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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through May 15, 2016
 
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HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING COMMISSION
OFFICE OF DEGREE AUTHORIZATION

 

DIVISION 30

STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR SCHOOLS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION
TO OFFER ACADEMIC DEGREES IN OREGON, OR REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH EXEMPTION

583-030-0005

Purpose and Scope

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) These rules implement ORS 348.594 to 348.615 and 348.992 insofar as each section therein relates to ORS 348.606, which provides that a school must meet state standards and be approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (Commission) before it may confer or offer to confer any academic degree, or provide services purporting to lead to a degree, by establishing the standards and the procedures to implement the standards or to verify any exemption or exclusion.

(2) These rules apply to any school offering degrees and credits from within Oregon to recipients anywhere. The rules further apply to any school offering degrees and credits from outside of Oregon, in connection with learning or evaluation meant to occur within this state. These rules further apply to anyone affiliated with a school in the following ways:

(a) Maintaining an office or mailing address in the state; or

(b) Conducting any part of the instruction program or support activities from or in the state.

(3) Exclusions to the rule are described in OAR 583-030-0009.

(4) Complete and partial exemptions and modifications are described in OAR 583-030-0010 and 583-030-0011.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.594 & 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.594, 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; ECC 2-1980, f. & ef. 4-14-80; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1993, f. & cert. ef. 6-28-93; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; SSC 1-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998 f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0009

Exclusions

Effective September 10, 2015. These rules do not apply to: Postsecondary schools that do not offer degrees or credits viable toward a degree, absent an articulation agreement with an authorized school, but do confer certificates and diplomas in instructional programs for the purpose of instructing, training, or preparing students for any profession. Such schools are subject to ORS chapter 345.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.594 - 348.615, 2005 SB 1039 (2005 Laws 546)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.594 - 348.615
Hist.: ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0010

Exemptions

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) The standards and procedures in these rules shall not apply to an Oregon public institution that is authorized and governed by the Commission under ORS Chapter 351.

(2) A school is exempt on religious grounds if the school meets the requirements of ORS 348.604 and 348.608. No rules in this division are applicable to a religious-exempt school, except as permitted by ORS chapter 348.

(3) A regionally accredited nonprofit school or separately regionally accredited campus of a nonprofit school that has operated at least one program approved by the Commission, or its predecessor agencies, in Oregon for at least five consecutive years is exempt unless otherwise noted under ORS Chapter 351 for the investigation and resolution of student complaints.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.604 & 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.597, 348.604, 348.605
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; ECC 2-1980, f. & ef. 4-14-80; ECC 3-1981, f. & ef. 12-16-81; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; SSC 1-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 4-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03; ODA 2-2004(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-11-04 thru 7-30-04; Administrative correction 8-19-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 11-16-10; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0015

Definitions of Terms

Effective September 10, 2015. The following definitions have particular application to one or more provisions of this division.

(1) "Academic year" means approximately nine months, conventionally during fall, winter, and spring.

(2) "Accredited" means approved to offer degrees at a specified level by an agency or association recognized as an accreditor in the U.S. by the U.S. Secretary of Education or having candidacy status with an agency or association whose pre-accreditation category is recognized specifically by the U. S. Secretary of Education as an assurance of future accreditation.

(3) "At risk" means the school demonstrates one or more of the following conditions that the Commission determines may cause potential serious problems for the continued successful operation of the organization: Failure to meet the standards of financial responsibility; Misrepresentation; Frequent substantiated complaints filed with the Commission; Significant decrease in enrollment from the previous reporting year; or Significant staff turnover from the previous reporting year.

(4) "Certificate" means a formal academic award that signifies, purports, or may generally be taken to signify completion of a course of instruction for which college or university-level academic credit is given but which is shorter or more limited than that leading to a degree. Certificate includes the term "diploma" if used to mean a similar award. A certificate may be at the undergraduate or graduate level.

(5) "Class hour" or "contact hour" means approximately one hour of direct communication between a teacher and one or more students, minus time for rest or change of classes. Conventionally this has been a fifty-minute period.

(6) "Confer a degree" means give, grant, award, bestow, or present orally or in writing any symbol or series of letters or words that would lead the recipient to believe a degree had been obtained.

(7) "Credit," when the full term is "postsecondary or college credit," means indication or certification by a school that a student has completed a unit of study, demonstrated achievement or proficiency, or manifested measured learning outside of school so as to have satisfied a portion of the requirements for a degree or for any other academic recognition offered by the school.

(8) "Credit hour" means one postsecondary credit resulting from one of the following intended to result from at least 2 hours of student work out of class (or in equivalent lab time) for each contact hour in class, totaling:

(a) Approximately 45 hours of student work in a semester;

(b) Approximately 30 hours of student work in a quarter;

(c) An equivalent amount of student work under an alternate term calendar schedule approved by Office of Degree Authorization; or

(d) Equivalent student work demonstrated by student performance on a nationally recognized examination or evaluation acceptable to the Commission.

(9)(a) "Degree" means any academic or honorary title, rank, or status that may be used for any purpose, which is designated by a symbol or series of letters or words such as, but not limited to, associate, bachelor, master, or doctor, and forms or abbreviations thereof that signifies, purports, or may generally be taken to signify:

(A) Completion of a course of instruction at the college or university level;

(B) Demonstration of achievement or proficiency comparable to such completion; or

(C) Recognition for nonacademic learning, public service, or any other reason of distinction comparable to such completion.

(b) "Degree" does not refer to a certificate or diploma signified by a series of letters or words unlikely to be confused with a degree, clearly intended not to be mistaken for a degree, and represented to students and the public in ways that prevent such confusion or error.

(10) “Executive Director” means the executive director of the Commission, or the executive director’s designee.

(11) "External degree" means a degree that can be earned mostly or entirely through correspondence, electronic recordings, or subscription telecommunications, rather than by resident instruction, except that some assistance may be provided for students face-to-face by school adjuncts in capacities such as advisor, mentor, tutor, clinic or practicum supervisor, topical speaker, occasional seminar leader, evaluator, or member of a thesis or study committee.

(12) "First-professional degree" means master's or doctor's degree conferred upon completion of a course of study for which admission into some schools may be gained with less than a baccalaureate, but for which pre-admission and professional study together invariably require more time than is required for a bachelor's degree alone, regardless of how many matriculants already have a bachelor's degree.

(13) "Full-time equivalent” or “FTE" means the number of students, teachers, or other personnel, any member of which may be engaged full time or part time, who in combined time expended would be the equivalent of one full-time unit of the kind being described.

(14) "Full-time student" means a student who is engaged in academic study as the student’s primary occupation, thus ordinarily requiring 35 to 45 hours per week divided between interaction with teachers and independent preparation.

(15) "Graduate degree" or "post-baccalaureate degree" means a master's or doctor's degree conferred upon completion of a course of study for which admission can be gained only through possession of a bachelor's degree satisfactory to the school offering the graduate instruction.

(16) "General Education" is a term that includes liberal education and other nonvocational courses outside a student' major field.

(17) "Liberal Arts and Sciences courses" means courses in the following subjects:

(a) The humanities, such as language, literature, philosophy, religious thought, and fine arts (not emphasizing performance skills);

(b) The social sciences, such as anthropology, cultural geography, general history, religious history and culture, economics, political science, general psychology, and sociology; and

(c) The natural sciences, such as Biology, biological psychology, chemistry, physics, geology and physical geography, mathematics.

(18) "Limited resident instruction" means instruction by an accredited school consisting of less than 50 percent of a degree or certificate program offered to more than one student at a physical site in Oregon, when the providing school is not otherwise authorized to offer degrees in Oregon.

(19) "Lower-division instruction" means course content and teaching at a level appropriate for first- and second-year postsecondary students generally (including all community college and associate degree instruction), but available to more advanced students who have no prior experience in the subject.

(20) "Non-Oregon school" means any school controlled from outside the state.

(21) "Offer a degree" means announce, advertise, declare, or imply orally or in writing the willingness or intention to confer a degree directly or to cause a degree to be conferred by agreement or arrangement with any person or school.

(22) "Oregon school" means any postsecondary school or organized group of postsecondary schools that has its principal executive offices in Oregon or is otherwise controlled effectively from within this state, regardless of the number of students served in various locations.

(23) "Practicum" means that portion of a degree program that involves a supervised field placement in a professional or workplace environment. For purposes of these rules, also includes "internship."

(24) "Professional and vocational courses" include, but are not limited to, courses in the following subjects: agriculture and forestry (or wildlife management), architecture and design, business and public administration, broadcasting or journalism, computer technology, education, engineering and related technologies, health professions, home economics, law, library science, military science, parks and leisure studies, physical education and recreation, protective services, religious services, artistic performance or physical activity courses, or practical and general information courses such as personal health, career planning, human relations, public speaking, elementary writing, elementary mathematics, and computer fundamentals.

(25) “Probation” means that a school has been officially notified by the Commission that it has deficiencies that must be corrected within a specified time based upon an inspection or other investigation that reveals lack of compliance with ORS 348.606 to 348.612 or the standards of OAR chapter 583, division 30, or when the school fails to meet the requirements set forth by the Commission while on “at risk” status.

(26) "Quarter" means one third of an academic year, typically 9-12 weeks in length and divided among fall, winter and spring.

(27) "Regionally accredited" means approved to offer degrees at a specified level by a regional institutional accreditor recognized for that purpose by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

(28) "Religious degree" means a degree with a title in theology or religious occupation(s).

(29) "Residential degree" means a degree earned primarily through resident instruction.

(30) “Resident instruction” means face-to-face teaching and learning at a school's main campus or other major facility with a regularity designed to accommodate full-time students and others who need continuous access to teachers and related resources on site.

(31)(a) "Restricted degree" means an external or semi-residential degree offered exclusively to employees or members of contracting organizations, which receive on their own premises services that may include direct or televised teaching by regular or adjunct faculty members of the school.

(b) “Restricted degree” does not mean a degree program that is open to all members of the general public who are qualified for admission.

