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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 §7.7Institutions Accredited by Board-Recognized Accreditors

An institution which does not meet the definition of institution of higher education contained in Texas Education Code §61.003, is accredited by a Board-recognized accreditor, and is interested in offering degrees or courses leading to degrees in the State of Texas must follow the requirements in paragraphs (1) - (4) of this section.

  (1) Authorization to Offer Degrees or Courses Leading to Degrees in Texas.

    (A) Each institution and/or campus location must submit an application for a Certificate of Authorization to offer degree(s) or courses leading to degrees in Texas. The application form for the Certificate of Authorization may be found on the Board's website. The application must contain the following information:

      (i) Name of the institution;

      (ii) Physical location of campus, or in the case of only providing clinicals or internships in Texas, the physical location of all clinical or internship sites, number of students in clinicals or internships and start and end date of clinicals or internships;

      (iii) Name and contact information of the Chief Administrative Officer of the campus and name and contact information of the designated Single Point of Contact as defined in §7.3 of this chapter (relating to Definitions). In the case of an application based on clinicals or internships, name and contact information of clinical or internship site supervisors;

      (iv) Name of Board-recognized accreditor;

      (v) Level of degree, degree program name, and CIP code as authorized by the Board-recognized accreditor;

      (vi) Documentation of notification to students and potential students of any program which does not make the graduate eligible to take required professional examinations in that field or to practice regulated professions in that field in Texas;

      (vii) Dates of accreditation granted by the Board-recognized accreditor.

        (I) If the institution or a location in Texas is currently subject to a negative or adverse action by its Board-recognized accreditor which has not resulted in a sanction, the institution must provide documentation explaining the reasons for the action and actions taken to reverse the negative or adverse action.

        (II) If the institution or a location in Texas is currently subject to a sanction by its Board-recognized accreditor, the institution must provide documentation explaining the reasons for the action and actions taken to comply with the accrediting agency's standards or criteria, including a timeline for returning to compliance, in order to maintain accreditation.

        (III) If the institution applies based on accreditation of its main campus while seeking final approval for the new Texas-based campus from its Board-recognized accreditor and the Texas Workforce Commission, the institution must provide documentation from its accreditor acknowledging that a decision on campus accreditation can be made within fifteen (15) months of the issuance of a provisional Certificate of Authorization.

      (viii) Acknowledgement of student complaint procedure, compliance with the institutional accrediting agency's standards for operation of institutions, annual review reporting requirements, substantive change notification, and student data reporting requirements contained in this section, §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title (relating to Student Complaint Procedure), §7.4 of this chapter (relating to Standards for Operation of Institutions), §7.11 of this chapter (relating to Changes of Ownership and Other Substantive Changes), and §7.13 of this chapter (relating to Student Data Reporting), respectively;

      (ix) Texas Workforce Commission Certificate of Approval or a Texas Workforce Commission exemption or exclusion from Texas Education Code, Chapter 132;

      (x) Disclosure of most recent United States Department of Education financial responsibility composite score, including applicable academic year for score. If the institution has a score under 1.5, the institution must provide documentation of all actions taken since date of calculation to raise the score.

      (xi) Documentation of reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments that, when combined with tuition and fee receipts, are sufficient to allow the institution to fulfill its educational obligations for the current term to its enrolled students if the institution is unable to continue to provide instruction to its enrolled students for any reason.

        (I) A surety instrument includes, but is not limited to, a surety bond, an assignment of a savings or escrow account, certificate of deposit, irrevocable letter of credit, or a properly executed participation contract with a private associations, partnership, corporation, or other entity whose membership is comprised of postsecondary institutions.

        (II) The documented reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments must be:

          (-a-) In a form and amount acceptable to the Board;

          (-b-) In an amount equal to or greater than the cost of providing a refund, including administrative costs associated with processing claims, for the maximum prepaid, unearned tuition and fees of the institution for a period or term during the applicable academic year for which programs of instruction are offered, including, but not limited to, on a semester, quarter, monthly, or class basis; except that the period or term of greatest duration and expense shall be utilized for this computation where an institution's year consists of one or more such periods or terms;

          (-c-) Conditioned to provide indemnification to any student or enrollee of the school or his/her parent or guardian determined by the Board to have suffered loss of prepaid tuition or any fees as a result of violation of any minimum standard or as a result of the institution ceasing operation, provide evidence satisfactory to the Board of its financial ability to provide such indemnification, and list the amount of surety liability the guaranteeing entity will assume; and

          (-d-) Held in Travis County, Texas, and conditioned to allow only the Board to withdraw funds for the benefit of persons identified in clause (ii) of this subparagraph.

        (III) The institution shall include a letter signed by an authorized representative of the institution showing in detail the calculations made pursuant to this section and explaining the method used for computing the amount of the reserves, lines of credit or surety instrument.

