Education Law, Rules and Regulations

OFFICIAL COMPILATION OF CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
TITLE 8. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER I. RULES OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS
PART 4. REGENTS ACCREDITATION


SUBPART 4-1. VOLUNTARY INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION FOR TITLE IV PURPOSES

 

Section 4-1.1  Purpose.

The purpose of this Subpart is to establish standards and procedures that must be met by institutions of higher education voluntarily seeking institutional accreditation for purposes of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, by the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Regents as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

 

Section 4-1.2  Definitions.

As used in this Subpart:

(a) Accreditation means the status of public recognition that the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Regents grant to an educational institution that meets the standards and requirements prescribed in this Subpart.

(b) Accreditation action means accreditation, accreditation with conditions, probationary accreditation, approval of substantive changes in the scope of accreditation, and denial, revocation, or termination of accreditation.

(c) Accreditation with conditions means accreditation that requires the institution to take steps to remedy issues raised in a review for accreditation, and provide reports and/or submit to site visits concerning such issues, provided that such issues do not materially affect the institution's substantial compliance with the standards and requirements for accreditation.

(d) Adverse action or adverse accreditation action means suspension, withdrawal, denial, revocation, or termination of accreditation or pre-accreditation.

(e) Additional location means a location of an institution geographically apart from the main campus, other than a branch campus, at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program.

(f) Advisory council means the Regents Advisory Council on Institutional Accreditation established pursuant to section 3.12 of this Title.

(g) Branch campus means a location of an institution that is geographically apart and independent of the main campus of the institution, meaning that the location is permanent in nature, offers courses in educational programs leading to degrees or certificates authorized by the department, has its own faculty and administrative or supervisory organization, and has its own budgetary and hiring authority.

(h) Certificate means a credential issued by an institution in recognition of the completion of a registered curriculum other than one leading to a degree.

(i) Correspondence education shall mean education provided through one or more courses by an institution under which the institution provides instructional materials, by mail or electronic transmission, including examinations on the materials, to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and the student is limited, is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student and is typically self-paced.

(j) Course means an organized series of instructional and learning activities dealing with a subject.

(k) Curriculum or program or program of study means the formal educational requirements necessary to qualify for certificates or degrees.

(l) Credit means a unit of academic award applicable towards a degree offered by the institution.

(m) Degree means an academic award listed in section 3.50 of this Title.

(n) Department means the Education Department of the State of New York.

(o) Deputy commissioner means the Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education of the State Education Department.

(p) Distance education means education that uses one or more of the following technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously:

(1) the internet;

(2) one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;

(3) audioconferencing; or

(4) video cassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subdivision.

(q) Higher Education Act or HEA means the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

(r) Institution of higher education or institution means an institution authorized by the Regents to confer degrees.

(s) Probationary accreditation means accreditation for a set period of time, not to exceed two years, during which the institution shall come into compliance with standards for accreditation through corrective action.

(t) Principal center means the location of the principal administrative offices and instructional facilities of an institution of higher education.

(u) Secretary means the United States Secretary of Education.

(v) Semester hour means a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments, or the equivalent as approved by the commissioner.

(w) State means New York State.

(x) Teach-out agreement means a written agreement between or among institutions that are accredited or pre-accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency that provides for the equitable treatment of students if one of those institutions stops offering an educational program before all students enrolled in that program have completed the program.

(y) Teach-out plan shall mean a written plan that provides for the equitable treatment of students if an institution or an institutional location that provides 100 percent of at least one program ceases to operate prior to all students completing their program of study. A teach-out plan may include a teach-out agreement between institutions.

Section 4-1.3 General requirements and provisions.

(a) General requirements. To meet the requirements for institutional accreditation and the renewal of existing institutional accreditation, the institution shall meet the requirements in each of the following paragraphs:

(1) State standards. The institution shall be in compliance with State standards prescribed in this Title, including but not limited to section 3.47, and Parts 50, 52, 53 and 54 of this Title. The institution shall be authorized to confer at least one degree and have at least one program that is registered pursuant to Part 52 of this Title.

(2) Standards for accreditation. The institution shall meet the standards of quality for institutional accreditation as prescribed in section 4-1.4 of this Subpart.

(3) Other requirements for accreditation. The institution shall meet all other requirements of this Subpart, including but not limited to the requirements of this section and the procedural requirements set forth in section 4-1.5 of this Subpart.

(b) Duration of accreditation. Accreditation shall be for a term of 10 years unless otherwise limited to a lesser period for good cause as determined by the commissioner and the Board of Regents, based upon a review conducted pursuant to this Subpart. The term of accreditation may be extended by the commissioner on one or more occasions for a period not to exceed 12 months on each occasion for good cause as determined by the commissioner, including but not limited to inability to conduct site visits because of unforeseen events and the department's plan to coordinate a site visit with a site visit by another accrediting agency.

(c) Scope of accreditation. The institution's accreditation shall include the principal center, branch campuses and additional locations that exist at the time accreditation is granted, unless otherwise limited. Such accreditation shall not include substantive changes, as defined in section 4-1.5(d) of this Subpart, made after accreditation is granted. Accreditation action is required to include each such substantive change, as prescribed in section 4-1.5(d) of this Subpart.

(d) Enforcement of standards.

(1) If the review of an institution under the standards prescribed in this section and section 4-1.4 of this Subpart; including such review which may be initiated by one or more complaints against the institution, or a financial or compliance audit or program review conducted by the U.S. Secretary of Education relating to the institution's HEA title IV program responsibilities, or an adverse action or a placement on probation by another nationally recognized accrediting agency, among other reasons; indicates that the institution is not in compliance with any such standard, the commissioner and the Board of Regents shall either:

(i) immediately initiate adverse action against the institution; or

(ii) require the institution to take appropriate corrective action to bring itself into compliance with such standards within a time period that shall not exceed:

(a) 12 months, if the longest program offered by the institution is less than one year in length;

(b) 18 months, if the longest program offered by the institution is at least one year, but less than two years in length; or

(c) two years, if the longest program offered by the institution is at least two years in length.

(2) The corrective action period may be extended for a maximum period of 12 months at the discretion of the commissioner and the Board of Regents upon good cause shown, including but not limited to, an adequate showing by the institution that it has a reasonable explanation for not meeting the standard during the corrective action period and that it has a plan acceptable to the department to meet the standard within a reasonable time period.

(3) An institution that is required to take corrective action pursuant to subparagraph (1)(ii) of this subdivision shall receive probationary accreditation for such period of corrective action.

(4) An institution that is applying for accreditation with the commissioner and the Board of Regents for the first time shall not be eligible to receive probationary accreditation.

(e) Use of information.