(32) "School" means any person or persons and any organization or group of organizations, whether incorporated or not, engaging or appearing to engage in the activities of an educational entity or institution of learning, whether or not naming itself a school, college, university, institute, academy, seminary, conservatory, or similar term. The activities attributable to a school include but are not limited to teaching, measurement of achievement or proficiency, or recognition of educational attainment or comparable public distinction.

(33) "Semester" means half an academic year, typically 15-16 weeks in length, conventionally including a fall semester from September through December and a spring semester from January through May.

(34) "Semi-residential degree" means a degree that can be earned through a combination of residential and external methods but requires a substantial portion of learning from structured face-to-face teaching at a school's main campus or other major facility, or at a temporary instructional site where students meet in groups.

(35) "State academic standards" for Oregon means the standards provided in OAR 583-030-0035.

(36) "Term" means a segment of an academic year, ordinarily a semester or quarter but sometimes less. Term is the preferred descriptor for degree program courses using a nontraditional calendar.

(37) "Upper-division instruction" means course content and teaching appropriate for third- and fourth-year students or others with a strong background in the subject. Upper-division instruction is not offered in associate degree programs or by community colleges.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.594 & 348.606, 2015 SB 218 enrolled; 2015 HB 3516 .
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.594, 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; ECC 2-1980, f. & ef. 4-14-80; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1993, f. & cert. ef. 6-28-93; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; SSC 1-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0016

Exclusive Use of Term “University”

Effective January 13, 2015. The term "university" refers exclusively to a school that is authorized to offer bachelor's degrees together with graduate or first professional degrees, or to an organization that constitutes a formal consortium of schools so authorized. Any entity that calls itself "university" without authorization but with serious intent will be referred to the Department of Justice for enforcement under ORS 646. 605 to 646.652, Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.596, 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: EPP 1-1993, f. & cert. ef. 6-28-93; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0020

Exercise of Office Authority

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) A school that intends to offer to anyone from within Oregon or offer to Oregon residents from outside the state any form of instruction, lecture, training, tutoring, seminar, workshop, examination, evaluation, or other service represented as contributing credit or otherwise leading toward a specified or unspecified degree or certificate that will or might be conferred anywhere shall notify the Commission at least 6 months in advance and then promptly supply all information the Commission requests. Failure to notify the Commission in advance, or to provide information as directed, may result in permanent denial of approval for the school to offer any services in or from Oregon, as well as administrative action, up to and including assessment of civil penalties.

(2) Schools that offer no degrees in Oregon but want to offer a certificate are subject to the requirements of ORS chapter 345 and OAR chapter 715, division 45.

(3) Schools intending to apply for authorization or exemption from the Commission shall provide the Commission with information about the school’s ownership and structure, proposed programs, and relationships to other institutions, if any. On the basis of this preliminary information, the Commission’s executive director will determine whether the school:

(a) Must apply for state authorization to offer instruction or related services leading to one or more degrees under the standards of OAR 583-030-0035 or 583-030-0036;

(b) Is exempt for other than religious reasons under ORS 348.597;

(c) Is eligible for exemption under ORS 348.604 and therefore has a choice of standard state approval or religious exemption.

(4) A school that applies for degree authorization or exemption shall use forms and follow procedures determined by the Commission. Failure to comply constitutes good reason to reject an application. Such school shall be open to inspection and may be inspected at any time to verify its statements and to examine facilities. Inspection of a school and evaluation of its application will be performed by state officials or consultants at the Executive Director’s discretion, and results will be utilized as the Commission considers appropriate. Information from other examiners, such as accreditors or professional licensing agencies, may accompany materials submitted by the school and may be used by the Commission at its discretion.

(5) Authorization to offer instruction or related services leading to a degree applies to specific curricula and services for specific periods:

(a) Authorization is normally given for the state as a whole, but may be limited by the Commission in order to ensure program quality or operational stability.

(b) The Commission, on the basis of judgment about the relationship between a curriculum and a degree title, may require revision of title. Degree titles may not contain the name of organizations, companies or products.

(c) Authorization is given for a specific degree for a fixed period of not less than two or more than four calendar years. The executive director may vary the length of approval periods by up to one year subject to the four-year limit in order to consolidate applications or renewals for the convenience of the school or the Commission.

(6) Authorization to offer instruction or related services leading to a degree expires at the end of the period for which it is given, without right or presumption of renewal, except that an authorized school having submitted a complete and timely application for renewal continues to be authorized until such time as a review or revocation procedure may determine otherwise. After discontinuing its offer of an authorized degree before the end of the period of authorization, a school shall not reinstate the degree without permission from the Commission. A program shall be deemed discontinued if a period of two academic years passes without any students being enrolled in the program.

(7) Authorization to offer instruction or related services leading to a degree is subject at all times to supplemental review if the school appears to be at risk or approaching probation, suspension or revocation for proper cause according to procedures described in OAR 583-030-0045.

(8) Approval of a degree by the Commission does not constitute approval of the program as training for professional practice when the state licenses or otherwise regulates professional practice. Applicants must also seek approval from the appropriate state licensing entity.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.597, 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; ECC 2-1980, f. & ef. 4-14-80; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1993, f. & cert. ef. 6-28-93; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 4-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03; ODA 2-2004(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-11-04 thru 7-30-04; Administrative correction 8-19-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0025

General Conditions Required for Residential or Semi-residential Degree Program Authorization

Effective January 13, 2015. All applicant schools must meet the following conditions to apply for initial or renewed authorization to offer a residential or semi-residential degree to Oregon residents or to offer any degree from within Oregon to persons anywhere.

(1) A school must appoint a responsible administrator who resides within the state and has a business address and telephone within the state, who may transact the essential business of application, and who in any case shall be made an informed party to all such business. If a non-Oregon-based school plans a small or narrowly specialized operation within this state, the executive director may permit the applicant to use an out-of-state administrator.

(2) All programs must be designed to allow all students to work toward a degree at a rate equivalent to at least half-time study.

(3) No school shall be eligible to apply for authorization to offer in or from Oregon any instruction or other services leading to a doctor's degree before it has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation candidacy at or above the bachelor's degree level recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. However, offer of doctoral programs in another state by an unaccredited school will not automatically disqualify such school from authorization to offer degrees below the doctoral level in Oregon. The only exception to this provision is that a proposed school offering one or more doctoral programs leading to professional licensure in a field in which Oregon has such licensure may apply for approval from the Commission. In such cases, the school proposing to offer doctoral programs may apply for Commission approval only if the program is designed and intended to meet the standards for licensure required by the appropriate Oregon professional licensing board.

(4) A foreign (non-U.S.) school is eligible to apply for Oregon approval if it is approved to offer degrees by the appropriate agency in its home country and the Commission finds that its home country has adequate oversight of academic programs. Foreign schools are not limited to offering in Oregon the same degrees for which they have approval in their home country, but may not offer degrees at a higher level in Oregon than those for which they have authorization in their home country.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; ECC 2-1980, f. & ef. 4-14-80; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 1-2005, f. & cert. ef. 3-3-05; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0030

Application Procedure

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) A school seeking initial degree authorization should allow three months to prepare its application and six additional months for review by the Commission. Approval of exempt degrees and abbreviated reviews for certain external or semi-residential degrees or for limited or restricted residential instruction may require less time. To be considered timely, a complete application for renewal of an existing authorization must be submitted six months before the date that authorization expires, and a school seeking renewal is fully responsible for beginning the procedure.

(2) In order to be valid, application must be made by the method determined by the Commission, including completion according to instruction of any forms provided for the purpose. Modification will be allowed by explicit permission only. The applicant school shall submit any information requested by the Commission and may submit such supplemental information as it considers pertinent. The Commission will provide advice.

(3) Program approval may be made conditional on approval of employees hired after the approval date.

(4) Application for authorization to offer a degree or to provide services leading to a degree in whole or in part must be accompanied by payment of the fee described in OAR 583-030-0046 or such reduced fee as is determined by the Commission in special circumstances. Several curricula leading to the same degree may be submitted as part of a single application.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-14-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0032

Review Process for Degrees

Effective January 13, 2015:

(1) Review of an application to offer instruction or related services leading to a degree or certificate includes evaluation of the school and its proposed programs in relation to the state academic standards set forth in OAR 583-030-0035, or modified under 583-030-0036 for a non-Oregon school that will offer limited resident instruction in Oregon.

(2) Pursuant to OAR 583-030-0036, the Commission at its discretion may employ an abbreviated review procedure with adjusted fee for a non-Oregon school offering limited or restricted instruction in Oregon for an external degree.

(3) Review of free-standing certificate or diploma programs offered by degree-granting schools, or credit-bearing courses offered by schools that do not issue degrees in their own name will generally follow the model for associate degrees.

(4) In the course of evaluation, the Commission’s staff will ordinarily inspect the facilities and records of an applicant school and interview officials, employees, or students of the school as necessary to obtain sufficient information. The staff may also interview employers of school graduates and representatives of organizations that appear closely related to the school.

(5) Where competency in a particular academic discipline is essential to an evaluation, the Commission’s executive director may seek expert advice in that discipline. However, adequacy of instruction in a discipline will ordinarily be judged by faculty credentials in relation to the standards, by curricular content in comparison with similar programs of established quality, and by educational resources and student performance. Where competency in a particular occupation or profession is needed for an evaluation, the executive director will seek expert advice from the corresponding state licensing board.

(6) The Commission will not review sectarian content of curriculum for degrees with a religious title or significant religious content; the state's only concern will be to ensure that the curriculum has a reasonable structure related to credits awarded.

(7) The review culminates in preparation of findings, including explanation of any failure to satisfy a standard, which are provided to the applicant in a formal report. Approval is not granted until all standards are satisfied. If a standard cannot be satisfied in a reasonable length of time, approval will be denied.

