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Regulations for Licensure and Accreditation of 
   Institutions and Programs of Higher Learning

ARTICLE ONE

Policies and Procedures

Section 10a-34-1. Introduction.

(a) Purpose. The Board of Governors for Higher Education is responsible for initial and continuing review and approval of all institutions and programs of higher learning operating in the State of Connecticut that are subject to Section 10a-34 and subsections (a)(8) and (a)(9) of Section 10a-6, Connecticut General Statutes. The purpose of these regulations is to provide procedures and criteria for institutional and program review and approval.

(b) Intent. (1) It is the intent of the Board to ensure acceptable standards of quality among the institutions and programs of higher learning identified in subsection (a) above and, where possible, to promote the highest standards of quality. No such institution or program shall receive initial or continuing approval from the Board unless and until the Board is satisfied that the institution or program is in substantial compliance with the Boardís approval standards as specified in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations.

(2) It also is the intent of the Board to encourage institutions and programs that are responsive to state priorities and demonstrated needs; to promote the effective use of state resources; and to provide appropriate access to higher education. Every proposed public institution shall be reviewed by the Board in regard to the need for the institution; the potential for duplicating the programs and services of existing institutions; and adequacy of resources. Every public institution proposing to initiate or continue a program shall be required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board that the program is within the institutionís role and mission; that there is a need for the program; that the program does not unnecessarily duplicate other programs in the same field and geographical area; and that there are adequate resources available to support the program.

(c) Persons and groups affected. These regulations shall apply to any person, school, board, association or corporation that operates or intends to operate an institution or program of higher learning, as defined in Section 10a-34 of the General Statutes.

Section 10a-34-2. Definitions.

The definitions set forth in this section are intended to supplement the definitions in Section 10a-34 of the General Statutes and shall apply throughout the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(a) "Board" means the Board of Governors for Higher Education.

(b) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Higher Education or the Commissionerís designee.

(c) "Advisory Committee on Accreditation" means a committee composed of representatives of accredited public and independent institutions and of the public at large, appointed by the Board to advise the Board and the Commissioner on matters relating to licensure and accreditation.

(d) "Licensure" means approval by the Board to operate an institution or program of higher learning at a specific location(s) for a specified period. Licensure does not provide authority to confer degrees.

(e) "Accreditation" means approval by the Board to operate an institution or program of higher learning at a specific location(s) for a specified period and to confer specified degrees.

(f) "Approval" means a formal action by the Board to grant either licensure or accreditation or both.

(g) "Institution" or "Institution of Higher Learning" means any organization, school, board, association or corporation which is licensed or accredited to offer one or more programs of higher learning leading to one or more degrees.

(h) "Accredited institution" means an institution of higher learning that is accredited by the Board.

(i) "Evaluation" means a review of an institution or program by competent educators approved by the Commissioner or the Board, for purposes of verifying compliance with the standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(j) "New program" means any degree program, major, specialization or concentration not previously approved by the Board.

(k) "Nonsubstantive change" means (1) an undergraduate certificate program of no more than 30 semester credit hours which fall within an approved program, (2) a new baccalaureate minor of no more than 18 semester credit hours, (3) a new undergraduate option or certificate program of no more than 15 semester credit hours, or (4) a new graduate option or certificate program of no more than 12 semester credit hours.

(l) "Program modification" means a programmatic change that does not clearly qualify as a new program or a nonsubstantive change, including but not limited to a new program consisting primarily of course work from a previously approved program; an approved program to be offered at an off-campus location; a change in the title of a degree; and a change in the title of a program. Review procedures for program modifications are outlined in subsection (c) of Section 10a-34-3.

(m) "Off-campus program" means any program offered by an accredited institution in which students may complete more than 50 percent of the requirements for a degree through resident instruction at a location other than the primary campus of the institution offering the program, or through distance education.

(n) "Regional accreditation" means full accreditation by a commission of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in accordance with approval standards for accreditation of degree granting institutions, provided that such commission and standards are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

(o) "National accreditation" means full accreditation of a program at an accredited Connecticut institution by an accrediting association in the United States in accordance with approval standards for programs of higher education, according to a listing of associations recognized by the Commissioner as having standards comparable to those of the Board of Governors, provided that such associations are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

(p) "Resident Instruction" means direct contact instruction which involves the physical presence of both the learner and the instructor at the same regularly scheduled location. Resident instruction also may involve independent study and clinical activities with characteristics similar to distance education.

(q) "Distance Education" means media related instruction, which does not require the physical presence of both the learner and the instructor at the same regularly scheduled location.

Section 10a-34-3. Procedures Ė General.

(a) New institutions and programs. The procedures for licensure of new institutions and programs are specified in Section 10a-34-4 of these regulations.

(b) Nonsubstantive changes. Programmatic changes that qualify as nonsubstantive changes shall not require prior review and approval by the Board. However, all credit instruction in Connecticut is subject to the standards specified in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations. All new options and certificate programs that qualify as nonsubstantive changes shall be reported to the Department of Higher Education for informational purposes.