(1) Information obtained by the department pursuant to an institutional accreditation review may be used by the department for State actions, including but not limited to program registration actions as prescribed in Part 52 of this Title.

(2) Information obtained by the department in relation to such State actions may be used by the department for purposes of institutional accreditation.

(3) Information provided to the department by the secretary concerning the institution's compliance with its HEA title IV program responsibilities, including but not limited to annual student default rate data, financial or compliance audits conducted annually by the secretary, and program reviews conducted periodically by the secretary, shall be a consideration in a review for accreditation or renewal of accreditation, or in an enforcement review.

(f) Reporting requirements.

(1) An institution shall notify and obtain the commissioner and the Board of Regents' approval of any substantive change, as defined in section 4-1.5(d) of this Subpart before the department will include the substantive change in the scope of accreditation it previously granted to the institution.

(2) The institution shall submit data reports on a timetable and in a form prescribed by the department.

(3) The institution shall notify the department of any denial, withdrawal, suspension, revocation or termination of accreditation or pre-accreditation by another nationally recognized accrediting agency against the institution or any of its programs within 72 hours after receiving official notification of that action by providing to the department a copy of the action.

(g) Adverse action by a State agency or a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (h) of this section, the commissioner and the Board of Regents shall not grant initial or a renewal of accreditation to an institution, or a program offered by an institution, if the commissioner and the Board of Regents knows, or has reasonable cause to know, that the institution is the subject of:

(1) a pending or final action against the institution or a program at such institution by a State agency to suspend, revoke, withdraw, or terminate the institution's legal authority to provide postsecondary education in the State;

(2) a decision by a nationally recognized accrediting agency to deny accreditation or preaccreditation;

(3) a pending or final action brought by a nationally recognized accrediting agency to suspend, revoke, withdraw, or terminate the institution's accreditation or preaccreditation; or

(4) probation or an equivalent status imposed by a recognized agency.

(h) If the commissioner and the Board of Regents learn that an accredited institution, or an institution that offers a program it accredits, is the subject of an adverse action by another recognized accrediting agency or has been placed on probation or an equivalent status by another recognized agency, the commissioner and the Board of Regents shall promptly review its accreditation through the compliance review procedure in section 4-1.5 of this Subpart to determine if it should also take adverse action or place the institution on probation. The commissioner and the Board of Regents shall only grant accreditation or a renewal of accreditation to an institution described in subdivision (g) of this section if the institution satisfactorily meets the standards of the compliance review procedure described in section 4-1.5 of this Subpart. If the commissioner and the Board of Regents grant accreditation or a renewal of accreditation after a compliance review, the commissioner and the Board of Regents shall provide to the U.S. Secretary of Education, within 30 days of its action, a thorough and reasonable explanation, consistent with its standards, why the action of the other body does not preclude the grant of accreditation or renewal of accreditation.

Section 4-1.4  Standards of quality for institutional accreditation.

(a) Institutional mission. The institution shall have a clear statement of purpose, mission, and goals that shall be reflected in the policies, practices, and outcomes of the institution. The statement of mission may include but need not be limited to: the academic purposes of the institution and the institution's commitment to the social and economic context in which the institution operates; the relative roles of teaching, creation and preservation of knowledge, and service; the nature of constituents to be served; and the basis for setting priorities.

(b) Assessment of student achievement.

(1) The institution shall prepare and implement a plan for the systematic assessment of its effectiveness in promoting the quality of student achievement and development. The assessment plan shall include but need not be limited to: graduation rates, retention rates and, as pertinent to institutional mission and programs, State licensing examination results and job placement rates. The plan may include other information important to the institution's achievement of its mission, such as transfer rates and the subsequent educational success of its graduates. The institution shall provide to the department on request and in all applications for accreditation and renewal of accreditation, evidence of its implementation of the plan and its effects on the quality of student achievement in relation to its mission and goals.

(2) The institution shall annually submit to the department:

(i) timely and accurate statistical information as prescribed by the commissioner;

(ii) additional specified reports, including data related to graduation rates, State licensing examination results, job placement rates, and other evidence of the quality of student achievement;

(iii) record of compliance with its program responsibilities under HEA title IV (including student default rate data, and the results of audits and program reviews);

(iv) record of student complaints and their outcomes; and

(v) other information pertaining to an institution's compliance with the standards prescribed in this Subpart, as determined by the department.

(3)(i) Graduation rates.

(a) Associate degrees. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution awarding associate degrees that reports an associate degree completion rate more than five percentage points below the mean associate degree completion rate reported by all institutions in the State, according to the most recent information available to the department, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by graduation rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve a completion rate not lower than five percentage points below the mean. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(b) Baccalaureate degrees. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution awarding baccalaureate degrees that reports a baccalaureate degree completion rate more than five percentage points below the mean baccalaureate degree completion rate reported by all institutions in the State, according to the most recent information available to the department, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by graduation rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve a completion rate not lower than five percentage points below the mean. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(ii) Job placement rates.

(a) Two-year colleges. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution whose mission includes the preparation of students for employment and that offers no programs beyond the associate degree that reports job placement rates, including placement in civilian and military occupations, more than five percentage points below the mean reported by all institutions in the State offering programs no higher than the associate degree level, according to the most recent information available to the department, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by job placement rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve a job placement rate not lower than five percentage points below the mean. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(b) Four-year colleges. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution whose mission includes the preparation of students for employment and that offers programs at and above the baccalaureate degree that reports job placement rates, including civilian and military occupations, below 80 percent, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by job placement rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve at least an 80 percent job placement rate. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(c) Graduate-only institutions. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution whose mission includes the preparation of students for employment and that offers no programs below the master's degree that reports job placement rates, including civilian and military occupations, below 80 percent, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by job placement rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve at least an 80 percent job placement rate. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(c) Programs of study.

(1) Integrity of credit.

(i) Each course offered for credit by an institution shall be part of a general education requirement, a major requirement, or an elective in a program of study leading to a degree or certificate.

(ii) Credit toward an undergraduate degree shall be earned only for college-level work. Credit toward a graduate degree shall be earned only through work designed expressly for graduate students. Enrollment of secondary school students in undergraduate courses, of undergraduates in graduate courses, and of graduate students in undergraduate courses shall be strictly controlled by the institution.

(iii) The institution, in offering coursework through distance education or correspondence education, must have processes in place to verify that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course and receives the academic credit for the course, using methods that may include but are not limited to a secure login and pass code; proctored examinations; and other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identity. Institutions must also use processes that protect student privacy and notify students of any projected additional student charges associated with the verification of student identity at the time of registration or enrollment.

(iv) Learning objectives for each course shall be of a level and rigor that warrant acceptance in transfer by other institutions of higher education.