(8) Refusal by the Commission to authorize an applicant school to offer instruction or related services leading to a degree is subject to right of review as provided in ORS 348.615 by an action brought for trial without jury in the circuit court of the county in which the school is located. A school or putative school having no physical location in Oregon at which students are served shall bring any such action in the circuit court of Marion County.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; ECC 26, f. & ef. 6-8-77; ECC 2-1980, f. & ef. 4-14-80; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; Renumbered from 583-030-0040, ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0035

Standards for Schools Offering Degree Programs In or From Oregon

Effective September 10, 2015. In order to receive and hold authorization to offer in or from Oregon instruction or related services leading to one or more degrees, a school must remain open to inspection at all times and continuously satisfy each of the following standard requirements as written, except where the Commission approves modification under OAR 583-030-0036 or substitution under 583-030-0011. Standards are applicable to all programs.

(1) Name. The school shall use for doing business publicly a name that is consistent with its purpose and educational programs.

(2) Control.

(a) All persons responsible for upper management policy must be individually qualified by education, experience, and record of conduct to assure effective management, ethical practice, and the quality of degrees and services offered. Boards must collectively demonstrate financial, academic, managerial and any necessary specialized knowledge, but individual members need not have all of these characteristics. Any controlling organization or owner is subject to this standard.

(b) Administrators shall be paid by fixed salary and not by commission. Commission includes monetary and nonmonetary compensation. Any portion of payment that is based on enrollment of students recruited by the administrator or the administrator's staff is considered payment by commission.

(c) Teachers shall be paid by fixed salary and not by commission. Commission includes monetary and nonmonetary compensation. Any portion of payment that is based on enrollment of students recruited by the teacher is considered payment by commission.

(d) Nonprofit Schools:

(A) Persons who control a nonprofit school shall demonstrate a commitment to the school's best interest as a public trust.

(B) A nonprofit school shall have a published policy that is followed in practice against conflicts of interest at all organizational levels.

(e) For-profit Schools:

(A) A school operated for profit shall disclose fully to the Commission the specific financial interest of any involved organization or person, except that a large group of shareholders may be described generally. Any person or entity holding at least 5 percent of voting or common shares in a for-profit school must be named and the percentage of holdings disclosed. All business activities of interested organizations or persons are subject to disclosure.

(B) All board members, administrators, or owners of five percent or more of shares of an applicant school or parent corporation must disclose with explanation the following:

(i) Any prior felony convictions.

(ii) Any known violations of federal financial aid rules by a school of which the person was a board member or employee.

(iii) Any known violations of the policies of an accreditor by a school of which the person was a board member or employee.

(iv)Any previous or current ownership or administration of a school that closed or filed for bankruptcy.

(3) Organization.

(a) The school and any parent organization shall be organized so as to distribute responsibility clearly among positions in a logical structure that is consistent with services offered and qualifications needed to fulfill the duties of the positions. An individual may occupy more than one position.

(b) The school shall satisfy the Commission that all upper executive officers and other administrators are individually qualified by education, experience, and record of conduct to assure competent management, ethical practices, and effective educational service. Unless an exception is approved by the Commission’s executive director because of sufficient compensatory qualification, administrators above the entry level shall have experience related to their present duties, and all administrators with authority over academic programs shall possess appropriate degrees earned from schools that are regionally accredited or otherwise determined by the Commission to be acceptable.

(c) The school shall make available to the Commission an administrator generally responsible for school operations within the state and transaction of business with the Office. Unless an exception is approved by the Commission’s executive director because of sufficient compensatory qualification, that administrator shall possess a degree at least as high as any offered by the school in connection with operations in Oregon, together with appropriate administrative experience.

(d) There shall be an academic officer for the entire school responsible for faculty and academic programs offered in or from Oregon. Unless an exception is approved by the Commission’s executive director because of sufficient compensatory qualification, that officer shall possess at least a master's degree and shall possess a doctor's degree if the school offers any graduate or non-baccalaureate professional degree. That officer shall have experience in teaching and academic administration, both experiences appropriate to the level, size, and complexity of the school.

(e) There shall be a business officer for the entire school responsible for accounting and managerial services. Unless an exception is approved by the Commission’s executive director because of unusual compensatory qualification, that officer shall possess at least a bachelor's degree in a business-related field, together with appropriate administrative experience.

(4) Teachers.

(a) The school must obtain and keep official transcripts for all teaching faculty.

(b) The school shall satisfy the Commission that all teachers are individually qualified by education and experience to give expert instruction or evaluation in their specialties. Unless an exception is approved by the Commission’s executive director because of sufficient compensatory qualification, teachers shall be qualified for the various levels of instruction or evaluation as described below, with degrees earned from schools that are accredited by a federally recognized accreditor or otherwise determined by the Commission to be acceptable.

(c) Standards applicable to specific degree levels. A person who does not hold the appropriate level and major degree as stated in subparagraphs (B) through (E) of this paragraph may demonstrate qualification by showing at least 12 semester or 18 quarter credits in the field at a level higher than the current teaching assignment combined with appropriate professional experience in the field. Teaching experience cannot be used to replace professional experience if this option is exercised, except for teacher education programs.

(A) Teachers in programs leading to degrees in the fine arts, including but not limited to art, music, dance, cooking, theater, photography, writing and other programs involving a significant creative element, may demonstrate qualifications with a documented combination of academic and creative work.

(B) Standards applicable to associate degree programs: A teacher on a faculty offering associate's degrees ordinarily shall possess a bachelor's degree appropriate to the subject taught or evaluated, except that compensatory nonacademic qualifications will be more readily accepted by the Office in programs leading to occupational degrees leading to professional licensure or the fine arts. Where the degree emphasizes transfer courses in the arts and sciences (primarily Associate of Arts degrees), the teacher ordinarily shall possess an appropriate master's degree.

(C) Standards applicable to bachelor's degree programs: A teacher on a faculty offering bachelor's degrees ordinarily shall possess an appropriate graduate degree in the field currently taught.

(D) Standards applicable to master's degree programs: A teacher on faculty offering master's degrees ordinarily shall possess an appropriate doctor's degree and some teaching experience, except that up to half of the teachers in an occupational or professional degree program may substitute for the doctorate a master's degree together with occupational or professional licensure or equivalent certification and related work experience. More substitutions may be permitted where the terminal degree for teachers in an occupational or professional field is not generally considered to be a doctorate.

(E) Standards applicable to doctoral degree programs: A teacher on a faculty offering doctor's degrees ordinarily shall possess an appropriate doctor's degree and substantial graduate or first-professional teaching experience, including experience overseeing advanced independent study or student practice, except that the doctor's degree alone may suffice for teaching courses at the master's level generally or at any level in the teacher's particular subspecialty.

(d) There shall be sufficient numbers of teachers and so distributed so as to give effective instructional and advisory attention to students in all programs offered by the school.

(e) A school having an undergraduate FTE student-faculty ratio of greater than 30:1 or a graduate FTE student-faculty ratio of greater than 20:1 for students taught in or from Oregon must demonstrate that students and faculty have adequate opportunities for one-to-one interaction.

(f) A school that does not have at least one full-time teacher resident in Oregon or directly teaching Oregon students in each specialty must demonstrate with specific examples the adequacy of faculty contribution to organizational integrity and continuity, to academic planning, and to resident student development.

(g) The school shall have a faculty development policy that continuously improves their knowledge and performance.

(h) The school must provide the Commission with annual data regarding turnover of full-time teachers. The Commission may limit use of part-time teachers upon finding that such turnover or use results in substandard education of students.

(i) The school shall demonstrate an effort when hiring teachers to avoid dependence on its own most recent graduates. No more than 20 percent of all applicant school teachers can hold their highest degree from the applicant school unless fewer than 10 schools in the United States offer the highest degree available in the field. Schools offering solely religious degrees are exempt from this requirement.

(j) A teacher of an academic or scientific discipline within an occupational or professional degree program (e.g., economics within a business program, psychology within education, anatomy within nursing) ordinarily shall possess the appropriate degree in the discipline rather than a non-disciplinary occupational or professional degree. Lower-division undergraduate courses may be taught by those with non-disciplinary degrees who have demonstrable and extensive acquaintance with the discipline.

(5) Credit. The school shall award credit toward degrees proportionate to work done by students and consequent upon the judgment of qualified teachers and examiners. Credits are generally expressed as either semester (SCH) or quarter credit hours (QCH). One semester credit represents approximately 45 hours of on-task student work in a semester (usually two study hours per faculty contact hour). A quarter credit hour represents approximately 30 hours of student work in a quarter. Credit hours earned through nontraditional learning schedules shall have proportionate value to credit hours based on customary term lengths.

(a) Instructional methods:

(A) Credit awarded by the school shall be based solely upon the judgment of teachers who have had extensive direct contact with the students who receive it, with the exception of methods listed in these rules if approved in advance by Commission’s executive director.

(B) At least one academic year of credit toward any degree, most of it near the end, shall represent teaching or direct evaluation by faculty members employed by the school, except that the Commission may approve a lesser amount for an associate's degree.

(C) Credit may be awarded for distance learning if the school demonstrates that it has adequate methods in place to ensure that student work is sufficient both in quality and quantity to meet the Commission’s requirements, courses are developed and taught by qualified faculty and there will be sufficient interaction between students and faculty and, if possible, among students. The Commission may limit or disallow credit awarded for any type of distance learning if the school cannot demonstrate adequate oversight and quality control measures.

(D) Transfer credit integral to the school's approved degree curriculum may be awarded at the corresponding degree level for academic work documented by other schools that are accredited, authorized to confer degrees in or from Oregon, or otherwise individually or categorically approved by the Commission. Such credit must be at a “C” grade or above, and converted as needed from semester, quarter or nontraditional calendar systems.

(b) Non-instructional Methods. No more than one year of an academic program can be completed using any combination of the non-instructional methods set forth in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this paragraph:

(A) Advanced Placement credit integral to the approved degree curriculum may be awarded in the lower-division up to a limit of one academic year for passing examinations constructed by testing organizations satisfactory to the Commission.

(B) Challenge examination credit as an actual component of the approved degree curriculum may be awarded only for successful performance on a final course examination, or on a similar test covering all course content, given by the school in lieu of requiring class attendance. No more than 25 percent of a program may be earned through challenge examinations.

