Title 17. Education

Chapter 24-a. Proprietary Schools

 

17:3141.15     Degree granting status

 

A. (1) The Board of Regents shall approve or disapprove occupational degree proposals as submitted by eligible licensed postsecondary proprietary schools under its jurisdiction.

 

(2) The Board of Regents shall approve or disapprove associate degrees in the arts proposals and associate degrees in the sciences proposals as submitted by eligible licensed postsecondary proprietary schools under its jurisdiction.

 

B. (1) Postsecondary proprietary schools shall be eligible for degree granting status for occupational degrees if they are:

 

(a) Licensed by the Board of Regents.

 

(b) Domiciled in the state of Louisiana.

 

(c) Accredited by the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools, the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools, or the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools, or a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

 

(2) Postsecondary proprietary schools shall be eligible for degree granting status for either an associate of arts degree or an associate of science degree or both if they are:

 

(a) Licensed by the Board of Regents.

 

(b) Domiciled in the state of Louisiana.

 

(c) Accredited at the junior college level by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

 

C. (1) The Board of Regents shall revoke the occupational degree granting status of any postsecondary proprietary school which loses its accreditation as required in Subparagraph B(1)(c) of this Section.

 

(2) The Board of Regents shall revoke the associate of arts and associate of science degree granting status of any postsecondary proprietary school which loses its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

 

D. (1) Eligible postsecondary proprietary schools shall award a nonacademic degree entitled “The Associate in Occupational Studies”. All advertising, recruiting, and publications shall state clearly that such occupational degree awarded by a postsecondary proprietary school is nonacademic and does not imply, promise, or guarantee transferability.

 

(2) Eligible postsecondary proprietary schools shall award either the associate of arts degree or the associate of science degree, or both. All advertising, recruiting, and publications shall state clearly that the academic credits awarded for these degrees, while transferable to other regionally accredited colleges and universities, shall be applied toward degrees at the receiving institution at the discretion of the receiving institution.

 

(3) Postsecondary proprietary schools shall be eligible to award associate of arts degrees and associate of science degrees if they are:

 

(a) Licensed by the Board of Regents.

 

(b) Domiciled in the state of Louisiana.

 

(c) Accredited at the junior college level by the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

 

(d) Determined by the Board of Regents to be in full compliance with the following criteria, as measured against the collegiate-level requirements set forth in the junior college standards of the school’s accrediting agency:

 

(i) Degree credit requirements. The school may award an associate degree only upon the successful completion by students of a minimum of sixty semester hours, ninety quarter hours, or their equivalent. Transfer and award of credit for appropriate work at other accredited institutions may be granted.

 

(ii) Professional and general education requirements. Of the total credits required for the associate degree, there shall be a minimum of thirty semester hours, forty-five quarter hours, or their equivalent, in courses within the areas of concentration; and a minimum of fifteen semester hours, twenty-three quarter hours, or their equivalent, in general education courses. General education courses include subjects other than the courses within the areas of concentration. General education courses, as distinguished from professional courses, shall place emphasis on principles and theory and not on practical applications.

 

(iii) Curriculum. The curriculum shall quantitatively and qualitatively approximate the standards at other collegiate institutions in Louisiana offering associate degrees, with due allowance for meeting special vocational objectives. Instructional procedures, texts, and materials shall be appropriate to the purposes, curricula, and standards of collegiate institutions in Louisiana.

 

(iv) Enrollment. Enrollment in the second year of a two-year program must be sufficient to support regularly scheduled classes and laboratory work. Second-year work shall be based upon appropriate first-year prerequisites.

 

(v) Faculty preparation. (aa) A junior college shall have an adequate and competent faculty working under conditions that encourage the best efforts of each student. The size of the faculty shall be appropriate to the total student enrollment.

 

(bb) During any academic term, a faculty member shall not be assigned to teach in more than three fields of instruction. Instructors shall be assigned in terms of their major and minor academic preparation and related professional experience.