(v) The institution shall assure that credit is granted only to students who have achieved the stated objectives of each credit-bearing learning activity.

(2) Programs of study goals and objectives.

(i) The goals and the objectives of each program of study and the competencies expected of students completing the program shall be clearly defined in writing.

(ii) Each program of study shall show evidence of careful planning. The content and duration of programs of study shall be designed to implement their purposes.

(iii) Course syllabi shall clearly state the subject matter, the learning objectives, and requirements of each course and shall be provided to the students in the course.

(3) Assessment of success in achieving the goals and objectives. There shall be a written plan to assess, no less than every five years, the effectiveness of faculty and students in achieving goals and objectives and to promote improvement. Such assessment shall include systematic collection, review and use of quantitative and qualitative information about programs of study, including information that directly addresses learning outcomes, and shall document actions taken to improve student learning and development.

(4) Program length, credit, and other requirements for degrees. For each program of study, the institution shall assure that courses will be offered with sufficient frequency to enable students to complete the program within the minimum time for degree completion for each degree level identified in this paragraph.

(i) Associate degree programs shall normally be capable of completion in two academic years of full-time study, or their equivalent in part-time study, with an accumulation of not less than 60 semester hours.

(ii) Baccalaureate degree programs shall normally be capable of completion in four academic years of full-time study, or, in the case of five-year programs, five academic years of full-time study, or their equivalent in part-time study, with an accumulation of not less than 120 semester hours.

(iii) Master's degree programs shall normally require a minimum of one academic year of full-time graduate level study, or its equivalent in part-time study, with an accumulation of not less than 30 semester hours. Research or a comparable occupational or professional experience shall be a component of each master's degree program. The requirements for a master's degree shall normally include at least one of the following: passing a comprehensive test, writing a thesis based on independent research or completing an appropriate special project.

(iv) The master of philosophy degree shall require completion of all requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy except the dissertation, and shall require that the student have been admitted to candidacy in a doctor of philosophy curriculum offered by the institution conferring the master of philosophy degree.

(v) Doctoral programs shall require a minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate level study after the baccalaureate degree, or their equivalent in part-time study. Doctoral studies shall include the production of a substantial report on original research, the independent investigation of a topic of significance to the field of study, the production of an appropriate creative work, or the verified development of advanced professional skills.

(d) Faculty.

(1) Competence and credentials.

(i) In support of the mission of the institution, all members of the faculty shall have demonstrated by training, earned degrees, scholarship, experience, and by classroom performance or other evidence of teaching potential, their competence to offer the courses and discharge the other academic responsibilities which are assigned to them.

(ii) Faculty members who teach in a program leading to a certificate or undergraduate degree shall hold at least a master's degree in the field in which they teach or a related field, or shall be actively pursuing graduate study in such field or a related field, or shall have demonstrated, in other widely recognized ways, such as completion of relevant education, training and/or experience, their competence in the field in which they teach. Upon request, institutions shall provide documentation to the commissioner confirming that faculty members who do not hold such master's degree or are not pursuing such graduate study have demonstrated competence in the field in which they teach.

(iii) At least one faculty member teaching in each program of study culminating in a baccalaureate degree shall hold an earned doctorate in an appropriate field, unless the commissioner deems that the program is in a field of study in which other standards are appropriate.

(iv) All faculty members who teach within a program of study leading to a graduate degree shall possess earned doctorates or other terminal degrees in the field in which they are teaching or shall have demonstrated, in other widely recognized ways, their special competence in the field in which they direct graduate students. Upon request, institutions shall provide documentation to the commissioner confirming that the faculty members who do not hold such doctorate or terminal degrees have demonstrated special competence in the field in which they direct students.

(2) Adequacy to support programs and services.

(i) The faculty shall be sufficient in number to assure breadth and depth of instruction and the proper discharge of all other faculty responsibilities.

(ii) To foster and maintain continuity and stability in academic programs and policies, there shall be in the institution a sufficient number of faculty members who serve full-time at the institution.

(iii) For each program of study the institution shall designate a body of faculty who, with the academic officers of the institution, shall be responsible for setting curricular objectives, for determining the means by which achievement of objectives is measured, for evaluating the achievement of curricular objectives, and for providing academic advice to students.

(iv) The ratio of faculty to students in each course shall be sufficient to assure effective instruction.

(3) Evaluation and professional responsibilities.

(i) The teaching and research of each faculty member, in accordance with the faculty member's responsibilities, shall be evaluated periodically by the institution. Members of the instructional staff new to the institution shall receive special supervision during the initial period of appointment.

(ii) The institution shall ensure that each member of the faculty is allowed adequate time, in accordance with the faculty member's responsibilities, to broaden professional knowledge, prepare course materials, advise students, direct independent study and research, supervise teaching, participate in institutional governance and carry out other academic responsibilities appropriate to his or her position, in addition to performing assigned teaching and administrative duties.

(e) Resources.

(1) Facilities, equipment, and supplies.

(i) The institution shall provide classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, auditoria, laboratories, libraries, audio-visual and computer facilities, clinical facilities, studios, practice rooms, and other instructional resources sufficient in number, design, condition, and accessibility to support its mission, goals, instruction, programs, and all other educational activities.

(ii) The institution shall provide equipment sufficient in quantity and quality to support administration, instruction, research, and student performance.

(2) Library and information resources.

(i) The institution shall provide libraries that possess, maintain, and provide access to print and non-print collections and technology sufficient in depth and breadth to support the mission of the institution and each program of study.

(ii) Libraries shall be administered by professionally trained staff supported by sufficient personnel. Library services and resources shall be available for student and faculty use with sufficient regularity and at appropriate hours and shall support the mission of the institution and its programs of study.

(iii) The institution shall ensure that all students receive instruction in information literacy.

(3) Fiscal capacity. The institution shall possess the financial resources necessary for the consistent and successful accomplishment of its mission and objectives at the institutional, program and course levels.

(f) Administration.

(1) Responsibilities.

(i) Responsibility for the administration of institutional policies and programs shall be clearly established.

(ii) Within the authority of its governing entity, the institution shall provide that overall educational policy and its implementation are the responsibility of the institution's faculty and academic officers. Other appropriate segments of the institutional community may share in this responsibility in accordance with the norms developed by each institution.

(iii) Academic policies applicable to each course, including learning objectives and methods of assessing student achievement, shall be made explicit by the instructor at the beginning of each term.

(iv) The institution shall provide academic advice to students through faculty or appropriately qualified persons. The institution shall assure that students are informed at stated intervals of their progress and remaining obligations in the completion of the program.