(C) Noncollegiate learning integral to the approved degree curriculum may be awarded credit only at the undergraduate level for learning validated by a student portfolio, a credit evaluation guide issued by the American Council on Education, or a similar criterion. Such learning must be formulated through sufficient contact between teacher and student, communicated competently in terms of ideas (e.g., concept, generalization, analysis, synthesis, proof) rather than mere description, and judged by faculty members or contracted experts demonstrably qualified to evaluate it. Upper-division credit of this type may be awarded only in academic fields in which the school employs its own faculty. No more than 25 percent of an undergraduate degree program may be earned through award of credit for noncollegiate work.

(6) Curriculum. The school shall assure the quality of all attendant teaching, learning, and faculty-student interaction. The curriculum shall have a structure that reflects faculty responsibility for what is to be learned overall, as well as in each course, and thus for the logical sequence and increasing difficulty of subjects and instructional levels. While requirements are sometimes listed in both semester and quarter credit hours, the Commission usually states credit hours as semester credit hours. If quarter credits are not listed, colleges using the quarter system should multiply the stated credits by 1.5 to obtain the correct requirement in quarter credit hours (QCH) under quarter systems. These are the basic requirements for different kinds of degrees available in Oregon. The Commission’s executive director may approve minor variations from these curriculum standards in order to allow programs to operate efficiently.

(a) Undergraduate Programs. All associate and bachelor's degrees require one year (at least 6 semester (SCH) or 9 quarter credit hours (QCH) or equivalent alternate term credit hours) of English composition or equivalent Commission-approved writing courses. Students may meet this requirement by achieving a score on a nationally normed test that would permit a waiver of English composition requirements or the award of academic credit in English composition at an accredited college or university.

(b) Associate’s Degrees. An associate's degree requires at least two academic years (60 semester credit hours or 90 quarter credit hours) in FTE postsecondary study. The degree requires at least 15 SCH or 22 QCH in general education courses, including the undergraduate English composition requirement.

(A) Associate of Arts. A full-transfer degree, the A.A. requires two academic years applicable to B.A. or B.S. study fulfilling baccalaureate liberal arts requirements. A major is optional. Thus, the A.A. requires 24 SCH (36 QCH) in the liberal arts and sciences, with at least 6 hours (9 QCH) each in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

(B) Associate of Science. A limited-transfer degree, the A.S. requires a major and two academic years applicable to professional or technical baccalaureate study. The A.S. degree requires 24 SCH (36 QCH) in the humanities, sciences and social sciences, or in non-vocational courses closely related to them.

(C) Associate, Professional or Technical. A terminal degree, the professional or technical associate's degree requires a major (Degree title examples: Associate of Applied Arts, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Technology, Associate of Occupational Studies, Associate of Business, Associate of Religion). In addition to the major requirements, this degree requires the basic 15 SCH or 22 QCH in general education courses, including the English composition requirement.

(c) Bachelor's Degrees. A bachelor's degree, or baccalaureate, requires at least four academic years (120 SCH or 180 QCH) in FTE postsecondary study. At least 40 semester credit hours (60 QCH) shall be in upper-division courses, and no more than two academic years of instruction (no more than 50 percent of credit hours used for the degree) shall be from schools that do not offer baccalaureate degrees.

(A) General Education: The degree requires one academic year (at least 30 SCH or 45 QCH) of general education, which includes the one-year undergraduate English composition requirement.

(B) Major Field: The degree requires distinct specialization, i.e., a "major," which entails approximately one academic year of work (30 SCH or 45 QCH) in the main subject, with 20 SCH (30 QCH) in the upper division and 15 SCH (22 or 23 QCH) of upper-division hours taught by the resident faculty. A dual major simply doubles these numbers.

(C) An interdisciplinary major is also permitted. It requires two academic years (60 SCH) in either three or four disciplines, with at least 15 hours in each discipline and at least 9 upper-division hours in each. A school may offer a major or an interdisciplinary option in any field in which it has more than one fully qualified teacher if at least one teaches full time.

(D) Degrees. The following bachelor's degree names, levels and types are available in Oregon:

(i) Bachelor of Arts. An arts degree, the B.A. requires competency in a foreign language and one academic year in the humanities, i.e., 30 SCH, of which 12 can be in foreign languages. The language competency requirement is equivalent to the 12 hours, the second-year level, and ESL students can satisfy it with 12 hours of English language and literature. As general education outside the major, the B.A. requires 24 SCH in the liberal arts and sciences, with at least 6 hours in each of the three areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

(ii) Bachelor of Science. A science degree, the B.S. requires one academic year in the social or natural sciences, i.e., 30 SCH, of which 12 can be in mathematics and state-approved computer courses. As general education outside the major, the B.S. requires 24 SCH in the liberal arts and sciences, with at least 6 hours in each of the three areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

(iii) Bachelor, Professional. As general education outside the major, the professional bachelor's degree requires 24 SCH hours in the liberal arts and sciences, with at least 6 hours in each of the three liberal arts and sciences areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

(iv) Bachelor, Technical. As general education outside the major, the technical bachelor's degree requires 24 SCH in the liberal arts and sciences, or in non-vocational courses closely related to them, with at least 3 semester hours in each of the three areas: humanities, social studies, and natural sciences, and a total of at least 9 in the two areas most unrelated to the major.

(d) Graduate Degrees. A graduate curriculum shall reflect a concept of the graduate school as a group of scholars, the faculty members of which have had extensive collegiate teaching experience and are engaged in the advancement of knowledge. A graduate degree must involve teaching by such qualified faculty and cannot be earned solely by testing and/or portfolio review.

(A) A master's degree shall require at least one full academic year in FTE post-baccalaureate study, except that a first-professional master's degree may be authorized for study beyond fulfillment of undergraduate requirements approved by the Commission if the total period of study is at least five academic years. The curriculum shall specialize in a single discipline or single occupational or professional area and culminate in a demonstration of mastery such as a research thesis, a work of art, or the solution of a practical professional problem.

(B) A doctor's degree shall require at least three academic years in specialized post-baccalaureate FTE study, except that a first-professional doctor's degree may be authorized for four academic years of study beyond fulfillment of undergraduate requirements approved by the Commission. Study for a closely related master's degree may be counted toward doctoral requirements. The doctor's degree shall represent a student's ability to perform independently basic or applied research at the level of the professional scholar or to perform independently the work of a profession that involves the highest levels of knowledge and expertise. Requirements for the degree shall include demonstration of mastery of a significant body of knowledge through comprehensive examination, unless a graduate must pass a similar examination in order to be admitted to professional practice in Oregon. The curricular program of a research degree shall be appropriately broad and shall manifest full understanding of the level and range of doctoral scholarship, the function of a dissertation and its defense, the nature of comprehensive examination, and the distinction between matriculation and degree candidacy.

(7) Learning. The school shall require each student to complete academic assignments and demonstrate learning appropriate to the curriculum undertaken.

(a) Teachers or evaluators shall inform students clearly using a syllabus or similar instrument of what should be learned in each course and how it will be measured.

(b)(A) Expectations of student performance shall be increased with each ascending step in degree level. Higher degrees must represent an increase in the difficulty of work and expectations of students, not simply an accumulation or increase in quantity of student work.

(B) Evidence of expectation (e.g., syllabi and sample exams) and performance (e.g., student grades) shall be retained for all academic courses for at least one year.

(c) The school shall require students to make continuous progress toward a degree while they are enrolled and liable for tuition and shall suspend or dismiss those who do not make such progress, except that a period of probation with guidance may be instituted in order to obviate separation of a student who can be expected to improve immediately. Continuous progress for students receiving Title IV federal student aid shall be defined according to federal Title IV standards. Students not receiving Title IV federal student aid shall meet the school's own published standards for satisfactory progress.

(d) Grading and appeal procedures shall be fair and administered equitably, and criteria of student progress shall be validated by research if not obviously valid.

(8) Recruitment:

(a) The school is responsible for ensuring that its recruitment agents are knowledgeable about the school's:

(A) History and accreditation;

(B) Programs of study;

(C) Admission and assessment requirements;

(D) Ability to assist in providing housing and/or job placement;

(E) Financial policies and procedures, including the point at which students can expect to receive financial aid disbursements;

(F) Refund policy;

(G) Graduation requirements and rates;

(H) Rules and regulations; and

(I) Placement rates if they are used in recruiting.

(b) The school is responsible for insuring that its recruitment agents are providing accurate, realistic information about the school, its policies and achievements, and its ability to assist students.

(c) A prospective student shall receive a complete description of the school and its policies, including an estimate of annual or program costs, before being enrolled. This estimate is not binding on the institution but must give prospective students a reasonable idea of their financial commitment.

(d) Where a degree or certificate implies preparation for a specific occupation, the school shall explain clearly the true relationship between its curriculum and subsequent student qualification for occupational practice, including employment rates in the field and graduates' success rates in passing licensure examinations if applicable. Employment rates in the field claimed by a particular program shall treat graduates as employed in the field only if the position in which the graduate is employed meets the following conditions.

(A) is at least half-time.

(B) is usually filled by a person with a credential of the kind offered by the program or is one in which holders of such a credential have a competitive advantage in the workplace because of training of the kind provided by the program.

(C) employs the graduate within six months of program completion in a position that is intended to be permanent, i.e. not for a defined period of time. The school has the burden of showing that the position is intended to be permanent.

(e) The school shall take precautions to avoid unrealistic expectation of housing availability and cost when the school does not provide housing and job placement, including part-time employment and practica during the student's enrollment.

(f) A claim made to attract students shall be documented by evidence available to any person on request. The school shall make no attempt to attract anyone who does not appear likely to benefit from enrollment, and no attempt to attract students on any basis other than instruction and campus life appropriate to an educational institution.

(g) Outside the regular student financial aid process, there shall be no discounting of tuition as an incentive to enroll.