    (B) Board staff will verify information and accreditation status. Upon determination that an institution is in good standing with its Board recognized accreditor, has sufficient financial resources, and, if applicable, has provided sufficient documentation of correcting accreditation or financial issues, Board staff will provide a Certificate of Authorization to offer in Texas those degrees or courses leading to degrees for which it is accredited. If an institution is only providing clinicals or internships in the state of Texas, a Certificate of Authorization will be issued for the institution to offer in the state of Texas identified clinicals or internships in connection with those degrees or courses leading to degrees for which the institution is accredited. The Certificate of Authorization will be issued to the institution by name, city and state.

    (C) Certificates of Authorization are subject to annual review for continued compliance with the Board-recognized accreditor's standards of operation, student complaint processes, financial viability, and accurate and fair representation in publications, advertising, and promotion.

      (i) Institutions must submit the following documentation on an annual basis for Board staff review and recommendation to the Board for continuation or revocation of the Certificate of Authorization:

        (I) Annual audited financial statements, issued less than one year from time of submission, prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles by an independent certified public accountant;

        (II) Documentation of reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments that, when combined with tuition and fee receipts, are sufficient to allow the institution to fulfill its educational obligations for the current term to its enrolled students if the institution is unable to continue to provide instruction to its enrolled students for any reason. Institutions under a Certificate of Authorization as of September 1, 2017 are required to provide documentation of reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments going forward with the 2019 annual compliance review.

        (III) Certification that the institution is providing accurate and fair representation in publications, advertising, and promotion, including disclosure to students and potential students of any program which does not make the graduate eligible to take required professional examinations in that field or to practice regulated professions in that field in Texas. The institution shall further certify that it is maintaining any advertising used in Texas for a minimum of five years and shall make any such advertisements available to the Board for inspection upon request.

        (IV) An annotated copy of the student catalog or student handbook showing compliance with the principles addressed in §7.4 of this chapter with cross-reference to the operational standards of its institutional accrediting agency;

        (V) A copy of the institution's student complaint policy, links to online student complaint procedures and forms, and summary of all complaints made by Texas residents or students enrolled at a Texas-based institution concerning the institution in accordance with §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title. The complaint summary shall include complaints which have been filed, with the institution, its accrediting agency, or the Board within the 12 months prior to the annual review reporting date and shall indicate whether pending or resolved;

        (VI) Official statement of current accreditation status and any pending or final actions that change the institution's accreditation status from the institution's Board-recognized accreditor, including changes in degree levels or programs offered approvals, changes in ownership or management, changes in name, and changes in physical location within the 12 months prior to the annual review reporting date;

        (VII) Information regarding heightened cash monitoring or other changes that affect students' federal financial aid eligibility through the US Department of Education;

        (VIII) Attestation that all documentation submitted is true and correct and continued acknowledgement of student complaint procedure, annual review reporting requirements, substantive change notification, and student data reporting requirements contained herein this section, §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title, §§7.4, 7.11, 7.13, and 7.15 of this chapter, respectively.

      (ii) Annual reviews are conducted based on an institution's name and initial date of authorization.

        (I) Institutions with names starting with "A" through "O" must submit annual review documentation by January 15 of each year. The Board will review staff recommendations at the annual July Board meeting.

        (II) Institutions with names starting with "P" through "Z" must submit annual review documentation by July 15 of each year. The Board will review staff recommendations at the annual January Board meeting.

        (III) Institutions that have received their first Certificate of Authorization less than six months from the due date for submission of annual review documentation may wait to submit documentation until the following annual review submission date.

      (iii) Prior to making a recommendation to the Board, staff has discretion to conduct a site visit at the institution if warranted by facts disclosed in the annual review documentation. The Board-recognized accreditor will be notified and invited to participate.

    (D) Certificates of Authorization for institutions offering degrees or courses leading to degrees at a physical location in Texas, upon Board staff recommendation after annual review, expire at the end of the grant of accreditation by the Board-recognized accreditor.

      (i) If a new grant of accreditation is awarded by the Board-recognized accreditor, the Certificate of Authorization may be renewed upon submission of documentation of the new grant of accreditation.

      (ii) If an institution changes recognized accreditors, the institution must submit a new application for a Certificate of Authorization.

    (E) Certificates of Authorizations based solely on providing clinicals or internships in Texas expire one year from date of issuance.

      (i) If clinicals or internships are ongoing in Texas, the Certificate of Authorization based solely on providing clinicals or internships in Texas must be renewed on an annual basis. At least thirty (30) days, but no more than ninety (90) days, prior to the expiration of the current Certification of Authorization, an institution, if it desires renewal, is required to provide updated information regarding the physical location of all clinical or internship sites, number of students in clinicals or internships, and the start and end date of the clinicals or internships.

      (ii) The Board shall renew the Certificate of Authorization based solely on providing clinicals or internships in Texas if it finds that the institution has maintained all requisite standards.

    (F) Certificates of Authorization for Texas-based campuses which are provisionally-granted based on their main campus' accreditation expire at the end of fifteen (15) months.

Cont'd...

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