Title 5                 Post-Secondary Education

Chapter 100    Private Institutions of Higher Education

Part 2                 Private Post-Secondary Institutions Operating under the Post-

                                Secondary Educational Institution Act

 

5.100.2.1               ISSUING AGENCY:  New Mexico Higher Education Department.

[9-30-96, 5.100.2.1 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.1, 5-15-01; A, 07/31/05]

 

5.100.2.2               SCOPE:  Provisions of Part 2 of Chapter 100 apply to all private post-secondary institutions operating within the state of New Mexico.

[9-30-96, 5.100.2.2 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.2, 5-15-01]

 

5.100.2.3               STATUTORY AUTHORITY:  The Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act (Section 21-23-1 through 21-23-5 NMSA 1978 as amended) authorizes the New Mexico higher education department (“department”) to establish and monitor guidelines for the licensure of all private post-secondary institutions operating in New Mexico.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 5.100.2.3 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.3, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.4               DURATION:  Permanent

[9-30-96, 5.100.2.4 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.4, 5-15-01]

 

5.100.2.5               EFFECTIVE DATE:  September 30, 1996, unless a later date is cited at the end of a section.

[9-30-96, 5.100.2.5 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.5, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.6               OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES:

                A.            “The purpose of the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act is to improve the quality of private post-secondary education, to prevent misrepresentation, fraud and collusion in offering educational programs to persons over the compulsory school attendance age and to protect consumers enrolled in private post-secondary educational institutions when those schools cease operation or fail to meet standards of quality established by the department. [Section 21-23-2 NMSA 1978, as amended]

                B.            The purpose of 5.100.2 NMAC is to guide implementation of the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act by defining clear expectations of institutions operating in the state while recognizing the varied purposes and clienteles of those institutions.  It is the intent of the New Mexico higher education department to encourage sound institutional practices that result in high quality educational programs and expand the array of educational options available to New Mexico's citizens.

                C.            GENERAL PRINCIPLES:

                    (1)     Each private post-secondary institution providing on-site education within New Mexico or otherwise operating from a site within New Mexico may be classified by the New Mexico higher education department (“department”) as subject to or exempt from provisions of the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act ("the act").  An institution is subject to the act unless expressly exempted by the department.

                    (2)     Career schools and non-accredited colleges and universities must be licensed by the department and are subject to the standards and procedures for licensed institutions specified in 5.100.2 NMAC.

                    (3)     Private institutions in other states that pay agents to recruit students in New Mexico for attendance in other states must register with the department pursuant to the Out-of-State Proprietary School Act (Sections 21-24-1 et seq. NMSA 1978, as amended) and 5.100.3 NMAC of the department.

                    (4)     Private, regionally accredited colleges or universities that provide academic instruction within New Mexico comparable to that provided by public colleges and universities are exempt from regulation by the departmene, but must provide the department with copies of their catalog and information about their curricula, enrollments, and financial condition, as specified in section 5.100.2.8 NMAC, below.  Such institutions are not subject to regulation by the department.  Such institutions may use the term exempt but may not refer to their status with the department using terms such as "accredited," "licensed," "approved," or "endorsed."

                D.            Institutions that are not licensed, but meet the definition of presence in New Mexico, whether offering degrees, course credits, certificates or diplomas shall be notified by certified mail that they shall cease immediately to offer such until they obtain a license or exemption from the commission; the department shall initiate appropriate legal action if institutions fail to comply; whoever violates any provision of Chapter 21-23-10 of the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) per day per violation.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.6 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.6, 5-15-01; A, 5/15/02; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.7               DEFINITIONS:

                A.            “Accreditation” means a verified accreditation status with an accrediting agency recognized by the United States department of education.

                B.            “Department” means the New Mexico higher education department or its designated employee.

                C.            “Branch facility” means a facility of a licensed school when all of the following occur:

                    (1)     the facility has the same ownership, financial management or control as that of the main institution;

                    (2)     all financial decisions regarding the branch facility are made at the main institution; and

                    (3)     the curriculum offered at such facility is at the same academic credential level or less than the courses offered at the parent campus.

                D.            “Career school” means a private post-secondary educational institution offering a formal educational curriculum in New Mexico for a fee to members of the general public beyond compulsory school age, terminating in a certificate, diploma, associate degree, or comparable confirmation of completion of the curriculum.

