itself. First-Professional degrees are discipline-specific, including, but not limited to, degrees such as: Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.); Medicine (M.D.); Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.); Law (L.L.B, J.D.); and Pharmacy (Pharm.D).

  (13) Formula Funding--The method used to allocate appropriated sources of funds among institutions of higher education.

  (14) Formula-funded Course--An academic credit course delivered face-to-face or by distance education whose semester credit hours are submitted for formula funding.

  (15) Institution of Higher Education or Institution--Any public technical institute, public community college, public senior college or university, medical or dental unit, or other agency of higher education as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003.

  (16) Institutional Plan for Distance Education--A plan that must be submitted for Coordinating Board approval prior to an institution offering distance education courses or programs for the first time.

  (17) Non-credit Course--A course that results in the award of continuing education units (CEU) as specified by International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) criteria. Only courses that result in the award of CEUs may be submitted for state funding.

  (18) Non-Resident Student--A student who is not a Texas resident and/or does not qualify for Texas resident tuition.

  (19) Out-of-state/Out-of-country Courses and Programs--Academic credit courses and programs delivered outside Texas/United States to individuals or groups who are not regularly enrolled, on-campus students. Out-of-state and out-of-country courses do not receive formula funding.

  (20) Program or Program of Study--Any grouping of courses which are represented as entitling a student to a degree or certificate.

  (21) Public Health-Related Institution or Health-Related Institution--A medical or dental unit as defined by Texas Education Code, §61.003(5).

  (22) Public University or University--A general academic teaching institution as defined by Texas Education Code, §61.003(3).

  (23) Regular On-Campus Student--A student who is admitted to an institution, the majority of whose semester credit hours are reported for formula funding and more than 50 percent of coursework is primarily taken at an institution's main campus or on one or more of the campuses within a multi-campus community college system.

  (24) Self-Supporting Courses and Programs--Academic credit courses and programs (formerly defined as extension courses or programs) whose semester credit hours are not submitted for formula funding.

  (25) Semester Credit Hour--A unit of measure of instruction consisting of 60 minutes, of which 50 minutes must be direct instruction over a 15-week period in a semester system.

  (26) Workforce continuing education course--A course offered for continuing education units (CEUs) with an occupationally specific objective and supported by state funding. A career technical/workforce continuing education course differs from a community service course offered for recreational or avocational purposes which is not supported by state funding.

Source Note: The provisions of this §4.257 adopted to be effective February 23, 2010, 35 TexReg 1452; amended to be effective May 25, 2015, 40 TexReg 2754

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