(c) Program modifications. An institution proposing a program modification shall submit a prospectus, in a format developed by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall review the proposal and request any additional information needed. If the Commissioner determines that the proposed change represents a new program, the Commissioner shall request a full application for licensure. If the Commissioner determines that the proposed change is nonsubstantive, the Commissioner shall so notify the institution and no further action shall be required. If the Commissioner determines that the proposed change is a substantive change but not a new program, the Commissioner shall make a recommendation for approval or disapproval to the Board. The institution shall be notified of the Commissionerís determination within 45 days of receipt of the prospectus.

(d) Discontinued programs. Institutions shall notify the Commissioner within 60 days of any programs which are being phased out or to which new students have not been admitted for a period of 12 months. At the request of the institution, a program will be classified as being phased out for a period of two years, after which it will be removed from the inventory of approved programs, unless the institution requests an extension. The Commissioner may grant an extension for a maximum of two years.

(e) Accreditation. The procedures for institutional and program accreditation are specified in Section 10a-34-5 of these regulations.

(f) Applications pending. Completed institutional and program applications received in the Board office prior to the effective date of these regulations shall be subject to Sections 10-330-1 through 10-330-10, inclusive, of the regulations of state agencies in effect at the time of receipt of such application, except that the Advisory Committee on Accreditation as established in Section 10a-34-7 of these regulations, shall assume the responsibilities of the Standing Committee on Accreditation immediately.

Section 10a-34-4. Licensure

(a) Purpose. The purpose of the licensure process is (1) to ensure that proposed institutions and programs comply substantially or have the potential to comply with the quality standards specified in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations, and (2) to ensure that nonaccredited institutions and programs continue to comply with these standards. The purpose of the licensure process also is to ensure that each proposed program complies with the requirements of subsection (b)(2) of Section 10a-34-1 of these regulations.

(b) Applications. An application for licensure or relicensure of an institution or program shall be filed in a format developed by the Commissioner. Applications for licensure of a new institution or degree program should be filed at least nine months in advance of the date on which the institution or program is to begin operating or the date that current licensure expires.

(c) Circulation. A summary of each new institutional and program proposal shall be circulated to all institutions of higher learning in Connecticut and to other interested parties, for review and comment regarding the need for the institution or program. The applicant institution shall be given an opportunity to respond to all comments. Circulation shall not be required for undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs that are judged by the Commissioner to be closely related to existing approved programs.

(d) Completeness. The Commissioner shall be responsible for determining within 25 working days of receipt whether an application is complete and for requesting from the applicant institution additional information required, so that the assessment can continue.

(e) Planning assessment. (1) Public institutions. (A) Proposals for new public institutions shall be reviewed by the Commissioner in regard to mission, role and scope; need for the institution and its curricula; unnecessary duplication of existing institutions and programs; cost effectiveness; and availability of adequate resources. (B) Program proposals submitted by public institutions shall be reviewed by the Commissioner in regard to conformance with the institutionís role and mission; need for the program; unnecessary duplication of existing programs; cost effectiveness; and availability of adequate resources. (C) In the event that planning assessment results in a positive finding, the Commissioner shall proceed with quality assessment. In the event that planning assessment results in a negative finding, the Commissioner shall offer the institution the option of withdrawing. If the application is not withdrawn, the Commissioner shall refer the results of the planning assessment to the Board for a determination as to whether to proceed with quality review.

(2) Independent institutions. Proposals for new independent institutions and program proposals submitted by independent institutions shall be reviewed on an advisory basis by the Commissioner in regard to need and adequacy of resources. In the event that planning assessment results in a positive finding, the Commissioner shall proceed with quality assessment. In the event that the planning assessment results in a negative finding, the Commissioner shall offer the institution the option of withdrawing the proposal. In the absence of a withdrawal, the Commissioner shall initiate quality assessment of the proposal.

(3) In the case of a proposed undergraduate degree or certificate program judged by the Commissioner to be closely related to existing approved programs, the assessment of need and resources may be based on a certification of need and resources from the chief executive officer of the constituent unit or independent institution, in a format developed by the Commissioner.

(f) Quality assessment. Evaluation of institutions and programs for compliance with the approval standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations, shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Section 10a-34-6, of these regulations. Planning assessment and quality assessment shall proceed concurrently, except that an evaluation visit shall not be conducted prior to completion of planning assessment.

(g) Duration of approval. Licensure of a new institution or program may be granted for a period not to exceed three years, thereafter renewable for periods not to exceed three years.

(h) Simultaneous licensure and accreditation. The Board may grant simultaneous licensure and accreditation for programs proposed by accredited institutions that demonstrate substantial compliance with the approval standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations, at the time of initial application.

Section 10a-34-5. Accreditation.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of the accreditation process is to ensure that continuing institutions and programs offered by such institutions comply substantially with the quality standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. Accreditation carries with it authorization to award a specified degree(s). Institutional accreditation is a prerequisite for accreditation of a program. The Board shall accept regional accreditation in satisfaction of the requirements of this section for institutions seeking reaccreditation unless the board finds cause not to rely upon such regional or national accreditation based on the criteria described in section 10a-34-6(c) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(b) Applications. An application for accreditation or reaccreditation shall be filed in a format developed by the Commissioner. Applications shall be filed at least nine months in advance of the date that current licensure or accreditation expires. Institutions that receive reaccreditation or continuing accreditation by a commission of the New England Associate of Schools and Colleges shall notify the Commissioner within thirty days of receiving notice of such action in lieu of filing the application referred to in this subsection.

