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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 §7.3Definitions

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

  (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 records.

  (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) degrees.

    (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 Board.

  (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 institution.

    (A) The ownership or control of a career school or college or postsecondary educational institution is considered to have changed:

      (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; or

      (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 spouse.

  (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--

Cont'd...

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