The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through December 15, 2014






Purpose and Scope

This rule implements ORS 348.603 in establishing standards and procedures for the evaluation and approval of postsecondary accrediting bodies seeking to operate in or from Oregon.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.603
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15


Definitions of Terms

(1) "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.

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

(3) "Commission" means the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

(4)“Executive Director” means the executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, or the executive director’s designee.

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

(6) "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.: ORS 348.603
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15


Authorization of Accreditors

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

(2) Any accreditors that are not federally recognized but are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a national organization that performs recognition of regional, faith-related, career-related, and programmatic accrediting organizations, 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 or before April 14, 2008,becomes effective when an Oregon school or program accredited by that CHEA recognized accreditor begins the process of renewing such accreditation.

(b) A CHEA recognized accreditor having no office or contact points in Oregon as defined in 583-070-0000, 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 may operate in or from Oregon without approval in advance from the commission.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.603 & 348.604
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603 & 348.604
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15


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 a request for approval to the commission. The accreditor’s request must be accompanied by the following:

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

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

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

(d) The accreditor’s 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;

(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; and

(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) The executive director must evaluate the accreditor and make a recommendation to the commission within 60 days of receiving the application.

(a) If the commission objects to approval of an accreditor on grounds that the accreditor has inadequate academic standards, the accreditor may contest the commission’s decision under either ORS 183.435 or 183.484.

(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 this rule.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.603
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603
Hist.: ODA 2-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-14-08; ODA 1-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 7-16-14 thru 1-12-15

The official copy of an Oregon Administrative Rule is contained in the Administrative Order filed at the Archives Division, 800 Summer St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97310. Any discrepancies with the published version are satisfied in favor of the Administrative Order. The Oregon Administrative Rules and the Oregon Bulletin are copyrighted by the Oregon Secretary of State. Terms and Conditions of Use

State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310