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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through July 15, 2014
 
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HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING COMMISSION
OFFICE OF DEGREE AUTHORIZATION

 

DIVISION 70

OVERSIGHT OF POST-SECONDARY ACCREDITING BODIES

583-070-0002

Purpose and Scope

This rule implements SB 198 (2007) in establishing standards and procedures for the evaluation and approval of postsecondary accrediting bodies seeking to operate in or from Oregon.

Stat. Auth.: SB 198 (2007)
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08

583-070-0011

Definitions of Terms

(1) "Office" means Office of Degree Authorization, as represented by the administrator or designated agent.

(2) "Accreditor" means an entity that purports to accredit postsecondary institutions or programs.

(3) "Federally recognized accreditor" means a U.S. accreditor formally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

(4) "Council for Higher Education Accreditation" (CHEA) means an institutional membership organization that coordinates institutional and programmatic accreditation and recognizes the quality of accrediting organizations in the United States, or its functional successor.

(5) "Commission" means the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.

(6) "Academic standards" are those standards related to faculty qualifications, admissions, acceptance of transfer credits, quantity of student work and program length and quality established in OAR 583-030-0035.

(7) "Operate in Oregon" means to use an Oregon address, telephone number, fax number or other contact point or mechanism located in Oregon on any document available to the public, do business in Oregon related to the accreditation of post-secondary institutions, or to accredit schools located in or operating from Oregon.

Stat. Auth.: SB 198 (2007)
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08

583-070-0015

Authorization of Accreditors

(1) All federally recognized accreditors are authorized to operate in or from Oregon without Commission oversight.

(2) All accreditors that are not federally recognized but are recognized by CHEA are authorized to operate in or from Oregon with Commission oversight.

(a) The oversight requirement for a CHEA-recognized accreditor already operating in Oregon on the effective date of these rules goes into effect when an Oregon school or program accredited by that accreditor begins the process of renewing such accreditation.

(b) A CHEA recognized accreditor having no office or contact points in Oregon as defined in 583-070-0011(7) above, and which accredits programs at institutions that have separate institutional accreditation by a federally recognized accreditor, does not require Commission approval to accredit programs located at Oregon schools.

(3) Any other accreditor lacking federal recognition, except for religious accreditors exempt under ORS 348.603, requires approval from the Commission to operate in or from Oregon.

(4) No other accreditor except for accreditors of religious schools meeting the requirements of ORS 348.603(4) may operate in or from Oregon without approval in advance from the Commission.

Stat. Auth.: SB 198 (2007)
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08

583-070-0020

Approval Process for Accreditors

(1) Any accreditor applying for approval will be approved by the Commission if the Commission finds that the accreditor has adequate academic standards comparable to ODA standards. Standards used by an accreditor need not be identical to state standards but must be adequate to ensure academic quality at a level comparable to that required by the state.

(2) Any accreditor seeking Commission approval must submit to ODA a request for approval accompanied by the following:

(a) A copy of the accreditor's academic standards,

(b) A description of how it evaluates institutional effectiveness, demonstrating a commitment to rational standards,

(c) Its standards for faculty and administrative qualifications, showing that it requires accredited or demonstrably equivalent degrees, and information on how such standards are enforced,

(d) Its standards for adequate institutional finances, demonstrating that it ensures appropriate management of funds and disallows charging students on any basis other than a per-term basis, and

(e) Names and professional qualifications of all persons employed by the accreditor and any persons serving on its board of directors, demonstrating that such people have backgrounds and qualifications comparable to those serving in similar roles at a federally-recognized accreditor,

(d) Names and professional qualifications of all people who have served on evaluation teams in the previous year and those who are scheduled to serve in the next year, if known, in order to show that only people with appropriate accredited degrees and professional qualifications are chosen for such teams.

(3) ODA must evaluate the accreditor and make a recommendation to the Commission within 60 days of receiving the application.

(a) If ODA objects to approval of an accreditor on grounds that the accreditor has inadequate academic standards, the ODA Administrator shall bring to the Commission a written report setting forth the reasons for the objection. The Commission shall afford the affected accreditor a hearing within 60 days of the ODA objection. At the hearing, the ODA Administrator and the accreditor will be provided an opportunity to testify and submit any material in support of their views.

(b) The Commission shall determine whether an accreditor is permitted to operate in Oregon only after the accreditor has had, if necessary, an opportunity to exercise its rights under sections 1 and 2 above.

Stat. Auth.: SB 198 (2007)
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08

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