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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 23TEXAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION
CHAPTER 535GENERAL PROVISIONS
SUBCHAPTER FREQUIREMENTS FOR EDUCATION PROVIDERS, COURSES AND INSTRUCTORS FOR QUALIFYING EDUCATION
RULE §535.65Responsibilities and Operations of Providers of Qualifying Courses

(a) Responsibility of Providers.

  (1) A provider is responsible for:

    (A) the administration of each course, including, but not limited to, compliance with any prescribed period of time for any required course topics required by the Act, Chapter 1102, and Commission rules;

    (B) maintaining student attendance records and pre-enrollment agreements;

    (C) verifying instructor qualification, performance and attendance;

    (D) proper examination administration;

    (E) validation of student identity acceptable to the Commission;

    (F) maintaining student course completion records;

    (G) ensuring all advertising complies with subsection (c) of this section;

    (H) ensuring that instructors or other persons do not recruit or solicit prospective sales agents, brokers or inspectors during course presentation; and

    (I) ensuring staff is reasonably available for public inquiry and assistance.

  (2) A provider may not promote the sale of goods or services during the presentation of a course.

  (3) A provider may remove a student and not award credit if a student does not participate in class, or disrupts the orderly conduct of a class, after being warned by the provider or the instructor.

  (4) If a provider approved by the Commission does not maintain a fixed office in Texas for the duration of the provider's approval to offer courses, the provider shall designate a resident of this state as attorney-in-fact to accept service of process and act as custodian of any records in Texas that the provider is required to maintain by this section. A power-of-attorney designating the resident must be filed with the Commission in a form acceptable to the Commission.

(b) Use of Qualified Instructor.

  (1) Except as provided by this subsection, a provider must use an instructor that is currently qualified under §535.63 of this subchapter (relating to Approval of Instructors of Qualifying Courses) to teach the specified course.

  (2) Each instructor shall be selected on the basis of expertise in the subject area of instruction and ability as an instructor.

  (3) A provider shall require specialized training or work experience for instructors teaching specialized subjects such as law, appraisal, investments, taxation or home inspection.

  (4) An instructor shall teach a course in substantially the same manner represented to the Commission in the instructor's manual or other documents filed with the application for course approval.

  (5) A provider may use the services of a guest instructor who does not meet the instructor qualifications under §535.63 of this subchapter for qualifying real estate or inspector courses provided that person instructs for no more than 10% of the total course time.

(c) Advertising.

  (1) The following practices are prohibited:

    (A) using any advertising which does not clearly and conspicuously contain the provider's name on the first page or screen of the advertising;

    (B) representing that the provider's program is the only vehicle by which a person may satisfy educational requirements;

    (C) conveying a false impression of the provider's size, superiority, importance, location, equipment or facilities, except that a provider may use objective information published by the Commission regarding pass rates if the provider also displays next to the passage rate in a readily noticeable fashion:

      (i) A hyperlink to the Commission website's Education Provider Exam Passage Rate page labeled "TREC Provider Exam Pass Rates" for digital media; or

      (ii) A URL to the Commission website's Education Provider Exam Passage Rate page labeled "TREC Provider Exam Pass Rates" for non-digital media;

    (D) promoting the provider directly or indirectly as a job placement agency, unless the provider is participating in a program recognized by federal, state, or local government and is providing job placement services to the extent the services are required by the program;

    (E) making any statement which is misleading, likely to deceive the public, or which in any manner tends to create a misleading impression;

    (F) advertising a course under a course name other than the course name approved by the Commission; or

    (G) advertising using a name that implies the course provider is the Texas Real Estate Commission, including use of the acronym "TREC", in all or part of the course provider's name.

  (2) Any written advertisement by a provider that includes a fee that the provider charges for a course must display any additional fees that the provider charges for the course in the same place in the advertisement and with the same degree of prominence.

  (3) The provider shall advertise a course for the full clock hours of time for which credit is awarded.

  (4) The provider is responsible for and subject to sanctions for any violation of this subsection by any affiliate or other third party marketer or web hosting site associated with or used by the provider.

(d) Pre-enrollment agreements for approved providers.

  (1) Prior to a student enrolling in a course, a provider approved by the Commission shall provide the student with a pre-enrollment agreement that includes all of the following information:

    (A) the tuition for the course;

    (B) an itemized list of any fees charged by the provider for supplies, materials, or books needed in course work;

    (C) the provider's policy regarding the refund of tuition and other fees, including a statement addressing refund policy when a student is dismissed or withdraws voluntarily;

    (D) the attendance requirements;

    (E) the acceptable makeup procedures, including any applicable time limits and any fees that may be charged for makeup sessions;

    (F) the procedure and fees, if applicable, associated with exam proctoring;

    (G) the procedure and fees for taking any permitted makeup final examination or any permitted re-examination, including any applicable time limits; and

    (H) the notices regarding potential ineligibility for a license based on criminal history required by Section 53.152, Texas Occupations Code.