(v) The institution shall maintain for each student a permanent, complete, accurate, and up-to-date transcript of student achievement at the institution. This document will be the official cumulative record of the student's cumulative achievement. Copies shall be made available at the student's request, in accordance with the institution's stated policies, or to agencies or individuals authorized by law to review such records.

(vi) The institution shall not be in violation of State and/or Federal statute, where such violation demonstrates incompetence and/or fraud in the management of the institution in the judgement of the commissioner.

(2) Published policies. The institution shall establish, publish and enforce explicit policies with respect to:

(i) academic freedom;

(ii) the rights and privileges of full-time and part-time faculty and other staff members, working conditions, opportunity for professional development, workload, appointment and reappointment, affirmative action, evaluation of teaching and research, termination of appointment, redress of grievances and faculty responsibility to the institution; and

(iii) requirements for admission of students to the institution and to specific programs of study, requirements for residence, graduation, awarding of credit, degrees or other credentials, grading, standards of progress, payment of fees of any nature, refunds, withdrawals, standards of conduct, disciplinary measures and redress of grievances.

(g) Support services.

(1) The institution shall assure that whenever and wherever the institution offers courses as part of a program of study it shall provide adequate support services, taking into account its mission and the needs of its students.

(2) Institutions that admit students with academic deficiencies shall provide sufficient supplemental academic services to enable them to make satisfactory progress toward program completion.

(h) Admissions.

(1) The admission of students shall be determined through an orderly process using published criteria consistent with the institution's mission that shall be uniformly applied.

(2) Admissions shall take into account both the capacity of the student to undertake a course of study and the capacity of the institution to provide the instructional and other support the student needs to complete the program.

(3) Among other considerations and consistent with its mission, the institution shall take measures to increase enrollment in academic programs at all degree levels by persons from groups historically underrepresented in such programs.

(4) An institution shall not refuse a student's request for transfer of credit based solely upon the source of accreditation of the sending institution, where the sending institution is institutionally accredited for title IV purposes by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for such purposes.

(i) Consumer information.

(1) The following information shall be included in all catalogs of the institution:

   (i) Information shall be provided on financial assistance available to students, costs of attending the institution, the refund policy of the institution, and the instructional programs and other related aspects of the institution. Information shall include programs of financial assistance from State, Federal, institutional and other sources. Information on the institution's standards of progress shall be disclosed, if different from those utilized for State student financial aid programs.

   (ii) Cost of attending the institution for each of the cost categories listed below shall be provided. Estimates, so indicated, may be used where exact figures are unavailable or inappropriate. Where summary information is provided, an institutional office where detailed information can be obtained shall be identified.

(a) Tuition and fees. Information shall be provided on all assessments against students for direct educational and general purposes. A brief description of the purpose of any mandatory fee shall be included if the purpose of such fee is not apparent from its name. Course fees and lab fees shall be clearly identified. Conditions under which nonmandatory fees need not be paid shall be clearly stated.

(b) Books and supplies. Estimated costs of textbooks, books, manuals, consumable supplies and equipment, which a student should possess as a necessary corollary to instruction, shall be provided. Separate estimates shall be provided for major program categories for which such costs vary more than 25 percent from the average for the entire institution.

(c) Room and board. Costs of housing and food services operated by the institution shall be provided where such services are available. Estimated costs of similar accommodations available in the community shall also be provided. These figures shall be consistent with estimated student budgets prepared by the institution's financial aid office.

(d) Other living expenses. Estimated cost of personal expenses applicable to students devoting primary efforts to pursuit of educational objectives shall be provided. This estimate shall be consistent with similar figures defined by the institution's financial aid office.

   (iii) The institution shall state its policy and requirements on student withdrawal from the institution and its policy and requirements concerning refunds due to failure of students to complete an academic term for any reason. The policy shall include the percentage or amount of tuition, fees, institution-operated room and board, and other assessments to be refunded after specified elapsed periods of time.

   (iv) The instructional programs of the institution shall be described accurately.

(a) Degree, certificate and diploma programs. A list of degree, certificate and diploma programs shall be provided. The list shall be consistent with the inventory of registered degree and certificate programs maintained by the department. The list shall contain at least the official approved program title, degree, HEGIS code number, and shall be preceded by a statement that enrollment in other than registered or otherwise approved programs may jeopardize a student's eligibility for certain student aid awards.

(b) Program descriptions. Each degree, certificate or diploma program shall be described in terms of program objectives, prerequisites and requirements for completion.

(c) The academic year in which each instructional offering (course) is expected to be taught shall be indicated.

(d) Program-related facilities. A general description of instructional, laboratory and other facilities directly related to the academic program shall be provided, in addition to general information describing the total physical plant. Narrative and/or statistical information shall be provided about library collections and facilities, student unions, and institution-operated eating-places. Hours of operation, including holiday and vacation schedules, shall be provided.

(e) Faculty and other instructional personnel. Regular resident faculty shall be listed by rank, with the highest degree held by the faculty member and the institution by which such degree was granted, full-time or part-time status, and department or major program area to which such member is assigned. An estimated number of adjunct faculty and teaching assistants in each department or major program area shall be provided.

(f) Recruiting and admission practices. The process and criteria for the recruitment and admission of students to the institution and to specific programs of study, as required by subparagraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section and by subdivision (h) of this section, shall be published.

(g) Transfer of credit. The process and criteria for accepting transfer of credit from other institutions shall be publicly disclosed and include a statement of the criteria established by the institution regarding the transfer of credit earned at another institution of higher education and a list of the institutions with which the institution has established articulation agreements.

(h) Academic calendar. The academic calendar of the institution, and of specific programs of study, if different, shall be published.

(i) Grading. The grading policy of the institution, and of specific programs of study, if different, shall be published.

(j) Student retention and graduation. Information on student retention and graduation rates shall be provided based on a summary of the most recent cohort survival statistics (e.g., percentages of those students enrolled at the end of the spring term, percentages of freshman classes that graduate in four, five and six years) available to the institution for at least full-time undergraduates. Statistics shall be computed in a manner consistent with data reported to the department through its higher education data system.

(k) Outcomes for former students. Summaries of employment outcomes, advanced study, and student professional and occupational licensing examination results compiled by or provided to the institution shall be provided. The student cohort year or years, or date of examinations shall be included. Data displays on employment outcomes shall be by major or discrete curricular area.

   (v) Information shall be provided on the institution's code of conduct for students and any disciplinary measures that may be applied to a student for a violation of such conduct, with a description of the institution's student disciplinary process.

(2) Institutions that produce a multi-year catalog may use an annual printed addendum to update the information in the catalog or, if the catalog is also online, a website update. All print and online catalogs shall be archived annually, and archived copies shall be retained permanently.