(c) Completeness. The Commissioner shall be responsible for determining whether the application is complete and for requesting from the institution any additional information required. Once an application is complete, assessment shall proceed.

(d) Quality assessment. All institutions and programs being considered for accreditation or reaccreditation, as required by the board, shall be evaluated for compliance with the approval standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations and in accordance with the provisions of Section 10a-34-6 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(e) Duration of approval. Accreditation of an institution or program by the Board may be granted for a fixed term not to exceed five years. Reaccreditation by the board of regionally accredited institutions with their previously accredited programs, shall be concurrent with the action of a commission of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to continue regional accreditation.

Section 10a-34-6. Quality Assessment.

(a) Methods of quality assessment. Depending on the nature and scope of the proposal, an institution or program may be evaluated by any of the following means:

(1) Any institution or program may be evaluated by means of a site visit by an evaluation committee, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section of these regulations.

(2) Institutions accredited by the Board which have regional accreditation shall be reaccredited by the Board on the basis of an evaluation visit conducted by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or another recognized accrediting association or on the basis of a progress report to such an association, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(3) Applications for licensure or accreditation of a program at an accredited institution may be evaluated by means of a focused site visit, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of this section of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(4) Applications for licensure or accreditation of a program at an accredited institution may be evaluated by the Advisory Committee on Accreditation on the basis of the written application, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) of this section of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. The Commissioner shall determine the method of quality assessment. If the Commissioner determines that an evaluation visit is needed, the evaluation shall proceed as provided in subsections (b), (c) or (d) of this section of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. If the Commissioner determines that an evaluation visit is not needed, the application shall be forwarded to the Advisory Committee on Accreditation for review in accordance with subsection (e) of this section of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(b) Evaluation visits. An evaluation visit shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) The Commissioner shall be responsible for selection and appointment of a committee of qualified evaluators, in consultation with the chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Accreditation. Prior to appointment of the evaluation committee, the Commissioner shall provide the applicant institution with a list of potential evaluators. The applicant institution shall have an opportunity to state any objections regarding individuals identified in the list. The recommendations and objections of the applicant institution shall be taken into consideration in the appointment of the committee.

(2) The evaluation committee shall include at least one out-of-state evaluator, at least one member of the Advisory Committee on Accreditation, and at least one member with teaching experience in the relevant program area(s). A staff member of the Department of Higher Education shall be assigned to coordinate each evaluation visit.

(3) The report of the evaluation committee shall be prepared in accordance with a format developed by the Commissioner. For each standard in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the report shall include (A) a determination of compliance or noncompliance and (B) an explanation of the basis for such determination. The report also shall respond to any specific questions or concerns raised by the Advisory Committee on Accreditation or the Commissioner. The committee shall summarize the report by identifying areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. Copies of the draft report shall be submitted to all committee members for comment, and the report shall be thereupon revised accordingly. A copy of the revised report shall be given to the chief executive officer of the constituent unit, if applicable, and the president of the applicant institution for comment on factual accuracy.

(4) Following institutional review of the report, the Advisory Committee on Accreditation shall review the report and forward a statement to the Board and the Commissioner indicating whether or not the institution or program complies substantially with the approval standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(5) The applicant institution shall be responsible for all expenses relating to the evaluation, including but not limited to travel expenses, meals, overnight accommodations, and, in the case of each out-of-state evaluator, a standard fee to be determined by the Commissioner.

(c) Evaluations by recognized accrediting associations. The Board of Governors shall accept New England Association accreditation of institutions of higher learning or, where appropriate, national accreditation as the basis for Board accreditation unless the Board finds cause not to rely upon such accreditation. The Board shall base its finding of cause on one or more of the following procedures and criteria:

(1) A finding by the regional accrediting agency that the institution or program is not eligible for full accreditation, is a candidate for accreditation, is eligible only for provisional accreditation, or is eligible only for probationary status.

(2) Evidence provided by the commissioner that an interim evaluation has identified non-compliance with one or more of the Boardís approval standards. The Department of Higher Education staff may participate as observers in the evaluations conducted by the regional accrediting agency at the direction of the Commissioner and, in the case of independent institutions, with the concurrence of the institution. The procedures in this subsection also may be used for joint evaluations with the State Department of Education and such other state licensing or approval bodies as may be appropriate and pertinent.

(d) Focused site visits.

(1) When the Commissioner has specific questions or concerns about a proposed program at an accredited institution that may not require a full evaluation visit, the Commissioner may appoint a site team to conduct a visit focusing on the matters of concern. Depending on the nature of the concerns, the visit may be conducted by two or more of the following: a member of the Advisory Committee on Accreditation, a staff member of the Department of Higher Education, and/or other appropriately qualified individuals. The necessary expenses of the site team shall be paid by the applicant institution.

(2) The report of the visit shall address the specific questions and concerns raised by the Commissioner. Following receipt of the report, the Advisory Committee on Accreditation shall review the report and forward a statement to the Board and the Commissioner indicating whether or not the proposed program complies substantially with the approval standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(e) Evaluation based on the written application.

