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RULE §7.4Standards for Operation of Institutions

    (C) Courses designed to correct deficiencies, remedial courses for associate and baccalaureate programs, and leveling courses for graduate programs, shall not count toward requirements for completion of the degree.

    (D) The degree level, degree designation, and the designation of the major course of study shall be appropriate to the curriculum offered and shall be accurately listed on the student's diploma and transcript.

  (15) General Education.

    (A) Each academic associate degree program shall contain a general education component consisting of at least twenty (20) semester credit hours or thirty (30) quarter credit hours. Each applied associate degree program shall contain a general education component of at least fifteen (15) semester credit hours or twenty-three (23) quarter credit hours. Each baccalaureate degree program shall contain a general education component consisting of at least twenty-five (25) percent of the total hours required for graduation from the program.

    (B) This component shall be drawn from each of the following areas: Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. It shall include courses to develop skills in written and oral communication and basic computer instruction.

    (C) The applicant institution may arrange to have all or part of the general education component taught by another institution, provided that:

      (i) the applicant institution's faculty shall design the general education requirement;

      (ii) there shall be a written agreement between the institutions specifying the applicant institution's general education requirements and the manner in which they will be met by the providing institution; and

      (iii) the providing institution shall be accredited by a Board-recognized accrediting agency or hold a Certificate of Authority.

  (16) Credit for Work Completed Outside a Collegiate Setting.

    (A) An institution awarding collegiate credit for work completed outside a collegiate setting (outside a degree-granting institution accredited by a recognized agency) shall establish and adhere to a systematic method for evaluating that work, shall award credit only in course content which falls within the authorized degree programs of the institution or, if by evaluative examination, falls within the standards for awarding credit by exam used by public universities in Texas, in an appropriate manner shall relate the credit to the student's current educational goals, and shall subject the institution's process and procedures for evaluating work completed outside a collegiate setting to ongoing review and evaluation by the institution's teaching faculty. To these ends, recognized evaluative examinations such as the Advanced Placement program (AP) or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) may be used.

    (B) No more than one half of the credit applied toward a student's associate or baccalaureate degree program may be based on work completed outside a collegiate setting. Those credits must be validated in the manner set forth in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. No more than fifteen (15) semester credit hours or twenty-three (23) quarter credit hours of that credit may be awarded by means other than recognized evaluative examinations. No graduate credit for work completed outside a collegiate setting may be awarded. In no instance may credit be awarded for life experience per se or merely for years of service in a position or job.

  (17) Learning Resources. The institution shall maintain and ensure that students have access to learning resources with a collection of books, educational material and publications, on-line materials and other resources and with staff, services, equipment, and facilities that are adequate and appropriate for the purposes and enrollment of the institution. Learning resources shall be current, well distributed among fields in which the institution offers instructions, cataloged, logically organized, and readily located. The institution shall maintain a continuous plan for learning resources development and support, including objectives and selections of materials. Current and formal written agreements with other institutions or with other entities may be used. Institutions offering graduate work shall provide access to learning resources that include basic reference and bibliographic works and major journals in each discipline in which the graduate program is offered. Applied associate degree programs shall provide adequate and appropriate resources for completion of course work.

  (18) Facilities. The institution shall have adequate space, equipment, and instructional materials to provide education of good quality. Student housing owned, maintained, or approved by the institution, if any, shall be appropriate, safe, adequate, and in compliance with applicable state and local requirements.

  (19) Academic Records. Adequate records of each student's academic performance shall be securely and permanently maintained by the institution.

    (A) The records for each student shall contain:

      (i) student contact and identification information, including address and telephone number;

      (ii) records of admission documents, such as high school diploma or GED (if undergraduate) or undergraduate degree (if graduate);

      (iii) records of all courses attempted, including grade; completion status of the student, including the diploma, degree or award conferred to the student, designation of the major course of study; and

      (iv) any other information typically contained in academic records.

    (B) Two copies of said records shall be maintained in separate secure places. Records of students who are no longer enrolled at the institution for any reason, including graduation, must be maintained in accordance with §7.15 of this chapter (relating to Academic Records Maintenance, Protection, and Repository of Last Resort).

    (C) Students in good standing will be provided transcripts upon request, subject to the institution's obligation, if any, to cooperate with the rules and regulations governing state and federally guaranteed student loans.

  (20) Accurate and Fair Representation in Publications, Advertising, and Promotion.