(3) The institution shall demonstrate that it continuously assesses the effectiveness of its efforts to provide students and prospective students with timely, accurate, and complete consumer information.

(4) Advertising.

   (i) Advertising conducted by or on behalf of an institution shall not be false, misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent and shall be consistent with the provisions of article 22-A of the General Business Law. Advertising and promotional material shall not leave false, misleading, or exaggerated impressions of the institution, its personnel, its facilities, its courses and services, or the occupational opportunities of its graduates.

   (ii) The primary emphasis of all advertisements and promotional literature shall be the educational services offered by the institution. Such advertising and promotional literature shall clearly indicate that education, not employment, is being offered by the institution.

   (iii) Statements and representations in all forms of advertising and promotion shall be clear, current, and accurate. To the extent that statements of facts are made, such statements shall be restricted to facts that can be substantiated. Materials to support statements and representations in advertising and promotion shall be kept on file and shall be available for review by the department.

   (iv) Any endorsement or recommendation shall include the author's identity and qualifications and shall be used only with the author's consent. No remuneration of any kind for any such endorsement or recommendation shall be paid for such endorsement or recommendation.

   (v) References to the New York State Board of Regents in any advertisement or promotional literature shall comply with the requirements of section 13.11 of this Title and subdivision (m) of this section.

(j) Student complaints.

(1) The institution shall establish, publish, and consistently administer internal procedures to receive, investigate, and resolve student complaints related to the standards prescribed in this Subpart.

(2) The institution may have informal means by which students can seek redress of their complaints.

(3) The institution shall have a formal complaint procedure that shall include, but need not be limited to: steps a student may take to file a formal complaint; reasonable and appropriate time frames for investigating and resolving a formal complaint; provision for the final determination of each formal complaint to be made by a person or persons not directly involved in the alleged problem; and assurances that no action will be taken against the student for filing the complaint.

(4) The institution shall maintain adequate documentation about each formal complaint and its disposition for a period of at least six years after final disposition of the complaint. Assessment of the disposition and outcomes of complaints shall be a required component of any self-study required by this Subpart and shall be a consideration in any review for accreditation or renewal of accreditation.

(k) HEA title IV program responsibilities.

(1) An institution shall have a procedure in place to ensure that it is in compliance with its program responsibilities under title IV of the HEA and shall maintain a record describing such procedure.

(2) An institution shall maintain a record of its compliance with its program responsibilities under title IV of the HEA over the previous 10 years, unless the department determines that there is good cause for a shorter records retention period. This record shall include: student default rate data provided annually to the secretary by the institution; financial or compliance audits conducted annually by the secretary; and program reviews conducted periodically by the secretary. The institution shall submit information from this record of compliance to the department on a periodic basis as determined by the department.

(l) Teach-out plans and agreements.

(1) Institutions are required to submit for approval to the accrediting agency a teach-out plan upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

(i) the Board of Regents receives notification by the Secretary of Education that the secretary has initiated an emergency action against an institution, or an action to limit, suspend, or terminate an institution participating in any title IV program of the Higher Education Act, and that a teach-out plan is required;

(ii) the Board of Regents acts to withdraw, terminate, or suspend the accreditation of the institution;

(iii) the institution notifies the Board of Regents that it intends to cease operations or close a location that provides one hundred percent of at least one program; or

(iv) another state's licensing or authorizing agency notifies the Board of Regents that an institution's license or legal authorization to provide an educational program has been or will be revoked.

(2) An institution's teach-out plan must ensure that it provides for the equitable treatment of students pursuant to criteria established by the commissioner and the Board of Regents and that the plan specifies additional charges, if any, and provides for notification to the students of any additional charges.

(3) As part of its teach-out plan, the institution must submit any teach-out agreement that an institution has entered into with another institution or institutions for approval. To be approved, such agreement shall:

(i) be between or among institutions that are accredited or pre-accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency;

(ii) ensure that the teach-out institution(s) has the necessary experience, resources, and support services to provide an educational program that is of acceptable quality and reasonable similar in content, structure and scheduling to that provided by the closed institution;

(iii) ensure that the institution will remain stable, carry out its mission, and meet all obligations to existing students; and

(iv) ensure that the teach-out institution(s) can provide student access to the program and services without requiring them to move or travel substantial distances.

(m) Public disclosure of accreditation status. An institution that elects to disclose its accreditation status shall disclose such status accurately and identify in its disclosure the specific academic and instructional programs covered by that status and information identifying the New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Commissioner of Education as its institutional accrediting agency. Such information shall include the address and telephone number of the department. The disclosure shall be consistent with the requirements of section 13.11 of this Title.

Section 4-1.5  Procedures for accreditation.

(a) Comprehensive review procedures.

(1) Institutions that seek initial accreditation or renewal of accreditation shall be subject to the requirements of this subdivision.

(2) Application. Institutions seeking initial accreditation shall be required to apply for such accreditation on forms as may be prescribed by the commissioner. Institutions seeking renewal of accreditation shall submit a letter of intent seeking such renewal at least 18 months prior to the end date of the current accreditation period. Institutions seeking renewal of accreditation following accreditation under the transitional procedures prescribed in subdivision (a) of this section shall be notified by the department as to the timelines for commencement of the comprehensive review.

(3) Self-study. Institutions shall be required to conduct an in-depth self-study substantiating compliance with the standards for accreditation set forth in this Subpart and plans for improvements pertinent to such standards and shall submit such self-study to the department. The department shall review the self-study to determine whether the self-study is sufficient in depth and breadth to form a reasonable basis for a site review. A copy of the institutional assessment plan developed pursuant to section 52.2(e)(3) of this Title shall be submitted together with each self-study submitted on or after July 1, 2003. The department may require the institution to submit additional information related to the self-study and/or submit additional self-study materials.

(4) Site visit. The department shall conduct a site visit to the institution to assess compliance with the standards for institutional accreditation prescribed in this Subpart.

(5) Public notice and opportunity for comment. The department shall publish in the New York State Register, or its successor publication, a notice that an institution is being considered for accreditation action and invite public written comment concerning the institution's qualifications for accreditation.

(6) Draft compliance review report. The department shall prepare a draft compliance review report and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the draft compliance review report within 30 days of the date it was sent by the department.

(7) Compliance review report. The department shall prepare a compliance review report and provide a copy to the institution. Such report shall address whether the institution has met each of the standards set forth in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of this Subpart and shall include any comments by the institution concerning the draft compliance review report. The report shall include the department's preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action.

(8) Advisory council.

(i) The department shall notify the institution by first class mail return receipt requested of the date, time and location of the advisory council meeting at which the council will review the department's preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action.

(ii) The institution may submit to the department by first class mail, express mail, or personal service a written submission at least 20 days before the scheduled advisory council meeting.