(1) An application for program licensure or accreditation submitted by an accredited institution may be evaluated on the basis of the written application if the Advisory Committee on Accreditation and the Commissioner concur that (A) the institutionís approved programs provide a sound base of academic support for the proposed program, (B) that the institution has the resources and expertise to offer the proposed program, and (C) the application is in good order.

(2) Following a review of the application and all supporting materials, the Advisory Committee on Accreditation shall forward a statement to the Board and the Commissioner indicating whether or not the proposed program complies substantially with the approval standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(3) In the case of a proposed undergraduate program submitted by a regionally accredited Connecticut institution and judged by the Commissioner to be closely related to existing approved programs, review by the Advisory Committee on Accreditation may be postponed until after the program has been in operation for a period of time to be determined by the Board.

(f) Progress reports. An interim progress report may be required by the Board as a condition for approval, except in the case of institutional reaccreditation done in accordance with Section 10a-34-5a. Progress reports shall be prepared in a format developed by the Commissioner and shall be reviewed by the Commissioner and the Advisory Committee on Accreditation. The Commissioner may, after consulting with the Advisory Committee, accept the report, call for a focused visit, or require an interim evaluation visit in accordance with the provisions of subsection (g) of Section 10a-34-6 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(g) Interim evaluations. The Commissioner may initiate a reevaluation of an institution or program at any time provided that for institutions reaccredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges one of the following conditions shall be substantiated:

(1) That the institution is in continuing serious financial difficulty which is affecting its ability to carry out its mission. The institution shall share with the Commissioner all information relating to its relationship with the federal government including its eligibility status for federal financial aid.

(2) That the institution has experienced a substantive change in charter and/or mission, ownership, control or governance. Interim evaluations shall be conducted by a staff member of the Department of Higher Education appointed by the Commissioner, a member of the Advisory Committee on Accreditation appointed by the chairperson of the Advisory Committee, and any other person(s) deemed necessary. If the evaluation results in a determination of noncompliance, the Commissioner shall, after consultation with the Advisory Committee, prepare a report and recommendation to the Board. The necessary expenses of the evaluation shall be paid by the institution offering the program.

Section 10a-34-7. Advisory Committee on Accreditation.

(a) Purpose. An Advisory Committee on Accreditation shall advise the Board and the Commissioner on matters relating to licensure and accreditation of institutions and programs of higher learning operating in the State of Connecticut. The primary responsibility of the committee shall be to participate in the quality assessment process, in accordance with the provisions of Section 10a-34-6 of these regulations.

(b) Membership. The committee shall consist of at least 12 regular members and 12 alternates appointed by the Board. The committee shall include equal representation of public and independent institutions. Among the representatives of public institutions, there shall be representation from all constituent units. The committee also shall include two representatives of the public at large. Nominees shall be solicited from the Connecticut Council on Higher Education and/or from accredited institutions and public constituent units as defined in Section 10a-1 of the General Statutes and from other appropriate organizations.

(c) Terms of office. Each member of the committee shall be appointed to serve for three years. In order to ensure continuity of membership, initial appointments shall be staggered as follows: one-third for one-year terms; one-third for two-year terms; and one-third for three-year terms. No member of the committee may serve more than two consecutive terms.

(d) Chairperson. The chairperson of the committee shall be elected by the committee for a one-year term. No chairperson may serve more than two consecutive terms.

(e) No member of the committee shall participate in any deliberations involving an application from his or her institution.

(f) The committee shall receive staff support from Department of Higher Education staff designated by the Commissioner.

Section 10a-34-8. Penalties.

Any institution found by the Board, in accordance with due process, to be out of compliance with the provisions of these regulations shall be subject to penalties provided in subsection (g) of Section 10a-34 of the General Statutes. In addition, any program found to be out of compliance with these regulations may be removed from the Boardís list of approved programs, and the Board may order such notice of its findings as it deems reasonable to the public and any person(s) or group(s) whom the Board shall designate.


ARTICLE TWO

Approval Standards

Section 10a-34-9. Approval Standards - General.

(a) Intent. It is the intent of the Board of Governors that all institutions and programs of higher learning operating in Connecticut shall be in substantial compliance with the approval standards outlined in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations. The objective of the Board is to ensure that every institution and program meets acceptable levels of quality. Proposed public institutions and public institutions applying for approval of a new program also must comply with the requirements of subsection (b)(2) of Section 10a-34-1 of these regulations.

(b) Specialized accreditation. Where applicable, the institution shall indicate plans concerning regional, specialized or professional accreditation. In any evaluation of a program for licensure or accreditation by the Board, reference may be made to the standards of any applicable nationally recognized accrediting association. If specialized or professional accreditation is required before graduates of an institution or program can qualify to practice the profession for which they are being trained, the institution shall be required to apply for and obtain such accreditation as soon as it meets the eligibility requirements of the accrediting association.