(h) The school shall not contract with a third-party entity, independent contractor or corporation for the recruitment or enrollment of students where payment to the third-party is based wholly or in part on a commission basis. Commission includes monetary and nonmonetary compensation.

(9) Admission. The school shall offer admission only on receipt of evidence that the applying student can reasonably expect to complete a degree and to benefit from the education obtained.

(a) A student admitted to undergraduate degree study for the first time shall have either a standard high school diploma, a comparable credential issued outside the United States or a GED. Home-schooled students without a standard diploma or GED may only be admitted if they can demonstrate the ability to perform college-level academic work through use of an ability-to-benefit test. Modified diplomas, extended diplomas and other kinds of K-12 leaver certificates are not considered diplomas for purposes of college admissions. Students holding such nonstandard certificates can be admitted only through use of an ability-to-benefit test.

(b) A student admitted to undergraduate degree study with undergraduate experience shall have a record of successful performance therein or else a record of responsibility and achievement following unsuccessful collegiate performance.

(c) A student admitted to graduate degree study shall have a baccalaureate degree from a school that is accredited, authorized to confer degrees in Oregon, or otherwise approved by the Commission either individually or by category.

(d) A student admitted to first-professional degree study shall have at least three academic years of accredited or Commission-approved undergraduate credit, graded average or better, including pre-professional courses specified by the school and approved by the commission.

(10) Guidance. The school shall help students to understand the curriculum and to make the best use of it.

(a) There shall be a program of general orientation for new students.

(b) Each student shall be assigned a qualified academic advisor to assist individually in planning, course selection, learning methods, and general adjustment.

(c) The school shall provide career guidance to the extent that curriculum is related to a specific prospective occupation or profession.

(11) Student Affairs. Through both services and supervision the school shall demonstrate commitment to the success of individual students and to maintenance of an atmosphere conducive to learning.

(a) Rules of student conduct shall be reasonable, sufficiently specific, fully communicated, systematically and equitably enforced, and accompanied by policy and practice of disciplinary due process, including notice and hearing and related rights.

(b) Health, counseling or psychological services provided to students must meet requirements for professional practice in Oregon.

(c) Housing where provided or endorsed by the school shall be conducive to study and adequately supervised.

(d) Financial aid services shall be provided by qualified administrators.

(e) Placement services where provided shall be described clearly to students, and the school shall take precautions to avoid unrealistic expectation of placement.

(f) Records documenting relationships between the school and a student shall be open to that student, who may request changes or enter dissenting comments, and the content of records shall be objective and fair. Records that originate with a third-party regarding a complaint against a student shall be open to the student so long as all identifying information such as names and addresses shall be redacted prior to producing the records to the student. The private notes of a counselor are not to be considered educational records and shall not be transmitted as such, either inside or outside the school. All medical records are confidential, subject to state and federal laws and shall not be released without permission of the patient.

(g) There shall be available to undergraduate students and responsible for student affairs an official who possesses knowledge, skill, and managerial experience particularly appropriate to the function, unless the Commission waives this requirement. In general, waivers are granted only for small startup schools in their first approval cycle and for schools that mainly teach people who are of nontraditional age (23 or older) or already in the workforce.

(h) Every school shall distribute a student handbook or similar publication describing services and regulations, unless such descriptions are complete in the school's main catalog.

(12) Information. The school shall be scrupulously ethical in all communication with the public and with prospective students. School publications, advertisements, and statements shall be wholly accurate and in no way misleading. Reference to state approval shall be limited to that described in OAR 583-030-0041. Reference to accreditation shall be limited to that defined in OAR 583-030-0000.

(a) The school shall publish at least every two years a catalog or general bulletin. The catalog shall contain a table of contents and adequate information concerning period covered, school name and address, telephone numbers, state approval, purpose, relationship to occupational qualification, faculty and administrators (listing position or teaching specialization together with all earned degrees and their sources, omitting unearned degrees and not confusing professional licenses with degrees), degree requirements and curricula, academic calendar, credit policy in accordance with subsection (5) of this rule, transferability of credit to other schools, admission requirements and procedures, academic advising and career planning, academic policies and grading, rules of conduct and disciplinary procedure, student services (e.g., counseling, health, placement, housing, food, bookstore, activities, organizations), student records, library, facilities, fees and refunds, estimated total expenses, financial aid and job opportunities for current students. Electronic publication meets this standard provided that the electronic catalog is provided to the Commission, is available to students upon request, and is maintained securely with the school as the official version in order to avoid confusion if electronic versions are changed. Paper copies of the school catalog shall be maintained by the school and made available to the Commission and students upon request.

(b) A school without regional accreditation shall print in a separate section of its catalog titled "transfer of credit to other schools" a statement warning students verbatim that "transfer of credit is always at the discretion of the receiving school, generally depends on comparability of curricula, and may depend on comparability of accreditation." Other comments may follow concerning the school's documented experience in credit transferability, but it must be clear that a student should make no assumptions about credit transfer.

(c) A school authorized to offer instruction or related services leading to one or more degrees under the standards in OAR 583-030-0035 shall provide students, prior to enrollment, a copy of a basic program and school fact page for each program for which a certificate or degree is offered. The fact page shall include information regarding:

(A) The total cost of the program;

(B) Programmatic and institutional accrediting bodies;

(C) Transfer of credit to other accredited institutions, listing of any transfer articulation agreements with other institutions and in an attached document make available to students the related transfer articulation pre-requisite information;

(D) Program length, and the average time students take to graduate by program, and at whole school level;

(E) Graduation rate;

(F) Median borrowing (federal and private loans) amount, and median annual loan payments of students;

(G) Loan default rate;

(H) Job placement success which is defined as a percent of students who are employed in the field of study (by program);

(I) Median starting salary for graduates;

(J) Gainful employment results as outlined under U.S. Department of Education accountability metrics; and

(i) The Commission, at its discretion, may waive the requirement above for non-career/non-vocational academic programs offered by regulated Oregon non-profits.

(ii) A school authorized to offer instruction shall submit to the Commission a copy of the program fact page for each program on or before September 1 of each year commencing 2016; however, for the school year 2015-2016 the fact page documents shall be provided within 90 days of the date of the promulgation of the rules.

(13) Credentials. The school shall provide accurate and appropriate credit transcripts for students who enroll and diplomas for students who graduate.

(a) The school shall maintain for every past and present student, and shall issue at the request of any student who is not delinquent in fee payment, a current transcript of credits and degrees earned. The transcript shall identify the school fully and explain the academic calendar, length of term, credit structure, and grading system. It shall identify the student and show all prior degrees earned, details of any credit transferred or otherwise awarded at entry, and periods of enrollment. It shall include for each period of enrollment every completed course or module with an understandable title, number of credits earned, and grade received. The transcript shall note with or without explanation if the student is not immediately eligible to continue enrollment, e.g., for reasons of academic probation or suspension.

(b) Upon satisfaction of degree requirements and payment of all fees owed, the school shall provide the graduating student with a diploma in a form approved by the Commission, appropriately documenting conferral of the degree.

(14) Records. The school shall keep accurate and secure records affecting students. There shall be at all times complete duplicate transcript information kept in a location away from the original transcripts, such that duplicates and originals are not exposed to risk of simultaneous damage. In addition to transcripts, which may never be destroyed, the school shall maintain detailed records documenting the significant parts of its formal relationship with each student including: financial transactions and accounts, admission qualifications, validation of advanced standing, instructor course records as posted to transcripts, and status changes due to unsatisfactory performance or conduct. Such supporting records shall be kept in a secure location for a period of at least three years after a student has discontinued enrollment. Instructor course records other than those posted to transcripts shall be kept for at least one year.

(15) Library. The school shall provide or arrange for its faculty and students direct or electronic access to verbal and sensory materials sufficient in all subjects of the curriculum to support instruction and to stimulate research or independent study.

(a) The school may arrange for comprehensive privileges from libraries of other organizations, provided it can prove convenient access and extensive use, but the school shall retain full responsibility for adequacy of resources available to students.

(b) Library services shall be under the direction of a person educated professionally in library and information studies, except that the Commission may waive this requirement where the range of academic fields represented is narrow.

(c) Library resources shall be current, well distributed among fields in which the institution offers instruction, cataloged, logically organized, and readily located.

(d) The school should conform to the following guidelines for library services unless it can justify a deviation on the basis of unusual educational requirements.

(A) With the exception of those in specialized associate's degree programs, students should receive direct, contracted or electronic access to a minimal basic collection equivalent to that held by accredited schools offering similar programs. The applicant school must demonstrate this capability.by submitting to the Commission copies of contractual arrangements with resource providers and related resource references that will be available to students.

(B) Staff should include a professional librarian for each 1,000 students, with clerical support adequate to relieve librarians of all non-professional duties.

(C) Students should have full access to all resources for at least 40 hours per week, and all services should be available for 20 hours per week. The facility, whether provided by the college directly or by contract, should seat no less than 10 percent of the students enrolled unless the program is primarily intended to train practitioners in technical or fine arts fields, in which case a lower percentage may be requested. If the school meets the library standard largely by electronic means, electronic services must be available to a comparable portion of the student body for a comparable period.

(16) Facilities. The school shall have buildings and equipment sufficient for the achievement of all educational objectives.

(a) Buildings in general, including student or faculty housing units, shall be uncrowded, safe, clean, well furnished, and in good repair; and they shall be well lighted, heated, ventilated, and protected from noise. School grounds, where provided, shall be appropriately used and adequately maintained.

(b) Instructional facilities shall be adequate and conducive to learning. There shall be no less than 15 square feet per student station in classrooms, with at least one station for every two FTE students enrolled. Total classroom and study area, including library space for reading, shall be no less than 10 square feet per FTE student.

(c) Laboratory space and instructional equipment shall be inventoried, its use explained on the resulting report, and its adequacy defended on criteria obtained from experts and documented by the school. A laboratory ordinarily shall have no less than 30 square feet per student station.

(d) Clinical facilities and other public service areas shall be appropriate for instruction of students as well as for service to patients or clients.