(iii) The advisory council shall review the department's preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action. The department shall transmit to the advisory council the written submission by the institution pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, if any, and the record upon which the department made its preliminary recommendation, which shall include, but need not be limited to, the compliance review report and preliminary recommendation, the institution's self-study, the institution's application for accreditation and additional documentation submitted by the institution in support of the application, the department's responses to the institution concerning its application, and any other documentation upon which the department's preliminary recommendation was based. The advisory council shall invite staff of the department, the institution being reviewed, and at the council's discretion other interested parties to make oral presentations at the meeting. The advisory council shall base its determination only upon the record before the department and the testimony at the advisory council meeting. A record of the testimony before the advisory council related to the accreditation review shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record.

(iv) When it concludes its review, the advisory council shall prepare a recommendation on accreditation action to the commissioner and the Board of Regents, together with a report of the factual basis and findings in support of that recommendation. The department shall transmit a copy of this recommendation and report to the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested.

(v) In the event that neither the institution nor the deputy commissioner appeals the findings and recommendations of the advisory council, as prescribed in paragraph (9) of this subdivision, the commissioner shall adopt said findings and recommendations as the commissioner's findings and recommendations to the Board of Regents.

(9) Appeal of advisory council recommendation.

(i) Either the institution or the deputy commissioner shall have the right to appeal to the commissioner the findings and recommendations of the advisory council. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.

(ii) Within 10 days of the date that the institution receives notification of the findings and recommendations of the advisory council, the institution and/or the deputy commissioner shall notify the commissioner in writing, by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service, of its intention to appeal pursuant to clause (iii)(a) of this paragraph or the deputy commissioner shall notify the commissioner of its intention to appeal pursuant to clause (iii)(b) of this paragraph.

(iii) Within 25 days of the date that the institution receives notification of the findings and recommendations of the advisory council, the institution may commence an appeal pursuant to clause (a) of this subparagraph or the deputy commissioner may commence an appeal pursuant to clause (b) of this subparagraph.

(a) Appeal by the institution. The institution may commence an appeal of the findings and recommendations of the advisory council by filing with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service the original appeal papers, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof upon the deputy commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service. The deputy commissioner shall transmit to the commissioner the record before the advisory council and the record of its deliberations and its findings and recommendations. The deputy commissioner may also file a written response with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of service of such appeal papers upon the deputy commissioner, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service upon the institution.

(b) Appeal by the deputy commissioner. The deputy commissioner may commence an appeal of the findings and recommendations of the advisory council by filing with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service the original appeal papers, with an affidavit proving the service upon the institution by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service of a copy thereof. The deputy commissioner shall transmit to the commissioner the record before the advisory council and the record of its deliberations and its findings and recommendations. The institution may file a written response with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of service of such appeal papers upon the institution, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service upon the deputy commissioner.

(c) In the event that both the institution and the deputy commissioner commence an appeal to the commissioner within the time period prescribed in this section, such appeals shall be automatically consolidated and each party shall be permitted to file a written response with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of the mailing or the personal service of the other party's appeal papers upon the party, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service upon the other party.

(iv) The commissioner shall review any appeal papers, written responses filed, the record before the advisory council, the record of its deliberations, and its findings and recommendations. The commissioner shall also consider any new financial information submitted by the institution as part of its appeal if the information was unavailable to the institution until after the decision subject to the appeal was made, the financial information is significant as determined by the commissioner, and bears materially on the financial deficiencies identified by the agency and the only remaining deficiency cited by the agency is the institution's failure to meet any agency standard pertaining to finances. An institution may seek the review of new financial information only once and any determination on the new financial information does not provide a basis for appeal. Upon such record, the commissioner may affirm, reverse, remand or modify the findings and recommendations of the advisory council. Such determination shall constitute a recommendation regarding accreditation action to the Board of Regents.

(10) Regents decision. The Board of Regents shall review any papers, written responses filed, the record before the advisory council, the record of its deliberations, and its findings and recommendations and any other information considered by the commissioner. At a regularly scheduled public meeting, the Board of Regents shall consider the findings and recommendations of the commissioner and make the determination of accreditation action. If the Board of Regents decision includes an adverse accreditation action or probationary accreditation, the Board of Regents shall notify the institution of its right to a hearing before the institutional accreditation appeals board.

(11) Appeal of a determination of adverse accreditation action or probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board.

(i) An institution may appeal a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board in accordance with the requirements and procedures of this paragraph. The institution shall have the right to a hearing and to be represented by counsel during the appeal.

(ii) Within five days of the date of a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation, the institution shall notify the Board of Regents in writing, by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service, of its intention to appeal, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof upon the deputy commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service.

(iii) Within 20 days of the date of a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation, the institution may commence an appeal of such determination to the institutional accreditation appeals board by filing with the Board of Regents by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service the original appeal papers, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof upon the deputy commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service.

(iv) The Board of Regents shall transmit the appeal papers to the institutional appeals board within 20 days of the notice of appeal.

(v) The institutional accreditation appeals board shall provide the institution, the commissioner and the Board of Regents, with at least 10 days' written notice of the time and place of such hearing.

(a) Hearing procedures.

(1) Motions. The chair of the institutional accreditation appeals board, at his or her discretion, may entertain and rule upon dispositive motions and shall make evidentiary rulings as may be necessary.

(2) Evidence. Technical rules of evidence followed by a court of law need not be applied. Irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence and/or cross-examination may be excluded at the discretion of the panel chair.

(3) Burden of proof. The institution shall have the burden of establishing the Board of Regents decision was arbitrary or capricious or affected by an error of law or facts.

(4) Conduct of hearing. Each party shall have the right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.

(5) Record of hearing. All testimony given must be recorded verbatim. The chair of the appeals board may use whatever means he or she deems appropriate, including, but not limited to the use of stenographic transcriptions or recording devices.

(vi) The Board of Regents may file a written response with the institutional accreditation appeals board by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of service of such appeal papers upon the deputy commissioner by the institution.

(vii) The institutional accreditation appeals board shall hold a due process hearing, wherein the institution shall have the right to come before the institutional accreditation appeals board and present its arguments. The appeals board shall review any appeal papers, written responses filed, and the entire record upon which the Regents determination was based, which may include but not be limited to: the record before the advisory council, the record of the advisory council's deliberations and its findings and recommendations, any appeal papers and written responses filed for an appeal of the findings and recommendations of the advisory council, the commissioner's recommendation to the Board of Regents regarding accreditation action, and the Regents determination. Upon such record, the institutional accreditation appeals board shall affirm, reverse, remand or amend the Board of Regents' determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation and notify the institution in writing of its decision and of its findings within 30 days of its decision. In a decision that is implemented by or remanded to the Board of Regents for further consideration, the institutional accreditation appeals board shall identify specific issues that the Board of Regents must address. In a decision that is implemented by or remanded to the Board of Regents, the Board of Regents shall act in a manner consistent with the appeals board's decisions or instructions.