(c) Existing institutions and programs. All institutions and programs which are in compliance, on the effective date of Sections 10a-34-1 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, with the provisions of Sections 10-330-11 through 10-330-20, inclusive, in effect immediately prior to the effective date of said Sections 10a-34-1 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, will be allowed two years to come into compliance with the standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of these regulations. Any institution adversely affected by this subsection may apply to the Board for a temporary extension. The Board may grant an extension if, in the judgment of the Board, the institution is making substantial progress toward implementation of Board requirements.

Section 10a-34-10. Purposes and Objectives.

(a) Eligibility for licensure or accreditation of an institution of higher learning shall be based on (1) evidence that the primary purposes of the institution are educational in nature and (2) demonstration that the purposes and objectives of the institution are appropriate to higher education in level, standards, and quality.

(b) The purposes and objectives of an institution or program shall be clear and realistic with reference to both educational outcomes and the clienteles to be served (students, employers, professional groups, etc.). Program purposes and objectives also shall be consistent with and clearly related to the purposes and objectives of the institution.

Section 10a-34-11. Administration.

(a) Ownership and control. The ownership, control and type of legal organization of an institution shall be publicly stated, together with the names of all officers, trustees, owners and administrators.

(b) Governing board.

(1) There shall be an institutional governing board such as a board of directors or a board of trustees whose powers and duties are outlined in written documents.

(2) There shall be full disclosure of the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial interest in the institution of each member of the governing board. The membership of the board shall include individuals who represent the public interest and who derive no financial gain from the operation of the institution.

(3) The responsibilities of the board shall include the determination and maintenance of adequate general policies and the appointment of a competent professional staff for administration and teaching. There shall be a distinction among the roles and personnel of the board and the administration to ensure the appropriate separation of these functions.

(c) Chief executive officer. There shall be a qualified chief executive officer for each institution whose powers and duties are outlined in written documents. Responsibility for the administration of all institutional policies and programs shall be clearly defined and assigned to qualified persons.

(d) Parent organizations. If an institution of higher learning is part of a corporation or organization established for purposes other than or in addition to the offering of higher learning, the institution shall have a charter describing its purposes and objectives, a separate budget, and a qualified chief executive officer whose duties are described in written documents.

(e) Planning and evaluation. The institution shall have a planning process for establishing goals and objectives and for identifying the means to achieve its objectives. Planning shall include needs assessment and resource allocation. The institution shall have a review process to determine whether its programs and services are helping it to achieve stated objectives. The institution shall provide the resource and administrative support necessary to make planning and evaluation effective.

(f) Contractual arrangements. If the institution contracts for instructional services to be provided by a nonaccredited institution or a noncollegiate organization, these services shall be based on a written contract that provides for institutional control over the quality of the curriculum, instructional staffing, instructional support services, and the integrity of enrollment policies, student fees, refund policies and advertising.

(g) Ethical and nondiscriminatory practices. The institution shall adopt policies and procedures that ensure fair and equitable treatment of all those associated with or affected by its programs and services.

(h) Approval nontransferable. In the event that the management of an institution is transferred from one governing body to another, or from one owner to another, or both, the licensure or accreditation already granted to the institution shall be reviewed for appropriate action within one year after the date of such transfer. It shall be the responsibility of the institutionís chief executive officer to report such changes to the Commissioner within 30 days of the effective date of such changes.

(i) Program administration. Responsibility for all aspects of a program, including but not limited to administration, instruction, advising and clinical supervision, shall be clearly defined and assigned to qualified members of the institutionís faculty and staff. There shall be at least one qualified full-time administrator or faculty member directly responsible for the day-to-day operation of the program. There shall be provision for periodic internal evaluation and development of the program.

Section 10a-34-12. Adequacy of Resources.

(a) Financial resources. The financial resources of an institution shall be adequate for the effective achievement of the purposes and objectives of the institution and each of its programs, and for meeting obligations to the staff, students and all persons to be served by the institution.

(b) Financial management. An institution applying for approval shall clarify whether it will be operating on a nonprofit or proprietary basis. No part of the income of a nonprofit institution may be distributed to its directors or officers except for payment of reasonable compensation for expenses.

(c) Financial records. The financial records of an institution shall be maintained in such form that evaluation of its financial status is possible at any time. There shall be an annual financial statement which shall be audited annually by an independent public accountant authorized to practice under Chapter 389 of the General Statutes or by a state auditor. Copies of financial statements and audit reports shall be made available at the time of each institutional evaluation and otherwise upon request.

(d) New programs. An application for a new program shall include a complete and realistic plan for implementing and financing the proposed program during the first cycle of operation, based on projected enrollment levels; the nature and extent of instructional services required; the availability of existing resources to support the program; additional resource requirements; and projected sources of funding. If resources to operate a program are to be provided totally or in part through reallocation of existing resources, the institution shall identify the resources to be employed and explain how existing programs will be affected. Reallocation of resources to meet new and changing needs is encouraged, provided such reallocation does not reduce the quality of continuing programs below acceptable levels.

(e) Continuing programs. An application for relicensure or accreditation shall include a copy of the original resource plan and a status report on the implementation of the plan, including but not limited to actual enrollment levels; instructional services provided; resources allocated to the program; and revenues and expenditures.

Section 10a-34-13. Faculty.

