The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter,
shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates
(1) Academic Record--Any information that is:
(A) directly related to a student's educational efforts;
(B) intended to support the student's progress toward
completing a degree program;
(C) regardless of the format or manner in which or
the location where the information is held, maintained by an institution
for the purpose of sharing among academic officials; and
(D) for purposes of this chapter, an academic record
includes a student's educational history, but does not include medical
records, alumni records other than educational history, human resources
records, or criminal history record information or other law enforcement
(2) Accreditation--The status of public recognition
that an accrediting agency grants to an educational institution.
(3) Accrediting Agency--A legal entity recognized by
the Secretary of Education of the United States Department of Education
as an accrediting agency that conducts accreditation activities through
voluntary peer review and makes decisions concerning the accreditation
status of institutions, including ensuring academic, financial, and
operational quality. A Board-recognized Accrediting Agency is any
accrediting agency authorized by the Secretary of Education of the
United States Department of Education to accredit educational institutions
that offer the associate degree or higher, the standards of accreditation
or membership for which have been found by the Board to be sufficiently
comprehensive and rigorous to qualify its institutional members for
an exemption from certain provisions of this chapter.
(4) Agent--A person employed by or representing a postsecondary
educational institution that does not have a Certificate of Authorization
or Certificate of Authority, within or without Texas who:
(A) solicits any Texas student for enrollment in the
institution (excluding the occasional participation in a college/career
fair involving multiple institutions or other event similarly limited
in scope in the state of Texas);
(B) solicits or accepts payment from any Texas student
for any service offered by the institution; or
(C) while having a physical presence in Texas, solicits
students or accepts payment from students who do not reside in Texas.
(5) Associate Degree Program--A grouping of courses
designed to lead the individual directly to employment in a specific
career or to transfer to an upper-level baccalaureate program. This
specifically refers to the associate of arts (AA), the associate of
science (AS), the associate of applied arts (AAA), the associate of
applied science (AAS), and the associate of occupational studies (AOS)
(A) Academic Associate Degree Program--A grouping of
courses designed to transfer to an upper-level baccalaureate program
and that includes 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. An
academic associate degree must include at least twenty (20) semester
credit hours or thirty (30) quarter credit hours of general education
courses. This specifically refers to the associate of arts (AA) and
the associate of science degrees (AS).
(B) Applied Associate Degree Program--A grouping of
courses designed to lead the individual directly to employment in
a specific career and that includes 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. An applied associate degree must include at least
fifteen (15) semester credit hours or twenty-three (23) quarter credit
hours of general education courses. This specifically refers to the
associate of applied arts (AAA) and the associate of applied science
(AAS) degrees. Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) degrees are
only allowed under §7.5 of this chapter.
(6) Board--The Texas Higher Education Coordinating
(7) Board Staff--The staff of the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board including the Commissioner of Higher Education
and all employees who report to the Commissioner.
(8) Career School or College--Any business enterprise
operated for a profit, or on a nonprofit basis, that maintains a place
of business in the state of Texas or solicits business within the
state of Texas, and that is not specifically exempted by Texas Education
Code, §132.002 or §7.4 of this chapter (relating to Standards
for Operations of Institutions), and:
(A) that offers or maintains a course or courses of
instruction or study; or
(B) at which place of business such a course or courses
of instruction or study is available through classroom instruction,
by electronic media, by correspondence, or by some or all, to a person
for the purpose of training or preparing the person for a field of
endeavor in a business, trade, technical, or industrial occupation,
or for career or personal improvement.
(9) Certificate of Approval--The Texas Workforce Commission's
approval of career schools or colleges with operations in Texas to
maintain, advertise, solicit for, or conduct any program of instruction
in this state.
(10) Certificate of Authority--The Board's approval
of postsecondary institutions (other than exempt institutions), with
operations in the state of Texas, to confer degrees or courses applicable
to degrees, or to solicit students for enrollment in institutions
that confer degrees or courses applicable to degrees, while seeking
Board-recognized accreditation. Additional conditions, restrictions,
or requirements may be placed on a Certificate of Authority pursuant
to §7.8 of this chapter (relating to Institutions Not Accredited
by a Board-Recognized Accreditor).
(11) Certificate of Authorization--The Board's acknowledgment
that an institution is qualified for an exemption, unless specifically
provided otherwise, from certain identified regulations in this subchapter.
(A) A Certificate of Authorization for an institution
offering degrees or courses leading to degrees at a physical location
in Texas will be issued for the period of time in the institution's
current grant of accreditation by its Board-recognized accreditor.
(B) A Certificate of Authorization may be issued as
provisional for a 15-month temporary exemption from certain identified
regulations in this subchapter based on its main campus' accreditation
while seeking final approval for the new Texas-based campus from its
Board-recognized accreditor and the Texas Workforce Commission.