                E.             “College” or “university” means a private post-secondary educational institution offering a formal educational curriculum in New Mexico for a fee to members of the general public beyond compulsory school age, terminating in a baccalaureate degree, master's degree, or doctoral degree or comparable confirmation of completion of the curriculum.

                F.             “Continuing education” means only brief courses of instruction designed to teach specific skills that may be applicable in a work setting but are not sufficient in themselves to be considered a program of training for employment. Typically, a student only enrolls for one course rather than a sequence of courses or the courses are on-site or contract training.

                G.            “Degree” means any title, designation, mark, abbreviation, appellation, or series of letters or words, including “associate”, “bachelor's”, “master's”, “doctor's” and their equivalents, which are generally taken to signify satisfactory completion of the requirements of a program of study designed to be comparable to those provided by institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the United States department of education.

                H.            “Exemption” means a written acknowledgment by the department that an institution, organization, or other entity, has met requirements and filed pertinent information as required by the department to provide educational services in New Mexico, without regulation by the department.

                I.              “License” means a written acknowledgment by the department that a private career school or non-accredited college or university has met the requirements of the department for offering a formal educational curriculum in New Mexico.

                J.             “Non-traditional instruction” means instruction provided in other than a traditional on-site manner involving direct contact between instructor and student(s), for example, instruction provided all or mostly through means such as correspondence, electronic delivery, or individualized or mentored study.

                K.            “Post-secondary educational institution” includes an academic, vocational, technical, business, professional, or other school, college, or university or other organization or person offering or purporting to offer courses, instruction, training, or education, through correspondence or in person, to any person within New Mexico.

                L.             “Presence” in the state is defined as offering courses, programs or degrees on site or from a geographical site in New Mexico or maintaining an administrative, corporate or other address in the state.

                M.           “Qualified reviewer” means an individual who possesses educational credentials and/or experience compatible with the program being reviewed.

                N.            “Regional accreditation” means a verified accreditation status with an accrediting agency recognized by the United States department of education that accredits degree granting institutions operating in a designated geographic region.

                O.            “Registration” means a written acknowledgment by the department that a private out-of-state institution, legally approved by its home state, has filed pertinent information as required by the department to recruit students in New Mexico.

                P.             “Work day” means a week day, Monday through Friday, that is not recognized as a federal holiday.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.7 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.7, 5-15-01; A, 5/15/02; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.8               INSTITUTIONS OR ORGANIZATIONS EXEMPT FROM THE ACT:

                A.            The Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act specifies several bases for exemption from provisions of the act.  An institution, organization, or other entity wishing to qualify for exemption from the act must present to the department the information necessary for the department to determine eligibility for exemption.  Upon determination of eligibility by the department, the following may be granted an exemption:

                    (1)     a post-secondary institution accredited by the north central association of colleges and schools, commission on institutions of higher education or by a comparable regional accrediting body recognized by the department;

                    (2)     a post-secondary institution supported in whole or part by state or local taxation or by an Indian tribe or pueblo in the state of New Mexico;

                    (3)     a nonprofit institution whose sole purpose is to train students in religious disciplines to prepare them to assume a vocational objective relating primarily to religion;

                    (4)     an occupational, trade, or professional school operating pursuant to a New Mexico occupational licensing law under the jurisdiction of the New Mexico regulation and licensing department;

                    (5)     an institution or organization exclusively offering education that is solely a vocational or recreational in nature;

                    (6)     an institution or organization providing instruction to an employer for its employees or providing instruction sponsored by a recognized fraternal, trade, business, or professional organization for its members; and

                    (7)     an organization providing only brief courses of instruction designed to teach specific skills that may be applicable in a work setting but are not sufficient in themselves to be considered a program of training for employment; normally, such instruction shall meet at least three criteria:

                              (a)     each course consists of no more than 40 hours of direct instruction or the equivalent;

                              (b)     the tuition or fee charged for each course of instruction does not exceed $500; and

                              (c)     a typical student enrolls for only one course rather than a sequence of courses.

                B.            Examples of organizations that may be included under this exemption are those that provide instruction in computer operation as part of the purchase price of computer hardware or software or those that provide instruction designed to prepare students for standardized tests needed for admission to further educational programs.

                C.            Organizations that schedule, advertise to the general public, and charge a fee for training intended to develop skills needed to obtain or advance in employment may be classified by the department as subject to licensure.  Examples of organizations that may be so classified are those that regularly schedule training sessions in computer hardware and software operation or those that provide training for employment as a truck driver or as a cook or chef.

