WSR 99-06-022

PERMANENT RULES

HIGHER EDUCATION

COORDINATING BOARD

[ Filed February 22, 1999, 4:03 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: February 22, 1999.

Purpose: The conditions in WAC 250-61-060(3) are not clear regarding the need for an institution to meet all conditions of subsections (3)(a), (b), (c), and (d). We propose that "and" be added to the end of subsection (3)(a), (b), and (c).

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 250-61-060(3).

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28B.85 RCW.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 99-01-040 on December 9, 1998.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

February 17, 1999

Jane E. Battey

Associate Director

OTS-1753.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 95-01-003, filed 12/8/94, effective 1/8/95)

WAC 250-61-060
Exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter do not apply to:

(1) Honorary credentials clearly designated as such on the front side of the diploma or certificate and awarded by institutions offering other educational credentials in compliance with state law.

(2) Any public college, public university, public community college, or public technical college or institute operating as part of the public higher education system of this state.

(3) Institutions that have received institutional accreditation from an agency recognized by the board, Provided:

(a) The institution has been continuously offering degree program(s) in Washington for fifteen years or more((.)); and

(b) The institution was established originally within the state of Washington and has operated as the same organization continuously from that date until the present.  An institution is considered to have operated as the same organization continuously if it has no significant alteration of primary location, ownership, or incorporation and no closure involving cessation of substantially all organized instructional and administrative activity((.)); and

(c) The institution has been accredited as a degree-granting institution for ten years or more by an accrediting association recognized by the federal government, and maintains such accreditation status((.)); and

(d) The institution maintains eligibility to participate in Title IV financial aid programs((.));

(e) A branch campus, extension center, or off-campus facility operating within the state of Washington, which is affiliated with an institution domiciled outside this state, has continuously offered degree programs in Washington for fifteen years or more; has held separate institutional accreditation as a free-standing institution for ten years or more by a recognized accrediting association, and maintains such accreditation status; maintains eligibility to participate in Title IV financial aid programs.

(4) Institutions offering instruction on a federal enclave solely to federal employees and their dependents.  If the institution offers instruction for other persons, the institution shall be subject to authorization.

(5) Tribally controlled Native American colleges.

(6) Institutions which offer program(s) of study whose sole stated objective is training in the religious beliefs of the controlling religious organization and/or preparation of students for occupations that are primarily church-related and are represented in an accurate manner in institutional catalogs and other official publications: Provided, That an institution's degree programs in title (e.g., bachelor of religious studies, master of divinity, doctorate of ministry), curriculum content, and objectives reflect the strictly religious nature of the institution.  The following procedures shall be employed in the implementation of this subsection:

(a) The chief academic officer shall contact board staff and arrange for a preliminary conference to discuss the religious exemption standards and the application/review procedures.

(b) The chief academic officer shall forward to the board office a copy of the institution's catalog and/or any other official publications that describe the nature of the institution and its programs.  This information shall be used by the executive director to verify the religious exempt status of the institution.

(c) A religious institution which is granted an exemption under this regulation shall place the following statement in a prominent position on the front page of any catalog, general bulletins, and course schedules: "The Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board has determined that (name of institution) qualifies for religious exempt status from the Degree Authorization Act for the following programs: (List).  Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the board at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430."

(d) A religious institution which is granted a religious exemption is subject to biennial reporting, and maintenance of the conditions under which exemption is granted.  Such institutions are prohibited from publicizing that they are accredited, unless they are accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the federal government.

(e) In the case of a religious institution that offers both religious and secular programs of instruction, the requirements of chapter 28B.85 RCW and this chapter shall pertain only to the secular programs of the institution.

(f) The executive director shall suspend or revoke an institution's religious exemption if it is found that:

(i) Any statement contained in the application for exemption is untrue.

(ii) The institution has failed to maintain the conditions under which the exemption was granted.

(iii) Advertising or representations made on behalf of and sanctioned by the institution are deceptive or misleading.

(iv) The institution has violated any provision of the religious exemption regulations.

(g) Suspension or revocation shall be made only after the institution has been informed in writing of its deficiencies and has been given a reasonable time to regain compliance.

(7) Institutions not otherwise exempt which offer only workshops and seminars lasting no longer than three calendar days and for which academic credit is not awarded.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.80.370.  95-01-003, 250-61-060, filed 12/8/94, effective 1/8/95; 86-24-003 (Order 7/86, Resolution No. 87-34), 250-61-060, filed 11/20/86.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office