(e) Faculty offices shall be sufficient to prevent crowding and to allow private conversations with students.

(17) Finance. The school shall have financial resources sufficient to ensure successful continuing operation and to guarantee full refund of any unearned tuition. There shall be competent financial planning using complete and accurate records. The school shall demonstrate satisfaction of this standard upon application, and thereafter annually, by submitting independently audited financial statements with opinion by a certified public accountant.

(a) Financial reports shall be prepared in a format acceptable to the Commission, clearly delineating assets and liabilities and informatively classifying revenues by source and expenditures by function. In some cases, the Commission at its discretion may accept an audited balance sheet with opinion, together with annual operating statements that have been reviewed by the auditor. A school that is a subsidiary shall submit financial statements of the parent corporation on request. The Commission’s Executive Director may require a special investigative audit and report.

(b) Current assets shall be entirely tangible and such that the school is not dependent for solvency on substantial increases in receivables collection rate, gifts, tuition rates, or enrollment. Prospective tuition for which a student is not legally liable is not an asset and shall not be shown as a receivable or other balance sheet asset. Tuition collected but still subject to refund shall be shown as a "prepaid" or "unearned" tuition liability.

(c) A school unable to demonstrate financial strength may be required at the discretion of the Commission’s Executive Director to increase the amount of its surety bond or letter of credit in an amount equal to the largest amount of prepaid tuition held at any time. The bond or letter of credit would be subject to claims for tuition refund only.

(d) The school shall carry casualty and general liability insurance sufficient to guarantee continuity in case of accident or negligence, and it shall provide or else require by policy professional liability insurance for all of its officers and employees.

(18) Fees and Refunds. The school shall maintain fee and refund policies that are fair, uniformly administered, and clearly explained in the school catalog as well as in any contract made with students. A student shall not be enrolled without having received the explanatory material. The school shall not change its tuition or fees more than once during a calendar year.

(a) Tuition shall be charged by the credit hour or by fixed rate for instruction during an academic semester, quarter, or shorter term. No student is obligated for tuition charged for a term that had not commenced when the student withdrew or a term that was truncated by cessation of school services. The student may make a claim on a surety bond or letter of credit under OAR 583-030-0051 and OAR 583-030-0052.

(b) Except as noted below in this section, fees not included in tuition shall not exceed five percent of full-time tuition for any term in which separate fees are charged. One-time application or admission fees may exceed 5 percent of first-term tuition but shall not exceed $200. Lab or equipment fees related to the actual necessary operational costs of specific courses may exceed 5 percent of tuition provided that the fees are made known to students prior to enrollment in the course. Nominal fees for late payments, course withdrawals and the like are acceptable.

(c) After classes begin for a term, a student who withdraws from a course is eligible for a partial refund through the middle week of the term. Refunds shall be based on unused instructional time and shall be prorated on a weekly basis for schools using a semester, quarter, or nontraditional calendar. Refund rates shall not be differentiated on the criteria of a student's source of income or loan repayment obligations except as otherwise required by law without specific Commission approval.

(d) Any fees for credit transferred, for credit attempted or earned by examination or portfolio must be based on the actual cost of service to administer such credits. This is ordinarily less than the cost of regular instruction. The mere award of credit does not justify a fee.

(e) Academic policies shall not artificially prolong the enrollment of a failing student with the effect of increasing financial obligation.

(f) Separation from the school for reason of discipline or other administrative action shall not cause forfeiture of ordinary refund amounts.

(19) Evaluation. The school shall, in order to improve programs, evaluate its own educational effectiveness continually in relation to purpose and planning, including in all aspects the opinions of students. There shall be evaluation of present curriculum and instruction, of attrition and reasons for student withdrawal, and of performance by students after their graduation. In addition to the comments of graduates, employer opinions and licensing examination records should be used in the post-graduation study.

(20) Fair Practice. Notwithstanding the absence of a specific standard or prohibition in this rule, no school authorized to offer degrees or seeking to qualify for such authorization shall engage in any practice that is fraudulent, dishonest, unethical, unsafe, exploitive, irresponsible, deceptive, or inequitable and thus harmful or unfair to persons with whom it deals.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; ECC 2-1980, f. & ef. 4-14-80; ECC 3-1981, f. & ef. 12-16-81; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 1-2002, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-02; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 4-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03; ODA 2-2004(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-11-04 thru 7-30-04; Administrative correction 8-19-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 2-2010, f. & cert. ef. 11-16-10; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0036

Schools With Limited Resident Instruction in Oregon

Effective January 13, 2015:

(1) Accredited schools offering limited resident instruction in Oregon are reviewed using modified standards and procedures under the following conditions:

(a) Courses are highly specialized or offered for a period of less than three years;

(b) Information from the school is clear;

(c) Advice and assistance are accessible for students;

(d) Tuition refund policies meet requirements established by the Commission;

(e) Program evaluation is done systematically by the school;

(f) Curricula for Oregon students are identical to those at a main campus;

(g) Instruction relayed either live or on recordings is received in Oregon just as it was presented during resident instruction;

(h) Academic assignments and testing and grading policies for Oregon students are identical to those for students on a main campus; and

(i) All members of the faculty teaching from Oregon or teaching Oregon students hold degrees meeting Oregon standards.

(2) If limited or restricted residential instruction is authorized, the client organization must ensure full library services, employ persons qualified by a higher degree and experience to judge the quality of the degree program, and appoint a site coordinator who will assist with any inspections and provide information to the Commission.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0038

Nondegree Certificates and Diplomas Granted by Degree-Granting Schools

Effective January 13, 2015:

(1) A school that is authorized to grant a degree may also grant certificates in the same field without an independent review of the certificate, provided that the certificate is granted for completion of a specified set of courses approved in a degree curriculum as part of degree authorization.

(2) A school that is authorized to grant a degree and wants to offer a certificate in a field in which the school is not authorized to grant a degree must apply for approval for the certificate. The process will be shorter and less elaborate than for a degree authorization.

(3) An education provider that does not have the legal authority to offer degrees anywhere and wants to offer college-level courses for credit without applying for authority to issue degrees may apply for approval to do so under the same standards as a degree applicant. Any such approval is limited to three years unless the provider establishes a transfer agreement with at least one accredited school.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.594 & 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.594, 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15

583-030-0039

Honorary Degrees

Effective January 13, 2015. A school authorized under this rule to offer academic degrees at or above the baccalaureate level may obtain permission from the commission, or be permitted by the standards of an accreditor under OAR 583-030-0037, to confer an honorary degree with a title clearly differentiated from the titles of earned degrees authorized or likely to be authorized in the state. The basis for a proposed honorary degree must be consistent with generally accepted practice among long established colleges and universities, thus reflecting great scholarly achievement, professional distinction, or humanitarian service. An honorary degree must be represented so as to be clearly not earned through collegiate study. No school shall otherwise offer or confer an honorary degree in or from Oregon. An honorary degree is honorific only and is not a public credential valid for academic and professional purposes.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.606
Hist.: EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; Renumbered from 583-030-0022, ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15

583-030-0041

Authorization Statement in School Catalog

Effective January 13, 2015:

(1) Upon receipt of authorization to offer instruction or related services leading to one or more degrees, and until such time as that authorization has expired or been revoked, an Oregon school shall print the following statement prominently on the inside front cover, facing page, or other page approved by the Commission of its catalog and any general bulletin, shall include the statement with any internet web site announcement, and may publish the statement in other school announcements. Choose one descriptive term from each parenthetical pair.

This school (is) (is a unit of) a (business) (nonprofit) corporation authorized by the State of Oregon to offer and confer the academic (degree) (degrees) described herein, following a determination that state academic standards will be satisfied under OAR chapter 583, division 30. Inquiries concerning the standards or school compliance may be directed to the Commission (use current address).

(2) A non-Oregon school shall print or affix the above statement on the inside front or back cover (preferred) or on an appropriate page approved by Commission’s executive director of every catalog distributed in Oregon.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603 & 348.606
Hist.: EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; SSC 1-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 2-2000, f. 7-7-00, cert. ef. 7-20-00; ODA 4-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03; ODA 2-2004(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-11-04 thru 7-30-04; Administrative correction 8-19-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0042

Reporting Requirements

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) A school authorized to offer instruction or related services leading to one or more degrees under the standards in OAR 583-030-0035 shall submit to the Commission annually, a detailed listing of students including personal student information, such as; personal identification, demographic and program information in a form and format as directed by the Commission. In addition, in a form provided by the Commission, a brief report of activities and planning in the academic or fiscal year just ended. In its report, the school shall describe any important changes in academic or administrative policies, facilities or locations of instruction, and organization or personnel. The school shall also supply data such as teacher turnover and student enrollment, completion, and placement as requested on state forms provided by the Commission, together with current catalogs and the latest independent financial audit not previously submitted. Between annual reports, the school shall send to the Commission promptly qualification forms of new owners, governing board members, officers, administrators, or teachers serving Oregon students, and shall send immediately the details of any possible or anticipated change of ownership or governance or any other matter having extensive effect on the school.

(2) A school authorized to offer instruction or related services leading to one or more degrees under OAR 583-030-0011 shall report as described in the preceding paragraph, except that reporting of new governing board members, officers, administrators, or teachers is not required. The reporting of any possible or anticipated change of ownership or governance or other major change should be immediate.

(3) A non-Oregon school authorized to offer instruction or related services leading to one or more degrees but without resident instruction or with limited resident instruction in Oregon under OAR 583-030-0036, shall submit to the Commission annually, a detailed listing of students including personal student information, such as; personal identification, demographic and program information in a form and format as directed by the Commission. In addition, in a form provided by the Commission, a brief report of activities and planning in the academic or fiscal year just ended insofar as Oregon students would be affected. In its report, the school shall describe as they might affect Oregon residents any important changes in academic or administrative policies, facilities or locations of instruction, and organization or personnel. The school shall also supply Oregon enrollment and degrees-granted data on a state form provided by the Commission, together with current catalogs and the latest independent financial audit not previously submitted. Between annual reports, the school shall send to the Commission’s executive director immediately details of any possible or anticipated change of ownership, governance, curriculum, Oregon site coordinator, teachers or other matter having potential importance to Oregon students. This provision does not apply to a non-Oregon school authorized in Oregon through a reciprocity agreement, such as the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

(4) A school that offers exempt religious degrees is subject to the annual self-certification requirements set forth in ORS 348.608.