                D.            An institution, organization, or other entity wishing to qualify for exemption from the Act shall provide the department with evidence of its qualification on one or more of the bases stated above and shall provide sufficient description of the nature of its organization and educational program(s) for the department to make a determination.  Upon making a determination that an institution, organization, or other entity is qualified for exemption from the act, the department will issue a letter designating the entity’s status as “exempt from regulation."

                E.             An exemption status shall in no way constitute state approval.  Therefore, references to the department shall not be used in any advertisements, brochures, etc. without written consent of the department.

                F.             Each institution holding exempt status shall report to the epartment, in a form acceptable to the department and as requested by the department: (1) an update on institutional and program changes; and (2) statistical data about programs and enrollments annually.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.8 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.8, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.9               INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION OR LICENSURE:

                A.            Each private, regionally accredited institution operating in New Mexico but exempt from licensure requirements shall report to the department, in a form acceptable to the department:

                    (1)     the institution's headcount and full-time-equivalent enrollment figures for the prior year, including separate counts for continuing education, to be provided by July 15;

                    (2)     copy of data forms prepared to meet federal integrated post-secondary education data system (IPEDS) and student right-to-know requirements, or subsequent requirements, as requested by the, department to be provided as such forms are submitted to the relevant federal agency;

                    (3)     copy of the current catalog of the institution; and

                    (4)     such other information as may be requested by the department as necessary for implementation of the Post-secondary Educational Institution Act.

                B.            In addition, each regionally accredited institution shall keep the department informed of each program of study offered by the institution, identified by title, certificate or degree status, and federal classification of instructional program (CIP) code.  It shall be the responsibility of each institution to assure that its list of programs remains accurate.

                C.            Each private career school or non-accredited institution licensed by the department shall report to the                     (1)     certification of current ownership, address, telephone, and principal operating officers of the institution;

                    (2)     the number of students first admitted to the institution during the institution's prior operating year, classified by program of study, including separate counts for continuing education;

                    (3)     the institution's total headcount enrollment (each student served) during the prior operating year, classified by program of study, including separate counts for continuing education;

                    (4)     the institution's gross annual tuition revenue for all courses, but excluding revenue from continuing education for the purpose of calculating licensure renewal fees, in New Mexico during the prior operating year;

                    (5)     a copy of the current catalog of the institution plus any additional documents that define student policies in effect at the institution and relevant to the department regulations for licensure; policies that must be included in this submission include admission policies, policies for award of financial aid, policies for payment of tuition and fees and for refunds of tuition and fees when a student withdraws, and complaint policies for students and other citizens with grievances against the institution;

                    (6)     for institutions subject to federal reporting requirements, a copy of data forms prepared to meet federal integrated post-secondary education data system (IPEDS) and student right-to-know requirements, or subsequent requirements, as requested by the department, to be provided as such forms are submitted to the relevant federal agency;

                    (7)     evidence of the institution's liability insurance and of its surety bond or alternative surety, as specified below;

                    (8)     as appropriate and requested by the department, analyses of program completion rates, educational placement (transfer) rates, and/or employment rates for the institution;

                    (9)     such other information as may be requested by the department as necessary for implementation of the Post-secondary Educational Institution Act; and

                    (10)     accredited career schools shall provide the department with copies of all accreditation self-study reports submitted to their accrediting agency and all visitation reports upon receipt from the accrediting agency.

                D.            In addition, each career school or non-accredited institution shall keep the department informed of each program of study offered by the institution, identified by title, certificate or degree status, and federal classification of instructional program (CIP) code (if applicable).  It shall be the responsibility of each institution to assure that its list of programs remains accurate.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.9 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.9, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.10             GENERAL STANDARDS FOR LICENSURE:

                A.            New degree-granting institutions making application on or after September 30, 1996 will be required to obtain within three (3) years, accreditation with the distance education and training council (DETC) or another accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. department of education and the New Mexico higher education department as an authority on the quality of institutions awarding such degrees.  Institutions operating prior to September 30, 1996 shall be exempt from this requirement.

