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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 §7.8Institutions Not Accredited by a Board-Recognized Accreditor

      (ii) If the applicant has previous operational history as described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter, the Council may make recommendations for additional conditions, restrictions, or reporting requirements during the first two years of operation under a Certificate of Authority.

    (H) The Commissioner shall make his/her recommendation regarding the application to the Board. The Commissioner's recommendation shall be made independent of the Certification Advisory Council's recommendation. The Commissioner may make recommendations for additional conditions, restrictions, or reporting requirements for the time the institution is operating under a Certificate of Authority.

    (I) After review of the Commissioner's and Council's recommendations, if the Board approves the application, the Commissioner shall immediately have prepared a Certificate of Authority containing the issue date, a list of the approved degree(s) or courses leading to degrees, and the period for which the Certificate is valid. If applicable, the Certificate of Authority will be issued with any written, specific conditions, restrictions, or reporting requirements placed upon the institution and approved by the Board.

    (J) After review of the Commissioner's and Council's recommendations, if the Board does not approve the application, the Commissioner shall immediately notify the applicant of the denial and the reasons for the denial.

    (K) Upon denial, an applicant that has met the previous operational history conditions described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter may not reapply for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days from date of denial.

    (L) Upon denial, an applicant that has not met the previous operational history conditions described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter may not reapply for a period of one year from date of denial.

  (5) Terms and Limitations of a Certificate of Authority.

    (A) The Certificate of Authority to grant degrees is valid for a period of two (2) years from the date of issuance.

    (B) Certification by the state of Texas is not accreditation, but merely a protection of the public interest while the institution pursues accreditation from a recognized agency, within the time limitations expressed in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. Therefore, the institution awarded a Certificate of Authority shall not use terms to interpret the significance of the certificate which specify, imply, or connote greater approval than simple permission to operate and grant certain specified degrees in Texas. Terms which may not be used include, but are not limited to, "accredited," "supervised," "endorsed," and "recommended" by the state of Texas or agency thereof. Specific language prescribed by the Commissioner which explains the significance of the Certificate of Authority shall be included in all publications, advertisements, and other documents where certification and the accreditation status of the institution are mentioned.

    (C) Institutions holding a Certificate of Authority will be required to:

      (i) furnish a list of their agents to the Board;

      (ii) maintain records of students enrolled, credits awarded, and degrees awarded, in a manner specified by the Board; and

      (iii) report any substantive change, including changes in administrative personnel, faculty, or facilities.

    (D) Institutions that, upon application, did not meet one of the three previous operational history conditions described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter, in addition to the requirements of subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, are required to provide, at the end of the first year of the initial Certificate of Authority:

      (i) Documentary evidence of continued exemption or approval from the Texas Workforce Commission pursuant to Texas Education Code, Chapter 132;

      (ii) Current audited financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in net worth, and statement of cash flow, updated since issuance of the initial Certificate of Authority;

      (iii) Documentation of continued validity of any required financial surety instrument;

      (iv) Current enrollment, retention, and graduation numbers for students in all approved degree programs; and

      (v) An updated accreditation plan, including any progress made toward obtaining Board-recognized accreditation identified in the initial application or a change in plans to apply for accreditation with another Board-recognized accreditation agency.

    (E) Authority to Represent Transferability of Course Credit. Any institution as defined in §7.3 of this chapter, whether it offers degrees or not, may solicit students for and enroll them in courses on the basis that such courses will be credited to a degree program offered by another institution, provided that:

      (i) the other institution is named in such representation, and is accredited by a Board-recognized accrediting agency or has a Certificate of Authority;

      (ii) the courses are identified and documented for which credit is claimed to be applicable to the degree programs at the other institution; and

      (iii) the written agreement between the institution subject to these rules and the accredited institution is approved by both institutions' governing boards in writing, and is filed with the Board.

  (6) Amendments to a Certificate of Authority.

    (A) An institution seeking to amend its Certificate of Authority to award a new or different degree during the period of time covered by its current Certificate of Authority may file an application for amendment, on forms provided by the Board upon request, subject to the following exceptions:

      (i) An institution with no previous operational history described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter which has been granted a Certificate of Authority may not apply for an amendment during the period of time covered by its initial Certificate of Authority.

      (ii) An institution with operational history described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter which has been granted a Certificate of Authority may not apply for an amendment within the first one hundred eighty (180) days after the grant of its initial Certificate of Authority.

      (iii) An institution with operational history described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter which has been granted a Certificate of Authority with restrictions may not apply for an amendment during the period of time covered by the restricted Certificate of Authority.

      (iv) An institution seeking to discontinue a degree program, without closure of the institution, shall assure the continuity of students' education by entering into a teach-out agreement with:

        (I) another institution authorized by the Board to hold a Certificate of Authority;

        (II) an institution operating under a Certificate of Authorization; or

        (III) a public or private institution of higher education as defined in Texas Education Code §61.003.