(a) General requirement. Institutions shall employ a sufficient number of qualified faculty to support all areas of instruction required for completion of all programs. Each academic program shall employ at least one full-time faculty member with credentials suited to the field and level of the program. There shall be a reasonable ratio of full-time and part-time and adjunct faculty for each program.

(b) Qualifications. Faculty members shall have appropriate degrees from regionally accredited institutions or in accordance with constituent unit or institutional policy they shall demonstrate an equivalent level of competence in the specific subject areas they are assigned to teach. The masterís degree shall be the minimum qualification for teaching undergraduate courses. In the case of graduate programs, each faculty member shall have a terminal degree in an appropriate field of study and at least one full-time faculty member assigned to the program shall have a minimum of three yearsí experience as a faculty member in a similar program. The application shall include the names of all faculty members assigned to teach in the program, together with their titles, degrees and degree fields, areas of specialization, and course assignments. The application also shall include a statement of the minimum qualifications for faculty who may be assigned to teach in the program.

(c) Assignments. Faculty membersí responsibilities shall include: broadening professional knowledge, preparing course materials, advising students, and carrying out other academic responsibilities appropriate to their position, in addition to performing assigned teaching, research, and administrative duties. Provision should be made for part-time and adjunct faculty to participate in departmental and general faculty meetings and other activities.

(d) Academic advising. Adequate provision shall be made for students to confer with faculty and qualified counseling staff outside of class.

Section 10a-34-14. Admissions Requirements.

(a) Published admissions standards shall be so structured that they result in the admission of those qualified to accomplish work at the level at which each program is offered.

(b) Any institution that admits students to an undergraduate program without adequate preparation shall make provision for placement testing, counseling, and compensatory services.

(c) Admission to any undergraduate program shall require, at a minimum, graduation from an accredited secondary school or the equivalent.

(d) Admission to a graduate or first professional masterís or doctorís degree program shall require, at a minimum, graduation from an appropriate bachelorís degree program, or the equivalent as determined by the Board.

Section 10a-34-15. Curriculum and Instruction.

(a) General requirement. The curriculum for each program shall consist of a carefully planned and published sequence of related courses and other appropriate instructional activities that effectively address the stated objectives of the program. The curriculum shall provide evidence of (1) well-defined instructional outcomes; (2) systematic planning by faculty; (3) selection and use of varied types of learning materials and experiences; and (4) use of viable evaluation instruments and procedures.

(b) General education. The general education component of associate and baccalaureate degree programs shall include a balanced distribution of required courses or restricted electives in the humanities, arts, natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and social sciences comprising at least 25 percent of the minimum requirements for the degree and, by September 1987, at least 33 percent of the minimum requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as prescribed in subsection (e) of Section 10a-34-17 of these regulations. Institutions are encouraged to define and incorporate in all undergraduate degree programs a substantially larger general education component than is minimally required.

(c) Field work and research. Adequate provision shall be made for all required and optional laboratory and field work and student research arrangements. In determining the adequacy of such provisions, reference shall be made to the availability of appropriate facilities, equipment and materials, and qualified faculty or staff to supervise and evaluate student performance.

(d) Individualized programs. An individualized program is a program in which each student may design his or her own area of specialization, with guidance from an advisor. Any institution applying for approval of an individualized program shall develop a complete set of written policies and procedures to be used in designing each student program. Areas of specialization shall be limited to combinations of courses available from approved programs offered by the institution.

(e) General studies programs. General studies programs are intended to provide a flexible, interdisciplinary program of studies for students who do not desire a specific major. Such programs shall conform to the following requirements:

(1) General studies programs shall not be used to create other options or majors. There shall be a limit to the number of credits a student can take in any one field.

(2) There shall be a general education component, consistent with institution-wide policy.

(3) There shall be written institutional guidelines for the development of individual student programs that provide for a coherent program of study.

(4) There shall be a faculty advisor or committee responsible for assisting each student with the design of his/her program.

(5) There shall be a requirement that students take a minimum number of upper level course credits, consistent with institution-wide policy.

(6) There shall be written policies regarding acceptance of transfer credit and award of credit for experiential learning, consistent with institution-wide policy.

Section 10a-34-16. Credit for Prior Learning.

    1. Transfer credit and credit for noncollegiate sponsored instruction.

(1) Appropriate allowance of credit to students for relevant subject matter mastered through instruction at institutions of higher learning accredited by the Board or by a regional accrediting association and colleges and universities of known and demonstrable high quality located outside the United States may be given and is encouraged.

(2) Award of credit for studies completed at nonaccredited colleges and universities and noncollegiate institutions shall be based on an evaluation of prior experiential learning pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 10a-34-16 of these regulations or on course evaluation procedures approved by the Department of Higher Education.

(b) Credit for prior experiential learning. Prior experiential learning means learning acquired through work or life experience and noncollegiate sponsored instruction which may be recognized for college credit based on verification that learning has occurred that is equivalent in level and nature to learning acquired in approved college programs. An institution proposing to award credit for prior experiential learning shall develop written policies and procedures in accordance with the following standards:

(1) Acceptable methods of assessment include (A) standardized tests, (B) nationally recognized evaluations for credit recommendations accepted by the Board, (C) individualized written or oral tests designed and administered by qualified faculty, and (D) portfolio review, in accordance with subsection (b)(2) of Section 10a-34-16 of these regulations.