(viii) While a properly filed appeal is pending, the Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation shall be held in abeyance until the institutional accreditation appeals board makes a determination on the matter and acts to affirm, amend, reverse, or remand such determination.

(b) Compliance review procedures.

(1) The department may institute a compliance review at any time during the institution's accreditation period to determine whether the institution is in compliance with standards prescribed in this Subpart, including but not limited to the standards prescribed in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of this Subpart. Such review may be initiated at the discretion of the department for good cause, which may be based on one or more complaints against the institution relating to such standards; or an adverse action or a placement on probation by another nationally recognized accrediting agency; or financial or compliance audits or program reviews conducted by the U.S. Secretary of Education relating to the institution's HEA title IV program responsibilities; or other information obtained by the department that the institution may not be in compliance with standards prescribed in this Subpart, among other reasons.

(2) The department shall notify the institution as to the commencement of the compliance review. Such notification shall include but shall not be limited to a specification of the standard or standards at issue, together with the department's reasons for finding them at issue and shall require the institution to respond in writing.

(3) The department shall review the institution's response and determine whether there is good cause to commence further review. In the event that the department determines that there is no good cause to commence further review, the department shall notify the institution of this determination and that accreditation shall continue to its term. In the event that the department determines that there is good cause to commence further review, the department shall conduct an evaluation to determine compliance with the standards prescribed in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of the Subpart, which may include a site visit. The department may require the institution to provide the department with information related to compliance with such standards, including but not limited to evidence that the institution is meeting the standard(s) or has taken immediate corrective action to meet the standard(s).

(4) Draft compliance review report. The department shall prepare a draft compliance review report and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the draft compliance review report within 30 days of the date it was sent by the department.

(5) Compliance review report. The department shall prepare a compliance review report and provide a copy to the institution. Such report shall address whether the institution has met each of the standards at issue and shall include any comments by the institution concerning the draft compliance review report. In the event that the institution has met the standard(s) at issue, the department shall notify the institution in writing of this determination and that accreditation shall continue to its term. In the event that the department determines that the institution has not met one or more standards at issue, the department shall notify the institution and shall transmit a copy of its preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action to the institution and to the advisory council.

(6) Advisory council.

(i) The department shall notify the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested of the date, time and location of the advisory council meeting at which the council will make an accreditation recommendation pertaining to such institution.

(ii) The institution may submit to the department by first class mail, express mail, or personal service a written submission at least 20 days before the scheduled advisory council meeting.

(iii) The advisory council shall review the department's preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action. The department shall transmit the written submission by the institution pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, if any, and the compliance review report, including its preliminary recommendation, together with other supporting documentation, which shall include but need not be limited to, documentation prepared either by the institution or the department in support of whether a compliance standard at issue was met, and any other documentation upon which the department's preliminary recommendation was based. The advisory council shall invite staff of the department, the institution being reviewed and at the council's discretion other interested parties to make oral presentations at the meeting. A record of testimony before the advisory council related to the compliance review shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record.

(iv) When it concludes its review, the advisory council shall prepare a recommendation on accreditation action to the commissioner and the Board of Regents, together with a report of the factual basis and findings in support of that recommendation. The department shall transmit a copy of this recommendation and report to the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested.

(7) In the event that neither the institution nor the deputy commissioner appeals the findings and recommendations of the advisory council, as prescribed in paragraph (8) of this subdivision, the commissioner shall adopt said findings and recommendations as the commissioner's findings and recommendations to the Board of Regents.

(8) Appeal of advisory council recommendation. The procedures prescribed in paragraph (a)(9) of this section shall be applicable.

(9) Regents decision. The Board of Regents shall review any papers, written responses filed, the record before the advisory council, the record of its deliberations, and its findings and recommendations and any other information considered by the commissioner. At a regularly scheduled public meeting, the Board of Regents shall consider the findings and recommendations of the commissioner and make the determination of accreditation action.

(10) An institution may appeal a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board in accordance with the requirements and procedures of paragraph (a)(11) of this section. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.

(c) Procedures for institutions on probationary accreditation.

(1) Probationary accreditation shall be for the period of time prescribed for corrective action in accordance with the requirements of section 4-1.3(d) of this Subpart. The department shall review an institution on probationary accreditation employing the procedures prescribed in this subdivision.

(2) The department shall require the institution to demonstrate compliance with the standards that the institution needs to address through corrective action. The department shall conduct a review of such compliance, which may include a site visit.

(3) Public notice and opportunity for comment. The department shall publish in the New York State Register, or its successor publication, a notice that an institution is being considered for accreditation action and invite public written comment concerning the institution's qualifications for accreditation.

(4) Draft probationary review report. The department shall prepare a draft probationary review report assessing compliance and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the draft probationary review report within 30 days of the date it was transmitted by the department.

(5) Probationary review report. The department shall prepare a probationary review report and provide a copy to the institution. Such report shall address whether the institution has met the standards at issue and shall include any comments by the institution concerning the draft probationary review report. The report shall include the department's preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action.

(6) Advisory council.

(i) The department shall notify the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested of the date, time and location of the advisory council meeting at which the council will review the department's preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action.

(ii) The institution may submit to the department by first class mail, express mail, or personal service a written submission at least 20 days before the scheduled advisory council meeting.

(iii) The advisory council shall review the department's preliminary recommendation with respect to accreditation action. The department shall transmit to the advisory council the written submission by the institution pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, if any, and the record upon which the department made its preliminary recommendation, which shall include but need not be limited to, the probationary review report and preliminary recommendation, pertinent documentation prepared either by the institution or the department in support of whether the institution should be accredited, and any other documentation upon which the department's preliminary recommendation was made. The advisory council shall invite staff of the department, the institution being reviewed and at the council's discretion other interested parties to make oral presentations at the meeting. A record of the testimony before the advisory council related to the accreditation review shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record.

(iv) When it concludes its review, the advisory council shall prepare a recommendation on accreditation action to the commissioner and the Board of Regents, together with a report of the factual basis and findings in support of that recommendation. The department shall transmit a copy of this recommendation and report to the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested.

(7) In the event that neither the institution nor the deputy commissioner appeals the findings and recommendations of the advisory council, as prescribed in paragraph (8) of this subdivision, the commissioner shall adopt said findings and recommendations as the commissioner's findings and recommendations to the Board of Regents.

