Regulations for Licensure and Accreditation of
Institutions and Programs of Higher Learning
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
(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
(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
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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
Section 10a-34-16. Credit for Prior Learning.
- 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
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
(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
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
(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
(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