(5) An authorized degree-granting school shall continue during the period of its authorization to respond promptly to any requests made by the Commission’s executive director for general or particular information and shall supply the information as directed. Monthly reporting will be required for a school determined to be at risk.

(6) A school that ceases to offer any authorized or exempted degree or the instruction related thereto, other than during regular academic recesses, shall notify the Commission’s executive director immediately and may not reinstate the degree program without permission.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.596 & 348.606
Hist.: EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 4-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03; ODA 2-2004(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-11-04 thru 7-30-04; Administrative correction 8-19-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0043

Duty to Notify Employees and Students of Change in Status

Effective September 10, 2015. Any school that has been placed on probation, or suspension status shall immediately, in writing, notify all employees, students and prospective students of the change in status. A posting of the change in status should be visible on the school’s website or other official platform of the school, including all information bulletins at the school site.

Any school for which degree authorization has expired or been revoked or suspended shall immediately in writing notify all employees and students of its change in status. The school shall not lead students or employees to conclude that restoration of degree granting is assured.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.606
Hist.: EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0044

State Responsibility for Student Records

Effective January 13, 2015:

(1) The state is ultimate custodian of records documenting in transcript form the admission, academic degree credits, and performance ratings of students enrolled in Oregon schools that have been authorized by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to offer instruction or related services in or from Oregon leading to degrees that are valid as public credentials. Whenever such transcripts appear to be at risk of damage, loss, or misappropriation, the commission’s executive director may direct a school to change its practices in order to safeguard the records, and the school shall comply immediately.

(2) If such an authorized Oregon school plans to discontinue operations or is warned by the commission’s executive director specifically because of failure to safeguard student records, the school shall promptly furnish to the commission legible paper copies of fully current transcripts.

(3) If such an authorized Oregon school discontinues operation or has degree authorization revoked or suspended, it may seek commission permission to place original transcripts in the custody of a related or similar school that will continue to issue them on behalf of former students. The commission will approve another school as custodian or else seek possession of the original transcripts, if necessary by court order.

(4) The commission on request may take possession of transcripts from a closing Oregon unit of a non-Oregon degree granting school, if that appears to be the only way to protect Oregon residents who were enrolled at the Oregon unit.

(5) Upon taking possession of student academic transcripts, the commission will issue a transcript copy at the request of any student who is not delinquent in fee payment, except that the commission will not issue such transcript copies while any unit of the school of origin or the assigned custodial school can administer their issuance. Individual student records are confidential and not commission records open to the public.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.606
Hist.: EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15

583-030-0045

At-Risk, Probation, Revocation or Suspension of Authorization

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) A school determined to be "at risk" at any time, will be required to provide:

(a) A corrective action/school improvement plan acceptable to the Commission within 30 days after being notified by the Commission;

(b) A revised Surety Bond or letter of credit if appropriate; and

(c) A monthly report for up to 12 months. During that time the school shall demonstrate improvement or the Commission shall proceed with further action of probation, suspension, or revocation as deemed necessary.

(2) Whenever an inspection or other investigation reveals lack of compliance with Oregon Revised Statutes, ORS 348.606 to 348.612 or standards of OAR chapter 583, division 30, the Commission may determine the school is at risk. Upon such determination, or when the school fails to meet the requirements set forth by the Commission while on an “at risk” status, the Commission shall officially notify the school in writing that the school has been placed on probation and provide the school with a report of deficiencies. When deemed appropriate, the Commission may initiate immediate suspension or revocation proceedings and schools will be provided due process through the provisions allowed in sections 2 and 3 of this rule. If the Commission elects to place the school on probation, the school shall have a grace period of 20 calendar days after date of notification to report on actions that the school has taken to correct these deficiencies:

(a) The school's response shall indicate corrective action taken and/or a program improvement plan for correcting any remaining deficiencies;

(b) If violations cited are not corrected within the 20 day period, or if a program improvement plan submitted to correct the violations is not acceptable to the Commission, the director shall send notice to formally place the school on probation, revoke or suspend the school's authorization;

(c) The school may request a hearing within 21 calendar days of receipt of the Commission's notice of probation, to revoke or suspend the school's license; and

(d) A school and program that has been placed on probation shall not engage in any advertising, recruitment or student enrollment activities, or begin the instruction of any new students during the period of probation. Until it satisfies the requirements set by the Commission, the school must notify enrolled students, employees and any prospective students in writing that the institution has been placed on “probation” by the Commission. The school must also place notice of the probation at the physical site of the school, if there is such, and on any website or other official platform of the school. The notification to students, prospective students, and staff shall be immediate upon the school receiving the Commission’s determination notice.

(3) The Commission, after a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, may under ORS 348.612, revoke or suspend authorization given to a school to confer or offer to confer degrees in or from Oregon, or to offer instruction or related services in or from Oregon purporting to lead to a degree in whole or in part. Revocations resulting from a change in state or federal law or judicial ruling do not require the use of a hearing officer.

(4) A hearing to consider a proposed revocation or suspension shall be held only after the affected school has been given written notice of the time and place of such hearing 21 days in advance.

(5) Revocation or suspension of degree authorization applies to a school as a whole, inasmuch as failure to satisfy any state requirement for offer of any degree constitutes failure to satisfy all requirements applicable to the school. Refusal by a school to discontinue any substandard offer or practice, regardless of the quality of any other offer or practice, will lead the Commission to propose revocation or suspension of approval and/or civil or criminal action.

(6) A school whose degree authorization is revoked shall be considered for reinstatement only after one year and only when the Commission’s Executive Director is satisfied that causes of the revocation have been entirely removed. Application for reinstatement from a school in revoked status shall comply with all requirements for a new applicant.

(7) A school whose degree authorization is suspended shall be considered for reinstatement only when the Commission’s Executive Director is satisfied that causes of the suspension have been entirely removed. Application for reinstatement from a school in suspended status shall comply with all requirements for a renewing applicant.

(8) Grounds for revoking or suspending the degree authorization of a school include changes in state or federal law or judicial rulings affecting the status of a school or its failure to provide services it has guaranteed to students in writing; failure to supply records and other information to the Commission as directed; falsification of any information supplied to the Commission, students, or the public; failure to comply with all applicable requirements of OAR chapter 583, division 30; and failure to prove to the satisfaction of the Commission’s Executive Director on request compliance with any such requirement with respect to which the school's current performance is questioned specifically by the Commission as a result of routine monitoring or individual complaint.

(9) Revocation or suspension requires a school to immediately cease and desist from offering in or from Oregon any degree, instruction, or related services purporting to lead to a degree in whole or in part, except that the Commission at its discretion may permit a revoked or suspended school to complete an academic term already in progress on the date of the action. During such period of completion the school may not enroll new students, and it may not offer to those already enrolled any instruction or services purporting to lead to a degree that would be earned and conferred later than the immediate end of the term in progress. Completion of such term with good faith and fair dealing toward currently enrolled students or reasons for failure to so complete the term shall be factors in any subsequent consideration of a revoked or suspended school for reinstatement.

(10) A separate revocation process for schools exempted on religious grounds is listed in ORS 348.608.

(11) For schools that are part of a corporate entity, limited liability company, general partnership or similar organization, the Commission may extend the at risk, probation, suspension or revocation determination to all entities owned and controlled by the corporation, limited liability company, general partnership or similar organization in regards to their operations in Oregon. Furthermore, while on probation or suspension the Commission may opt to not review or approve any new programs or submittals from the institution, parent company or subsidiaries until all the deficiencies have been addressed to the satisfaction of the Commission.

(12) A school and program that has been placed on suspension shall not engage in any advertising, recruitment or student enrollment activities, or begin the instruction of any new students during the period of suspension. The school must notify enrolled students, employees and any prospective students in writing that the institution has been placed on suspension by the Commission. The school must also place notice of the suspension at the physical site of the school, if there is such, and on any website or other official platform of the school. The notification to students, prospective students, and staff shall be immediate upon the school receiving the Commission’s determination notice.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603, 348.606 & 348.612
Hist.: ECC 22, f. & ef. 12-22-75; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 2-2000, f. 7-7-00, cert. ef. 7-20-00; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-14-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0046

Fees and Expenses

Effective January 13, 2015:

(1) Each application from a school seeking new or renewed authorization to confer or offer to confer a degree, or through instruction or related services to provide academic credit applicable to a degree, shall be accompanied by payment of a fee to the "Higher Education Coordinating Commission." There is no entitlement to refund of a paid fee under any circumstances. The fee is intended to recover the expenses of carrying out a review and providing services to a school during its period of authorization.

(2) The fees imposed by the Commission for reviewing applications seeking new or renewed authorization to confer or offer to confer a degree are based on the schedule established by the Legislative Assembly in ORS 348.606.

(c) Fee discounts.

(A) In reviewing simultaneous application for two or more degrees, the Commission, at its discretion, may reduce the fee for review of a degree that is closely related in type and content to one on the same level for which the full fee is paid. Such a reduction ordinarily depends on the provision of instruction by a single faculty for both degrees. Degrees on the same level using at least 50 percent of the same courses, taught by at least 50 percent of the same faculty, will be treated as one degree application for review and fee purposes.

(B) The Commission, at its discretion, may also reduce the fee when institution size, low faculty and administrative turnover, stability of ownership or board membership or other factors substantially reduce staff time required for evaluation and subsequent oversight and service. Such reductions are limited to 20 percent below the basic fee.

(C) The fee for religious-exempt schools may not exceed the lesser of the actual cost to the Commission of determining the school's compliance with the requirements for an exemption under ORS 348.604, and may not exceed $1,000.