    (A) Neither the institution nor its agents or other representatives shall engage in advertising, recruiting, sales, collection, financial credit, or other practices of any type which are false, deceptive, misleading, or unfair. Likewise, all publications, by any medium, shall accurately and fairly represent the institution, its programs, available resources, tuition and fees, and requirements.

    (B) The institution shall provide students, prospective students prior to enrollment, and other interested persons with a printed or electronically published catalog. Institutions relying on electronic catalogs must ensure the availability of archived editions in order to serve the needs of alumni and returning students. The catalog must contain, at minimum, the following information:

      (i) the institution's mission;

      (ii) a statement of admissions policies;

      (iii) information describing the purpose, length, and objectives of the program or programs offered by the institution;

      (iv) the schedule of tuition, fees, and all other charges and expenses necessary for completion of the course of study;

      (v) cancellation and refund policies;

      (vi) a definition of the unit of credit as it applies at the institution;

      (vii) an explanation of satisfactory progress as it applies at the institution, including an explanation of the grading or marking system;

      (viii) the institution's calendar, including the beginning and ending dates for each instructional term, holidays, and registration dates;

      (ix) a complete listing of each regularly employed faculty member showing name, area of assignment, rank, and each earned degree held, including degree level, degree designation, and institution that awarded the degree;

      (x) a complete listing of each administrator showing name, title, area of assignment, and each earned degree held, including degree level, degree designation, and institution that awarded the degree;

      (xi) a statement of legal control with the names of the trustees, directors, and officers of the corporation;

      (xii) a complete listing of all scholarships offered, if any;

      (xiii) a statement describing the nature and extent of available student services;

      (xiv) complete and clearly stated information about the transferability of credit to other postsecondary institutions including two-year and four-year colleges and universities;

      (xv) any such other material facts concerning the institution and the program or course of instruction as are reasonably likely to affect the decision of the student to enroll therein; and

      (xvi) any disclosures specified by the Board or defined in Board rules.

    (C) The institution shall adopt, publish, and adhere to a fair and equitable cancellation and refund policy.

    (D) The institution shall provide to each prospective student, newly-enrolled student, and returning student, complete and clearly presented information indicating the institution's current graduation rate by program and, if required by the Board, job placement rate by program for applied associate degree programs.

    (E) Any special requirements or limitations of program offerings for the students at the Texas location must be made explicit in writing. This may be accomplished by either a separate section in the catalog or a brochure separate from the catalog. However, if a brochure is produced, the student must also be given the regular catalog.

    (F) Upon satisfactory completion of the program of study, the student in good standing shall be given appropriate educational credentials indicating the degree level, degree designation, and the designation of the major course of study, and a transcript accurately listing the information typically found on such a document, subject to the institution's obligation, if any, to enforce with the rules and regulations governing state, and federally guaranteed student loans by temporarily withholding such credentials.

  (21) Academic Advising and Counseling. The institution shall provide an effective program of academic advising for all students enrolled. The program shall include orientation to the academic program, academic counseling, career information and planning, placement assistance, and testing services.

  (22) Student Rights and Responsibilities. The institution shall establish and adhere to a clear and fair policy regarding due process in disciplinary matters; outline the established grievance process of the institution, which shall indicate that students should follow this process and may contact the Board using the student complaint procedures established by Board rules Chapter 1, Subchapter H, §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title (relating to Student Complaint Procedure) and/or the Texas Attorney General to file a complaint about the institution if all other avenues have been exhausted, and publish these policies in a handbook, which shall include other rights and responsibilities of the students. This handbook shall be supplied in print or electronically to each student upon enrollment in the institution.

  (23) Health and Safety. The institution shall provide an effective program of health and safety education reflecting the needs of the students. The program shall include information on emergency and safety procedures at the institution, including appropriate responses to illness, accident, fire, and crime.

  (24) Learning Outcomes.

    (A) An institution must have an objective system of assessing learning outcomes in place for each part of the curriculum and the institution can demonstrate that appropriate learning outcomes are being achieved.

    (B) An institution may deviate, for a compelling academic reason, from Standard (12) relating to Faculty Size and Standard (16) relating to Credit for Work Completed Outside a Collegiate Setting, as long as academic objectives are fully met.

Source Note: The provisions of this §7.4 adopted to be effective December 6, 2009, 34 TexReg 8515; amended to be effective February 26, 2013, 38 TexReg 1152; amended to be effective November 23, 2016, 41 TexReg 9113; amended to be effective February 28, 2018, 43 TexReg 1068; amended to be effective March 2, 2020, 45 TexReg 1395

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