  (2) A pre-enrollment agreement must be signed by a representative of the provider and the student.

(e) Refund of fees by approved provider.

  (1) A provider shall establish written policies governing refunds and contingency plans in the event of course cancellation.

  (2) If a provider approved by the Commission cancels a course, the provider shall:

    (A) fully refund all fees collected from students within a reasonable time; or

    (B) at the student's option, credit the student for another course.

  (3) The provider shall inform the Commission when a student requests a refund because of a withdrawal due to the student's dissatisfaction with the quality of the course.

  (4) If a provider fails to give the notice required by subsection (d)(1)(G), and an individual's application for a license is denied by the Commission because the individual has been convicted of a criminal offense, the provider shall reimburse the individual the amounts required by Section 53.153, Texas Occupations Code.

(f) Course materials.

  (1) Before the course starts, a provider shall give each student copies of or, if a student has online access, provide online access to any materials to be used for the course.

  (2) A provider shall update course materials to ensure that current and accurate information is provided to students as provided for under §535.62 of this title (relating to Approval of Qualifying Courses).

(g) Presentation of courses.

  (1) Classroom Delivery:

    (A) The location for the course must be:

      (i) conducive to instruction, such as a classroom, training room, conference room, or assembly hall that is separate and apart from work areas;

      (ii) adequate for the class size;

      (iii) pose no threat to the health or safety of students; and

      (iv) allow the instructor to see and hear each student and the students to see and hear the instructor, including when offered through the use of technology.

    (B) The provider must:

      (i) check the photo identification of each student at class sign up and when signing in for each subsequent meeting of the class;

      (ii) ensure the student is present for the course for the hours of time for which credit is awarded;

      (iii) provide a 10 minute break per hour at least every two hours; and

      (iv) not have daily course segments that exceed 12 hours.

    (C) If the course is a qualifying or non-elective continuing education course delivered through the use of technology and there are more than 20 students registered for the course, the provider will also use:

      (i) a monitor at the broadcast origination site to verify identification of each student, monitor active participation of each student and facilitate questions for the instructor; and

      (ii) a proctor at each remote site with more than 20 students to verify identification of each student, monitor active participation of each student and proctor any on-site examination.

    (D) Makeup Session for Classroom Courses.

      (i) A provider may permit a student who attends at least two-thirds of an originally scheduled qualifying course to complete a makeup session to satisfy attendance requirements.

      (ii) A member of the provider's staff must approve the makeup procedure to be followed. Acceptable makeup procedures are:

        (I) attendance in corresponding class sessions in a subsequent offering of the same course; or

        (II) the supervised presentation by audio or video recording of the class sessions actually missed.

      (iii) A student shall complete all class makeup sessions no later than the 90th day after the date of the completion of the original course.

      (iv) A student who attends less than two-thirds of the originally scheduled qualifying course is not eligible to complete a makeup session. The student shall automatically be dropped from the course with no credit.

  (2) Distance Education Delivery. The provider must ensure that:

    (A) the student taking all topics of the course and completing all quizzes and exercises is the student receiving credit for the course through a student identity verification process acceptable to the Commission;

    (B) a qualified instructor is available to answer students' questions or provide assistance as necessary in a timely manner;

    (C) a student has completed all instructional modules and attended any hours of live instruction required for a given course; and

    (D) a qualified instructor is responsible for providing answers and rationale for the grading of the written course work.

  (3) A provider is not required to present topics in the order outlined for a course on the corresponding course approval form.

  (4) The periods of time prescribed to each unit of a topic for a qualifying course as outlined on the corresponding course approval form are recommendations and may be altered to allow instructors flexibility to meet the particular needs of their students.

(h) Course examinations.

  (1) The final examination given at the end of each course must be given in the manner submitted to and approved by the Commission. All final examinations must be closed book.

  (2) Final examination questions must be kept confidential and be significantly different from any quiz questions and exercises used in the course.

  (3) A provider shall not permit a student to view or take a final examination before the completion of regular course work and any makeup sessions required by this section.

  (4) A provider must rotate all versions of the examination required by §535.62(b)(7) throughout the approval period for a course in a manner acceptable to the Commission and examinations must:

    (A) require an unweighted passing score of 70%; and

    (B) be proctored by a member of the provider faculty or staff, or third party proctor acceptable to the Commission, who:

      (i) is present at the test site or able to monitor the student through the use of technology acceptable to the Commission; and

      (ii) has positively identified that the student taking the examination is the student registered for and who took the course.

  (5) The following are examples of acceptable third party proctors:

    (A) employees at official testing or learning/tutoring centers;

    (B) librarians at a school, university, or public library;

    (C) college or university administrators, faculty, or academic advisors;

Cont'd...

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