(3) Application from a school for authorization to offer instruction or related services providing academic credit applicable to a degree offered only by another school or schools shall be accompanied by fees proportionate to those established in the paragraph immediately above. However, such fees may be discounted at the discretion of the Commission to reflect a program of reduced dimension if and only when the necessary review analysis is concomitantly reduced.

(4) When the Commission’s Executive Director finds it necessary to pay an expert outside consultant for assistance in reviewing an application, or when it incurs other unusual expenses in the course of review, all costs thus incurred may be charged to the applicant school in addition to the basic fee.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183 & 348
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348
Hist.: ECC 1-1982(Temp), f. & ef. 3-12-82; ECC 2-1982, f. & ef. 9-8-82; EPP 1-1988, f. & cert. ef. 1-7-88; EPP 1-1993, f. & cert. ef. 6-28-93; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; SSC 1-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2000, f. & cert. ef. 2-29-00; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 4-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03; ODA 2-2004(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-11-04 thru 7-30-04; Administrative correction 8-19-04; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0049

Criminal and Civil Penalties

Effective January 13, 2015:

(1) Without authorization from the Commission as provided in this rule, any offer of a degree or of services purporting to lead to a degree in whole or in part is a Class B misdemeanor under ORS 348.992. Complaints may be brought to a prosecutor against any person acting individually or on behalf of an organization or group.

(2) Without authorization from the Commission as provided in this rule, any offer of a degree or of services purporting to lead to a degree in whole or in part may be a violation of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA), ORS 646.605 to 646.652. The Commission may in addition request injunctive relief or a civil penalty against violators. Complaints may be brought to the Oregon Department of Justice against any person acting individually or in concert with others.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.606
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.606 & 348.992
Hist.: EPP 1-1993, f. & cert. ef. 6-28-93; EPP 1-1995, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-95; EPP 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-96; SSC 1-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-27-01; ODA 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-03; ODA 5-2005, f. 12-1-05, cert. ef. 12-7-05; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15; Administrative correction, 1-27-15; ODA 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3-17-15; ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0051

Surety Bonds Generally

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) A properly executed surety bond shall:

(a) Be with a corporate surety licensed to do business in Oregon;

(b) Be signed by an authorized agent of the surety or one having power of attorney;

(c) Bear a bond number;

(d) Be filed within the time stated on the bond, with the Commission and retained by the Commission;

(e) Be executed to the State of Oregon;

(f) Be in a form approved by the Attorney General as posted on the Commission’s website.

(2) The surety must provide the original bond document to the agency. The surety shall submit the documents directly to the Commission on or before September 1 of each year commencing 2016, however, for the school year 2015-2016, the documents shall be provided within 90 days of the date of the promulgation of these rules.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.080 - 348.612
Stats. Implemented: SB 218 (2015), HB 3516 (2015), HB 2870 (2015)
Hist.: ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0052

Letters of Credit Generally

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) A Letter of Credit shall be in a form approved by the Attorney General as posted on the Commission’s website.

(2) A Letter of Credit shall be an irrevocable Letter of Credit issued by an insured institution as defined in ORS 706.008 or, in the case of an out of state public institution, a Letter of Credit can be issued by the authorizing agency of the school.

(3) A Letter of Credit received at the Commission office from an insured institution or authorizing agency. The bank or financial institution or authorizing agency must provide the original document to the agency. The bank or financial institution or authorizing agency shall submit the documents directly to the Commission on or before September 1 of each year commencing 2016, however, for the school year 2015-2016, the documents shall be provided within 90 days of the date of the promulgation of these rules.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.080 - 348.612
Stats. Implemented: SB 218 (2015), HB 3516 (2015), HB 2870 (2015)
Hist.: ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0053

Entity Name Required on Bond or Letter of Credit

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) The name of the entity as it appears on the bond or letter of credit must be the same as the name on the application and entity name filed at the Oregon Corporation Division (if applicable).

(a) If the entity is a sole proprietorship, the bond or letter of credit must include the name of the sole proprietor;

(b) If the entity is a partnership, limited partnership or joint venture, the bond or letter of credit must include the names of all partners and any other business names used;

(c) If the entity is a limited liability partnership or limited liability company, the bond or letter of credit must be issued in the name of all partners and the name of the limited liability partnership;

(d) If the entity is a corporation or trust, the bond or letter of credit must be issued showing the corporate or trust name; or

(2) If at any time an entity amends its entity name, the Commission must be notified within 30 days of the date of the change.

(3) The inclusion or exclusion of business name(s) on a bond or letter of credit does not limit the liability of an entity. Complaints against a licensed school will be processed regardless of business names used by an entity

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.080 - 348.612
Stats. Implemented: SB 218 (2015), HB 3516 (2015), HB 2870 (2015)
Hist.: ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0054

Cancellation of Bond or Letter of Credit by Surety or Institution

Effective September 10, 2015: The corporate surety for a bond obtained pursuant to this section, or the insured institution for a Letter of Credit obtained pursuant to this section, must notify the Commission if the bond or letter of credit is canceled for any reason. The surety or institution is liable under the bond or letter of credit until the latest of the following dates:

(1) The date specified in the notice to the Commission that the bond or letter of credit is canceled;

(2) The 30th business day after the date the surety or institution mails the notice to the Commission that the bond or letter of credit is canceled; or

(3) The date on which the Commission receives the notice from the surety or institution that the bond or letter of credit is canceled.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.080 - 348.612
Stats. Implemented: SB 218 (2015), HB 3516 (2015), HB 2870 (2015)
Hist.: ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

583-030-0056

Bond and Letter of Credit Amounts; Amount Reductions

Effective September 10, 2015:

(1) Unless otherwise provided in sections (2) or (3), or as provided in OAR 583-030-0035(17)(c), a surety bond shall be in an amount, equal to the rolling annual average of prepaid tuition.

(a) For a school that has operated in Oregon for one year or more, the rolling annual average of prepaid tuition is defined as half of the average of unearned tuition at the start of each term when tuition is due. Schools shall average the unearned tuition at the beginning of each semester or quarter for the prior year for which academic credit hours were awarded and/or authorized, and divide by two. At the discretion of the Commission the tuition income of non-Oregon based enrolled students may be part of the calculation of the rolling average. “Unearned tuition” is as is described in OAR 583-030-0035(18)(a).

(b) For a school that has operated in Oregon for less than one year, the rolling annual average of prepaid tuition will be a reasonable amount established at the director’s discretion based on the school’s financial projections and estimate of the rolling average of Oregon enrollment and tuition income during the first year of operation, or $25,000 whichever is greater. At the discretion of the Commission, the tuition income of non-Oregon based enrolled students may be part of the calculation of the rolling average.

(c) For a non-Oregon publicly owned school, the rolling annual average of prepaid tuition is the gross tuition income received from all Oregon enrolled students from the previous year divided by four, or $25,000 whichever is less. At the discretion of the Commission, the tuition income of non-Oregon based enrolled students may be part of the calculation of the rolling average.

(2) Notwithstanding section (1), a school may obtain a bond or letter of credit in an amount less than its rolling annual average of prepaid tuition upon the approval of the Commission. Eligibility for a reduced bond or letter of credit is as follows:

(a) A school may receive a reduction in the amount of its bond or letter of credit up to 50 percent of its rolling annual average of prepaid tuition if it demonstrates to the Commission’s satisfaction that it:

(A) Has received a United States Department of Education, Federal Financial Aid, financial responsibility composite score of 1.5 or greater for the last two consecutive years;

(B) Has not been sanctioned in the last two years, is not at risk, probation, suspension or revocation by the Commission or its institutional accreditor;

(C) Is not under investigation by the United States Department of Education or any other federal agency for a violation that could result in loss of Title IV aid privileges and does not otherwise have any restrictions or warning pertaining to its eligibility for federal programs;

(D) Is not under review for potential probation, suspension or revocation of its operational or degree-granting authority by any state; or

(E) It has an Oregon campus that does not participate in Federal Financial Aid, and meets the requirements set forth above in OAR 583-030-0054(2)(a)(A) through OAR 583-030-0054(2)(a)(D). The school has established a stable operation for the last two years, and demonstrates in its financial planning and audited financial statements that it has dedicated cash reserves for refunds, and demonstrates the capacity to refund unearned tuition.

(b) A school may receive a reduction in the amount of its bond or letter of credit up to 75 percent of its rolling annual average of prepaid tuition if it demonstrates to the Commission’s satisfaction that it:

(A) Has received a United States Department of Education, Federal Financial Aid, financial responsibility composite score of 1.5 or greater for the last five consecutive years;

(B) Has not been sanctioned in the last five years, is not at risk, probation, suspension or revocation by the Commission or its institutional accreditor;

(C) Is not under investigation by the United States Department of Education or any other federal agency for a violation that could result in loss of Title IV aid privileges and does not otherwise have any restrictions or warning pertaining to its eligibility for federal programs;

(D) Is not under review for potential probation, suspension or revocation of its operational or degree-granting authority by any state; or

(E) It has an Oregon campus that does not participate in Federal Financial Aid, and meets the requirements set forth above in OAR 583-030-0054(2)(b)(A) through OAR 583-030-0054(2)(b)(D). The school has established a stable operation for the last five years, and demonstrates in its financial planning and audited financial statements that it has dedicated cash reserves for refunds, and demonstrates the capacity to refund unearned tuition.

(3) Publically owned institutions located outside of this state are required to issue a letter of credit or surety bond. The letter of credit can be issued by the authorizing agency in the state where the school is located, guaranteeing that the state of origin shall provide any refunds or other financial compensation required by Oregon law in the event that the institution cannot or declines to do so.

(4) Commencing 2016, a school approved by the Commission to confer any academic degree under ORS 348.606 must obtain a surety bond or letter of credit on an annual basis on or before September 1. However for the school year 2015-2016, the documents shall be provided within 90 days of the date of the promulgation of these rules.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.080 - 348.612
Stats. Implemented: HB 3516 (2015)
Hist.: ODA 2-2015(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-10-15 thru 3-7-16; ODA 1-2016, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-16

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