(C) An out-of-state institution may be issued a renewable
one-year Certificate of Authorization in order to allow students to
complete experiential learning experiences in Texas.
(12) Certificate of Registration--The Board's approval
of an agent to solicit students on behalf of a private postsecondary
educational institution in the state of Texas.
(13) Certification Advisory Council--The Council as
established by Board rules Chapter 1, Subchapter H, §§1.135
- 1.141 of this title (relating to Certification Advisory Council).
(14) Change of Ownership or Control--Any change in
ownership or control of a career school or college, or a postsecondary
educational institution, or an agreement to transfer control of such
(A) The ownership or control of a career school or
college or postsecondary educational institution is considered to
(i) in the case of ownership by an individual, when
more than fifty (50) percent of the institution has been sold or transferred;
(ii) in the case of ownership by a partnership or a
corporation, when more than fifty (50) percent of the institution
or of the owning partnership or corporation has been sold or transferred;
(iii) when the board of directors, officers, shareholders,
or similar governing body has been changed to such an extent as to
significantly alter the management and control of the institution.
(B) A change of ownership or control does not include
a transfer that occurs as a result of the retirement or death of the
owner if transfer is to a member of the owner's family who has been
directly and constantly involved in the management of the institution
for a minimum of two years preceding the transfer. For the purposes
of this section, a member of the owner's family is a parent, sibling,
spouse, or child; spouse's parent or sibling; or sibling's or child's
(15) Cited--Any reference to an institution in a negative
finding or action by an accrediting agency.
(16) Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)
Code--The four (4) or six (6)-digit code assigned to an approved degree
program in accordance with the CIP manual published by the U.S. Department
of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. CIP codes
define the authorized teaching field of the specified degree program,
based upon the occupation(s) for which the program is designed to
prepare its graduates.
(17) Commissioner--The Commissioner of Higher Education.
(18) Degree--Any title or designation, mark, abbreviation,
appellation, or series of letters or words, including "associate,"
"bachelor's," "master's," "doctor's" and their equivalents and foreign
cognates, which signify, purport to signify, or are generally taken
to signify satisfactory completion of the requirements of all or part
of a program of study which is generally regarded and accepted as
an academic degree-level program by accrediting agencies recognized
by the Board.
(19) Educational or Training Establishment--An enterprise
offering a course of instruction, education, or training that is not
represented as being applicable to a degree.
(20) Exempt Institution--A postsecondary educational
institution that is fully accredited by and not operating under sanctions
imposed by an agency recognized by the Board under §7.6 of this
chapter (relating to Recognition of Accrediting Agencies), is defined
as a "private or independent institution of higher education" under
Texas Education Code, §61.003(15), a career school or college
that applies for and is declared exempt under this chapter, an institution
that has received approval by a state agency authorizing the institution's
graduates to take a professional or vocational state licensing examination
administered by that agency as described in Texas Education Code, §61.303(a),
or an institution exempted by the Texas Workforce Commission under
Texas Education Code, §132.002. Exempt institutions must comply
with certain Board rules.
(21) Experiential Learning--Process through which students
develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside
an institution's classrooms. Experiential learning encompasses a variety
of activities including, but not limited to, internships, externships,
practicums, clinicals, field experience, or other professional work
experiences. References to clinicals within this chapter encompasses
all site-specific health professions experiential learning. Clinicals
include site experiences for medical, nursing, allied health, and
other health professions degree programs.
(22) Fictitious Degree--A counterfeit or forged degree
or a degree that has been revoked.
(23) Fraudulent or Substandard Degree--A degree conferred
by a person who, at the time the degree was conferred, was:
(A) operating in this state in violation of this subchapter;
(B) not eligible to receive a Certificate of Authority
under this subchapter and was operating in another state in violation
of a law regulating the conferral of degrees in that state or in the
state in which the degree recipient was residing or without accreditation
by a recognized accrediting agency, if the degree is not approved
through the review process described by §7.12 of this chapter
(relating to Review and Use of Degrees from Institutions Not Eligible
for Certificates of Authority); or
(C) not eligible to receive a Certificate of Authority
under this subchapter and was operating outside the United States,
and whose degree the Board, through the review process described by §7.12
of this chapter, determines is not the equivalent of an accredited
or authorized degree.
(24) Out-of-State Public Postsecondary Institution--Any
senior college, university, technical institute, junior or community
college, or the equivalent which is controlled by a public body organized
outside the boundaries of the state of Texas. For purposes of this
chapter, out-of-state public institutions of higher education are
considered postsecondary educational institutions.
(25) Person--Any individual, firm, partnership, association,
corporation, enterprise, postsecondary educational institution, other
private entity, or any combination thereof.
(26) Personally Identifiable Information--Information
of a potential, current or former student, including name, address,
telephone number, social security number, email address, date of birth,
education records, or any other identifying number or information
that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity,
either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information
that is linked or linkable to a specific individual.
(27) Physical Presence--