(2) Portfolio review policies and procedures shall provide for:

(A) Written procedures for the development and assessment of portfolios.

(B) A process that adequately supports the development of portfolios, such as a credit course or non-credit workshop.

(C) Assessment of each portfolio by institutional faculty members (a minimum of two) qualified in pertinent subject areas.

(D) Verification that learning has occurred and that the learning is equivalent in level and nature to learning acquired in approved college programs.

(E) No credit shall be awarded via portfolio review outside of subject areas encompassed by the approved curricula of the institution.

(3) No more than 50 percent of the credits required for a degree shall be awarded for prior experiential learning.

(4) Comprehensive records of evaluations and credit decisions shall be maintained by the institution. The records shall specify the experience for which credit was awarded, the method(s) of assessment, the names and titles of faculty members and administrators who recommended approval of credit, and the number of credits awarded. Sufficient information shall be entered on the student transcript, or attached to it, to enable registrars at other institutions or employers to understand the basis for the award of credit.

Section 10a-34-17. Graduation Requirements.

(a) Credit awarded for remedial instruction shall not be applied toward the graduation requirements for a degree.

(b) Undergraduate degree requirements shall include a provision that each student must complete at least 25 percent of the minimum credit requirements for the degree as prescribed in subsection (e) of Section 10a-34-17 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies through course work at the institution awarding the degree. The Board for State Academic Awards is exempted from this requirement.

(c) The requirements for a masterís degree shall include at least one of the following: comprehensive examination, writing a thesis based on independent research, or completing an appropriate special project.

(d) Doctoral degree requirements shall include a provision that each student must complete the equivalent of at least one year of full-time study through resident instruction at the institution awarding the degree; (1) Graduate doctorís degree means an award for advanced study beyond the masterís degree, including a thesis or dissertation based on original or applied research; (2) First-professional doctorís degree means an award for professional study at the collegiate level including advanced study at the post baccalaureate level leading to practice in a licensed occupation; (3) The requirements for a graduate doctorís degree shall include a comprehensive examination, completion of a substantial report on original research or an independent investigation of a topic of significance in the field of study and the equivalent of at least three years of full-time graduate-level studies beyond the baccalaureate; (4) The requirements for a first-professional doctorís degree shall include the completion of appropriate academic, pre-professional and clinical prerequisites which, at the minimum, meet the requirements to become licensed in a recognized profession, except that for first professional doctorís programs the total registered time to degree, including both pre-professional and professional study, shall be at least six academic years of which two must be post baccalaureate.

(e) Minimum total credit requirements for each degree level shall conform with the following guidelines: associate degrees - completion of at least 60 semester hours of college-level work; bachelorís degrees - 120 semester hours; masterís degrees - 30 graduate-level semester hours, or the equivalent of one year of full-time graduate-level study beyond the baccalaureate; doctoral degrees as defined in subsection (d) of this section; and for first-professional degree below the doctorate the minimum requirements found acceptable by the Board, after considering practices at other accredited institutions.

Section 10a-34-18. Library and Learning Resources.

(a) Adequate resources. The institution shall be required to demonstrate that its library includes or will include sufficient printed materials and other learning resources to support the needs of each program. The adequacy of library materials and other learning resources shall be determined by reference to the number, variety, currency and suitability of books, periodicals, newspapers, microforms, audiovisual aids and other materials in the collection; library hours, location and accessibility of these materials; the annual budget for purchase of new books and other materials; and the method of selection of new materials. Sufficient budget support shall be available to ensure continuous development of the library collection and the adaptation of library resources to student needs.

(b) Resource sharing. Inter-institutional cooperative arrangements for sharing learning resources are encouraged, provided that such arrangements shall be used only to supplement the basic library services provided by the institution. If students enrolled in a program will be required to rely in part upon the library holdings of another institution or organization, the institution offering the program shall be required to (1) demonstrate that such holdings are adequate to support both the program in question and the programs of the cooperating institution and (2) provide written verification from the cooperating institution that students enrolled in the program will have adequate access to these holdings and to the necessary support services of the cooperating library on the same basis as the regular patrons of the library.

(c) Library personnel. The planning coordination and direction of library and learning resource activities shall be the responsibility of personnel with appropriate training, including both professional and support staff. Faculty shall be involved in the selection of new library materials and learning resources.

(d) Off-campus programs. Library support for off-campus programs is subject to the following requirements:

(1) There shall be provision for a core collection, including both circulating and reference materials sufficient to meet the needs of both students and faculty, to be provided either at the site or via written agreement with a nearby library.

(2) There shall be provision for a reserve reading collection at or near the site.

(3) There shall be provision for professional library staff support for library services at or near the off-campus site.

(4) There shall be provision for additional materials to supplement the core collection, e.g., through computerized bibliographic access and a document delivery system.

(5) There shall be provision for adequate annual budget support for library resources at or near the site.

Section 10a-34-19. Facilities and Equipment.

(a) Physical plant. The physical plant shall meet the following general tests: (1) adequate size to accommodate the students enrolled; (2) availability at appropriate hours; (3) safety and high maintenance standards; (4) adequate health standards and lighting. Physical facilities shall comply with all local and state laws governing such facilities, particularly with respect to fire, safety, and health and access for the handicapped as evidenced by current certifications of such compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations.