 

(cc) At least one-half of those subjects which are part of the curriculum of an associate degree program, including those core courses common to nondegree programs, shall be taught by faculty members possessing graduate degrees, professional degrees such as J.D. or M.D., or baccalaureate degrees plus recognized professional certification such as C.P.A. or R.N. The only exception for the requirement of an advanced degree shall be in the case of instructors of subjects in areas which normally are not academically credentialed or which are not normally credentialed with graduate degrees.

 

(vi) Librarian. A professionally trained librarian shall devote at least twenty hours a week to the direction and supervision of the library and related instructional resources, and have a staff adequate to provide full-time assistance to students and faculty.

 

(vii) Library budget. An adequate, annual budgetary allocation shall be expended for the purchase of books, periodicals, equipment, and other materials.

 

(viii) Library functions. The functions of the library shall be appropriate to the educational programs of the college. The library shall provide the study and reading facilities necessary to make the educational programs effective. There shall be evidence that library facilities are appropriately used by students and faculty. The Dewey decimal, Library of Congress, or other appropriate system of classification shall be used. Records of circulation and inventory shall be current and accurate.

 

(ix) Library holdings. A library for a proprietary school granting associate of arts or associate of science degrees shall contain up-to-date titles appropriate for the size of the institution and the breadth of its educational programs, as well as magazines and essential professional periodicals. Consideration also shall be given to supplementary library resources contracted for by the institution on behalf of its student body. The availability of the library shall accommodate the educational objectives of both the day and the evening students of the college.

 

E. Each student admitted to an associate degree program in an accredited postsecondary proprietary school shall be required to:

 

(1) Have a high school diploma or equivalent.

 

(2) Complete a minimum of two years, four semesters, or six quarters of course work for each associate degree program.

 

(3) Complete a minimum of sixty semester hours or, if applicable, ninety quarter hours of course work for each associate of arts or associate of science degree program.

 

F. Each associate degree program shall meet the following minimum requirements:

 

(1) That seventy-five percent of the course of study in an associate in occupational studies program shall be in a specific occupational area.

 

(2) That associate of arts and associate of science programs require:

 

(a) At least sixty semester hours or, if applicable, ninety quarter hours of course work.

 

(b) At least thirty semester hours or, if applicable, forty-five quarter hours of course work in the area of concentration.

 

(c) At least fifteen semester hours or, if applicable, twenty-three quarter hours of course work in general education courses, with six of these semester hours, or if applicable, nine quarter hours being in college level English courses and six of these semester hours or, if applicable, nine quarter hours being in college level mathematics courses. General education courses shall be those courses which have subject matter outside the area of concentration and which place emphasis on principles and theory and not on practical applications.

 

(3) That transfer and award of credit for appropriate work at other institutions accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools may be granted.

 

G. (1) The Board of Regents may, if it deems such agreements to be consistent with the purposes of this Chapter, negotiate and enter into state authorization reciprocity agreements that allow accredited degree-granting proprietary schools located in one state to offer online instruction in other states pursuant to the terms of the reciprocity agreement. The Board of Regents shall administer such agreements.

 

(2) If the Board of Regents enters into such an agreement, any accredited degree-granting proprietary schools located in Louisiana and licensed by the Board of Regents pursuant to this Chapter may apply to the Board of Regents for authorization to offer online instruction in other states pursuant to the terms of the reciprocity agreement. The Board of Regents may approve or disapprove any such application. If the Board of Regents approves an application, the period of approval shall not be longer than one year. The Board of Regents shall assess an application fee not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars for the initial application and for each annual application to defray the costs of reviewing and evaluating such applications.

 

(3) Any accredited, degree-granting proprietary school approved by another state and offering online instruction to Louisiana residents shall be exempt from the provisions of this Chapter, subject to the terms of such agreements.

 

H. Nothing herein shall impair the right of private colleges to award degrees.

 

Added by Acts 1976, No. 207, § 1. Amended by Acts 1988, No. 575, § 1; Acts 1992, No. 1004, § 1, eff. July 13, 1992; Acts 1998, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 151, § 1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2014, No. 13, § 1, eff. May 7, 2014.