(8) Appeal of advisory council recommendation. The procedures prescribed in paragraph (a)(9) of this section shall be applicable.

(9) Regents decision. The Board of Regents shall review any papers, written responses filed, the record before the advisory council, the record of its deliberations, and its findings and recommendations and any other information considered by the commissioner. At a regularly scheduled public meeting, the Board of Regents shall consider the findings and recommendations of the commissioner and make the determination of accreditation action.

(10) An institution may appeal a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board in accordance with the requirements and procedures of paragraph (a)(11) of this section. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.

(d) Procedures for a change in scope of accreditation.

(1) For purposes of this subdivision, substantive change shall mean:

(i) any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution;

(ii) any change in the legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution;

(iii) the addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure from the existing offerings of educational programs, or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the department last evaluated the institution for accreditation;

(iv) the addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution's current accreditation;

(v) a change from clock hours to credit hours;

(vi) a substantial increase in the number of clock hours or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program;

(vii) the establishment of an additional location or branch campus, as such terms are defined in section 4-1.2 of this Subpart;

(viii) if the accreditation granted to the institution enables the institution to seek eligibility to participate in title IV, HEA programs, the entering into a contractual agreement with an entity not certified to participate in title IV, HEA programs, that offers more than 25 percent of one or more of the institution's program of study;

(ix) the establishment of an additional location at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program;

(x) the acquisition of any other institution or any program or location of another institution; or

(xi) the addition of a permanent location at a site at which the institution is conducting a teach-out for students of another institution that has ceased operating before all students have completed their program of study.

(2) An accredited institution that has experienced a substantive change, as defined in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, shall be required to apply to the department for a change in the scope of its accreditation in a format prescribed by the department.

(3) The commissioner and Board of Regents shall have the authority to make the determination concerning approval or disapproval of the institution's application for a change in the scope of accreditation, based on a substantive change and shall provide the institution with written notification indicating the approval and inclusion of the substantive change in the institution's grant of accreditation. The effective date of any substantive change shall be the date of the commissioner and Board of Regents determination of an approved substantive change, which shall not be retroactive.

(4) General review requirements.

(i) The institution shall document to the department that the proposed substantive change does not adversely affect its capacity to meet the standards set forth in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of this Subpart.

(ii) The institution shall document that all necessary State approval actions, including but not limited to program registrations, master plan amendments, and charter actions, have been completed favorably.

(iii) The department may conduct a site visit in connection with the review of any proposed substantive change.

(5) Special review requirements. In addition to meeting the general review requirements prescribed in paragraph (4) of this subdivision, the special review requirements prescribed in this paragraph shall apply to substantive changes concerning changes of ownership that effect a change in control of the institution, branch campuses, and additional locations.

(i) Branch campuses.

(a) For instances in which the institution seeks to extend its scope of accreditation to a branch campus, as defined in section 4-1.2 of this Subpart, the institution shall submit a business plan for the branch campus, prior to such establishment. The business plan shall include, but need not be limited to, the educational program or programs to be offered, the projected revenues and expenditures and cash flow, and the operations, management and physical resources at the branch campus.

(b) The department shall conduct a site visit to the branch campus within six months of its establishment.

(c) The commissioner may extend accreditation to the branch campus only after the department evaluates the business plan and determines that the branch has sufficient educational, financial, operational, management and physical resources to meet the standards prescribed in section 4-1.4 of this Subpart.

(ii) Additional locations.

(a) For instances in which the institution seeks to extend the scope of accreditation to additional locations, as defined in section 4-1.2 of this Subpart, the institution shall submit an application for the extension of the scope of accreditation to include such locations prior to their establishment. The department shall conduct a review, which shall include but not be limited to, determining whether the institution has the fiscal and administrative capacity to operate the additional location.

(b) Site visits.

(1) Such review shall include a site visit within six months of establishment of the additional location, if the institution: has a total of three or fewer additional locations; or has not demonstrated to the department's satisfaction that it has a proven record of effective educational oversight of additional location; or has been placed on probationary accreditation or is subject to some limitation by the department on its accreditation.

(2) The department shall conduct a site visit of additional locations when the department has evidence that a location or locations has experienced rapid enrollment growth or that the institution has experience rapid growth in the number of additional locations.

(3) The department shall visit all locations as part of a site visit for accreditation or renewal of accreditation.

(4) The purpose of the site visits prescribed in this clause shall be to verify that an additional location has the personnel, facilities and resources the institution stated that it had in its application for approval of the additional location.

(iii) Change in ownership effecting change in control. For instances in which the substantive change is caused by a change in ownership, which effects a change in control of the institution, the department shall conduct a site visit within six months of the change in ownership.

(6) Draft substantive change review report. The department shall prepare a draft report on the substantive change assessing compliance and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the draft report within 30 days of the date it was transmitted by the department.

(7) Substantive change review report. The department shall send to the institution the determination by the deputy commissioner concerning the change in the scope of accreditation, together with the substantive change review report. Such determination and report shall address whether the institution has met the standards set forth in this Subpart, and any comments by the institution concerning the draft review report.

(8) Procedures on denial of change in scope of accreditation. Decisions to deny a change in the scope of accreditation may be appealed with the following procedures:

(i) Within 15 days of receiving notice of the decision to deny a change in the scope of accreditation, the institution shall notify the Board of Regents in writing by first class mail, express mail, or personal service, of its intention to appeal.

(ii) Within 60 days of receiving notice of the decision to deny a change in the scope of accreditation, the institution shall submit its appeal to the Board of Regents by first class mail, express mail, or personal service. The appeal shall take the form of a written statement that presents the institution's position on the determination and the substantive change review report and all evidence and information which the institution believes is pertinent to the case. The appeal shall include a statement and explanation of the specific grounds of the appeal. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.

(iii) Upon appeal by the institution, the Board of Regents shall submit to the institutional accreditation appeals board the documentation supporting the Board of Regents' decision to deny the change in the scope of accreditation, including but not limited to the institution's application, additional documentation submitted by the institution in support of its application, the substantive change review report and any other documentation upon which the Board of Regents' decision was based.

(iv) Within 60 days of receiving the institution's statement of appeal, the institutional accreditation appeals board shall issue a determination on the appeal.   

Adopted by the Board of Regents:

June 12, 2001, effective July 4, 2001.

Amended by the Board of Regents:

 November 9, 2001, effective November 29, 2001;

April 23, 2002, effective May 16, 2002;

February 13, 2007, effective March 8, 2007;

May 22, 2012, effective June 13, 2012;

June 18, 2013, effective July 3, 2013.


Accessed February 6, 2014, via  http://www.dos.ny.gov/info/nycrr.html

Last Updated: February 11, 2014