(b) Facilities and equipment. Institutions shall be required to demonstrate that adequate facilities and equipment are available to support all programs. In assessing the adequacy of such facilities and equipment, reference shall be made to the quantity and quality of classroom and laboratory facilities and equipment, faculty office space, library equipment and facilities, computer facilities and equipment, clinical training facilities, and all other facilities and equipment required to achieve the objectives of each program.

Section 10a-34-20. Catalogs and Program Advertising.

(a) Institutional catalog(s). Each institution shall publish an appropriate catalog, to be updated at least every two years, which includes at least the following information: date of publication; a table of contents; the purposes, objectives and history of the institution; accreditation status; a description of facilities; members of the board of control; the names, positions and earned degrees of all administrators and faculty members; student personnel policies; a calendar; admissions requirements; credit for prior learning; standards of progress; grading policies, graduation requirements; degrees and curricula offered; course descriptions; tuition, fees and other charges; a refund policy; and sources of student financial aid.

(b) Program requirements. Catalog descriptions of program offerings shall provide at least the following information: the purposes and objectives of the program; a complete description of all program requirements; a list of faculty members; and a list of courses offered, together with course descriptions, credits and prerequisites.

(c) Advertising. All advertising and publications shall describe the programs and services of the institution in language that is accurate, clear and unambiguous. No new program or program modification may be advertised or listed in the institutionís catalog until it has received requisite approval from the Board.

(d) Licensed and certified occupations. For each program that prepares students for occupations that require licensure or certification, the institution shall include in its publications a statement that indicates whether or not the appropriate agency or association recognizes the program for purposes of licensure or certification in that occupation. If the licensing authority does not review and approve academic institutions or programs, the institution shall provide the name and address of the licensing authority and shall indicate that a license is required to practice in the occupation for which the student is being trained.

Section 10a-34-21. Student Services.

Institutions shall provide for adequate student access to a well developed program of counseling, testing, advisement, career development, and placement services.

Section 10a-34-22. Transcripts and Student Records.

(a) Academic records. For each student who enrolls, the institution shall prepare, permanently file, and have available a transcript or comparable record that specifies all credit instruction attempted or completed by the student. Courses dropped by the student prior to the expiration of the institutionís grace period need not be recorded. Each course entry shall include a title, the number of credits awarded, a grade and the year completed. The transcript shall separately identify all credits awarded by transfer and for experiential learning, correspondence courses, and credit by examination. In the case of credit awarded for experiential learning, there shall be supporting documentation on file that specifies the experience for which credit was awarded, the method(s) of assessment, the names of faculty members and administrators who recommended approval of credit, and the number of credits awarded.

(b) Financial records. The financial records of the institution shall show clearly the amounts of money paid and the balance due from each student for tuition and other charges.

(c) Alumni records. Alumni records should include evidence of job placement, advanced or postgraduate study, and other institutions to which students transfer.

Section 10a-34-23. Off-Campus Instruction, Correspondence Courses, and Use of Electronic Media.

All credit instruction offered by an accredited institution away from the institutionís primary campus or by correspondence, or through the electronic media, or other means of distance education, shall meet the same standards required of instruction offered on campus, including but not limited to the following:

(a) All credit instruction shall be consistent with the overall purposes and objectives of the offering institution.

(b) Standards for admission shall be the same as the standards applicable to students enrolled on the primary campus.

(c) There shall be qualified faculty or staff responsible for the coordination of off-campus instruction.

(d) The quality of off-campus instruction, including faculty selection and course approval, shall be the responsibility of the same academic unit which administers the program on the primary campus.

(e) All curricula shall be derived directly from approved programs. Each course shall be consistent in quality, content and standards with resident courses offered on the primary campus.

(f) Instruction shall be delivered by qualified instructional staff pursuant to Section 10a-34-13 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(g) All students shall have access to adequate facilities, equipment, library resources, academic advising and other necessary instructional support services, in accordance with the provisions of Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. An institution providing instruction and programs by means of distance education may demonstrate compliance with the Boardís approval standards through means equivalent to those used for resident instruction.

Section 10a-34-24. Programs Offered by Out-of-State Institutions.

(a) Eligibility. Any institution with a physical presence in the state shall be subject to the requirements of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. To be eligible for licensure to operate a program in Connecticut, an institution chartered or incorporated in another state must be fully accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting association and legally authorized to operate as an institution of higher learning and confer degrees in its home state.

(b) Licensure requirements. The institution shall be required to demonstrate compliance with all applicable procedures and standards in Sections 10a-34-9 through 10a-34-24, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies as they apply to the program(s) to be offered in Connecticut. In addition, there shall be qualified on-site administrative staff responsible for the overall administrative operation of all educational activities, to include instruction, counseling, advising, library services and maintenance of academic records.

For application and information write to:

Department of Higher Education
Attn: Licensure and Accreditation
61 Woodland Street
Hartford, CT 06105-2326

 

Approved: March 1986
Amended: September 1990
Amended: May 27, 1993
Amended: December, 1999

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