                B.            In addition to the information requirements specified in section 5.100.2.9 NMAC, above, each institution licensed by the department shall maintain and be able to produce within a time period specified by the department any or all of the following lists for inspection by the department or use by the department in selecting samples to verify accuracy of the institution's files and reports:

                    (1)     all students currently enrolled, by program of study, including separate counts for continuing education;

                    (2)     all students admitted during each of the past two years; students on this list shall be classified as no longer enrolled, currently enrolled, and program completed as of the date that the list is prepared;

                    (3)     all students who have been awarded government financial aid during each of the past two years, displaying the total amounts awarded to each student from grants and from loans;

                    (4)    all students who have completed a program and received a certificate, diploma, or degree from the institution during each of the past two years, by program of study; and

                    (5)     in the case of vocational/technical/occupational programs, a list of employers who have been active in hiring graduates of the institution during the past two years.

                C.            Upon approval of the department, a licensed school may operate a branch facility in New Mexico under its current license without applying for a new license.

                    (1)     Prior to the approval to operate a branch facility, the licensee shall provide to the department the following information:

                              (a)     documentation of the scope, purpose and mission of the branch facility;

                              (b)     documentation of the geographical site of the branch facility;

                              (c)     documentation demonstrating adequate financial support by the parent campus;

                              (d)     evidence that all building fire and safety standards have been met;

                              (e)     documentation of the branch manager’s qualifications; and

                              (f)     any other documentation requested in writing by the department.

                    (2)     The department may deny the approval of a branch facility for any of the following reasons:

                              (a)     failure to provide the above information;

                              (b)     parent campus does not have adequate financial means to support a branch facility;

                              (c)     building safety is in question; and

                              (d)     curriculum is substantially different from the curriculum offered at the parent campus.

                    (3)     All branch facilities shall provide annual demographic information separate from the parent campus. [See Subsection C of 5.100.2.9 NMAC]

                D.            The department is statutorily charged with evaluating each individual institution in order to determine the school’s compliance with the standards outlined in this regulation.  This evaluation may take the form of a physical visit to the school or school offices or may be a desk audit if a physical visit is not feasible.  It is the responsibility of the institution to maintain full compliance with the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act (Section 21-23-1 through 21-23-15 NMSA 1978) and this rule (5 NMAC 100.2) at all times.

                    (1)     Typically, materials to be evaluated when applicable may include:

                              (a)     verification of insurances;

                              (b)     past 12 month’s NM gross receipts tax reports;

                              (c)     list of current students;

                              (d)     list of dropped or withdrawn students within the past year or period since last visit;

                              (e)     list of students that have graduated in the last year or period since last visit;

                              (f)     samples of all advertising, including online advertising, if applicable;

                              (g)     student/faculty complaint file;

                              (h)     student/faculty evaluations;

                              (i)     advisory committee meeting minutes for last 24 months;

                              (k)     advisory committee membership;

                              (l)     program curriculum and requirements;

                              (m)     access to all student files;

                              (n)     access to all faculty files;

                              (o)     bank statements or monthly financials for the last year.

                    (2)     The four types of site visits include:

                              (a)     Initial site visit:  In making a determination regarding issuance of a new license, a site review may be conducted during the initial start-up phase to determine the adequacy of items included on the application for licensure.  This visit is for information gathering purposes only.

                              (b)     Regular site visit:  The department shall determine an appropriate schedule (typically on a bi-annual basis) on which to re-evaluate each individual licensed institution and the specific programs offered by that institution in order to determine continued compliance with this rule.  Department staff will give prior notification of at least two weeks of the date and time of the visit.  A short exit interview will be held at the conclusion of the visit.  This exit interview will include a discussion of findings and a final written site visit report will be sent to the school for review and comment.  The outcome of the regular site visit may be continued licensure.

                              (c)     Triggered site visit: any occurrence listed in Section 28(E) of this rule may trigger a site visit to the institution in order to evaluate compliance with these standards.  The exit interview will include a discussion of any findings.  The outcome of a triggered site visit may be a recommendation for a probationary license or revocation of a license.

                              (d)     Required special site visit:  The department may request a required special site visit as a requirement for initial licensure, probation, or for licensure renewal.  At the conclusion of a required special site visit, the exit interview will include a discussion of any findings.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.10 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.9, 5-15-01; A, 5/15/02; A, 6/30/03; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.11             NAME OF THE INSTITUTION:

                A.            No institution licensed by the department to operate within the state of New Mexico shall include in its name the terms "college" or "university" unless it meets the following conditions:

                    (1)     institutions including the term "college" in their name must offer at least an associate degree and enroll a substantial portion of their students in such degree programs; and

                    (2)     institutions including the term "university" in their name must offer graduate degree programs and must enroll a preponderance of their students in baccalaureate and graduate degree programs.