      (v) The teach-out agreement shall be in writing, shall be subject to Board staff approval, shall contain provisions for student transfer, and shall specify the conditions for completion of degree requirements at the teach-out institution. The agreement shall also contain provisions for awarding degrees.

    (B) Applications for amendments shall be accompanied by the fee described in paragraph (3) of this subsection for each amendment to an existing degree or for each application to award a new or different degree.

    (C) Based upon the information contained in the application for amendment, the Commissioner or his/her designee may utilize an outside consultant, the Certification Advisory Council, or both, to review the application for amendment in order to make a recommendation to the Board.

    (D) Upon Board approval that the new or revised degree program meets the required standards, the Board shall amend the institution's Certificate of Authority accordingly.

    (E) A change of degree level or additional program would require an amended Certificate of Authority prior to beginning the program.

  (7) Renewal of Certificate of Authority.

    (A) At least one hundred eighty (180) days, but no more than two hundred ten (210) days, prior to the expiration of the current Certificate of Authority, an institution seeking renewal shall make application to the Board on forms provided upon request. The renewal application must include any applications for or renewal of accreditation by national or regional accrediting agencies. The renewal application shall be accompanied by the fee described in paragraph (3) of this subsection.

    (B) The application for renewal of the Certificate of Authority will be evaluated in the same manner as that prescribed for evaluation of an initial application, except that the renewal application must include the institution's record of improvement and progress toward accreditation. Evaluation of the renewal application will include review of compliance with any specific conditions, restrictions, or reporting requirements placed upon the institution during the period of the previous Certificate of Authority and whether continuation or addition of conditions, restrictions or reporting requirements is warranted.

    (C) An institution may be granted consecutive Certificates of Authority for a total grant of no longer than eight (8) years. Absent sufficient cause, at the end of the eight (8) years, the institution must be accredited by a recognized accrediting agency.

    (D) Subject to the application and authorization restrictions of this section, the Board shall renew the certificate if it finds that the institution has maintained all requisite standards and is making sufficient progress toward accreditation by a Board-recognized accrediting agency.

  (8) Revocation of Certificate of Authority.

    (A) Grounds for revocation include:

      (i) Institution no longer holds a Certificate of Approval or Letter of Exemption issued by the Texas Workforce Commission; or

      (ii) Institution fails to comply with substantive change notification and data reporting requirements as outlined in §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; or

      (iii) Institution offers degrees or courses leading to a degree for which it does not have Board approval; or

      (iv) Institution fails to maintain the Standards of Operation as defined in §7.4 of this chapter; or

      (v) Failure to comply with the requirement to submit all accrediting agency correspondence, reports, or findings and institutional responses to such correspondence, reports, and findings if an institution is accredited by entities which are not recognized by the Board; or

      (vi) Failure to fully comply with any additional conditions, restrictions, or reporting requirements placed upon the institution as part of its current Certificate of Authority.

    (B) Process for revocation of Certificate of Authority to offer degrees in Texas:

      (i) Board notifies institution of grounds for revocation as outlined in this paragraph via registered or certified mail;

      (ii) Within ten (10) days of its receipt of the Commissioner's notice, the institution must either cease and desist operations or respond and offer proof of its continued qualification for the authorization, and/or submit data as required by this chapter;

      (iii) After reviewing the evidence, the Commissioner will issue a notice of determination, which in the case of an adverse determination, shall contain information regarding the reasons for the denial, and the institution's right to a hearing;

      (iv) If a determination under this section is adverse to an institution, it shall become final and binding unless, within forty-five (45) days of its receipt of the adverse determination, the institution invokes the administrative remedies contained in Chapter 1, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Dispute Resolution).

    (C) Without a valid Certificate of Authority, the institution must immediately cease and desist all operations, including granting degrees, offering courses leading to degrees, receiving payments from students for courses which may be applicable toward a degree, or enrolling new students.

      (i) If an institution must cease and desist operations, within forty-five (45) days of the adverse determination becoming final and binding, the institution must assure the continuity of students' education by entering into a teach-out agreement with another institution authorized by the Board to hold a Certificate of Authority, with an institution operating under a Certificate of Authorization, or with a public or private institution of higher education as defined in Texas Education Code §61.003.

      (ii) The teach-out agreement shall be in writing, shall be subject to Board staff approval prior to implementation, shall contain provisions for student transfer, and shall specify the conditions for completion of degree requirements at the teach-out institution. The agreement shall also contain provisions for awarding degrees.

    (D) Reapplication After Revocation of Certificate of Authority.

      (i) The institution will not be eligible to reapply for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days.

Cont'd...

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