                B.            The department reserves the right to deny licensure to an institution proposing to operate under a name that the department determines to be misleading and/or so similar to that of another institution operating within the state that it may result in substantial confusion.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.11 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.11, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.12             OWNERSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE INSTITUTION:

                A.            Principal owners and managers of institutions licensed under the act shall demonstrate their qualifications for their particular responsibilities.  In assessing such qualifications, the department will consider educational background, relevant work experience, and record of accomplishment in previous educational work settings.

                B.            No institution shall be licensed to operate in New Mexico that has filed bankruptcy during the past five years or that is under the control of or is managed by a person who has filed bankruptcy associated with the operation of an educational institution during the past five years.

                C.            An institution shall certify that no owner or manager of the institution:  (a) has been convicted of or has pled no contest or guilty to a crime involving abuse of public funds; or (b) has controlled or managed an institution that has ceased operation during the past five years without providing for the completion of programs by its students.  No institution shall be licensed to operate in New Mexico that does not provide such certification.

                D.            An institution shall notify the department in writing within ten working days whenever the institution changes ownership, whenever there is a change in control of the institution, or whenever the management is changed.  Following such changes continued licensure by the department shall be subject to the department’s determination that the institution continues to meet standards for licensure.

                E.             No institution found to be operating illegally in another state shall be licensed to operate in New Mexico.

                F.             An institution which loses its legal authority to operate in another state shall be required to wait five (5) years before making application in New Mexico.

                G.            Principal owners/administrators of an institution will be required to provide information regarding their prior or current association with any defunct private institutions.

                H.            For the purposes of the above paragraphs, "manager," "managed," and "management" shall include the chief executive officer, senior business or finance officer, senior financial aid administrator, and senior academic officer of an institution's New Mexico facility.  Any institution failing to disclose information relevant to the above shall be subject to denial or revocation of its license.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.12 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.12, 5-15-01; A, 5-15-02; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.13             FINANCIAL STABILITY OF THE INSTITUTION:

                A.            Neither quality academic programs nor student satisfaction can be sustained where serious financial difficulties prevail in an institution.  Therefore, standards for reviewing and analyzing financial stability are a critical component of the institution’s overall assessment. The intent of this section is twofold: (1) to outline measures to ensure the detection of financial situations which may adversely impact academic programs, thereby placing the consumer in jeopardy; and (2) to provide a stimulus for institutions to assess their financial management practices more aggressively, inducing the development of strategic planning activities for enhancing the total operation of the institution.

                B.            New applicants not previously licensed by the department will be expected to demonstrate liquid assets sufficient to operate the institution for a period of one year exclusive of anticipated revenue from tuition and fees.  These assets shall be sufficient to pay all projected salary and benefits of employees and the rent, utilities, insurance and other costs of operating the institution’s facilities for a period of one year.  In no case shall these assets be less than $50,000.

                C.            Licensed institution must demonstrate, at a minimum, it has sufficient financial resources to:

                   (1)     fulfill its contracted obligations to students;

                   (2)     meet all refund obligations incurred as a result of the cancellation and refund policy specified in these rules; and

                   (3)     meet the school’s operational expenses and maintain its financial obligations.

                D.            An institution with seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000) or more in gross annual tuition revenue and all federal Title IV financial aid institutions shall submit, on a schedule set by the department, an audit report and management letter prepared by a certified public accountant in accordance with the New Mexico Public Accountancy Act (61-28B-1 et seq. NMSA 1978 as amended).

                E.             An institution with gross annual tuition revenue of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more but less than seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000) shall submit, on a schedule set by the department, either an audit report and management letter prepared by a certified public accountant in accordance with the New Mexico Public Accountancy Act (61-28B-1 et seq. NMSA 1978 as amended) or a review of financial statements prepared by a certified public accountant in accordance with the New Mexico Public Accountancy Act.

                F.             An institution with gross annual tuition revenue of less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) shall submit on a schedule set by the department either an audit report and management letter prepared by a certified public accountant in accordance with the New Mexico Public Accountancy Act (61-28B-1 et seq. NMSA 1978 as amended), a review of financial statements prepared by a certified public accountant in accordance with the New Mexico Public Accountancy Act, or an income statement and balance sheet in the format provided by the department and certified as correct by the institution.  In addition to the audit report and management letter, the review of financial statements, or the income statement and balance sheet as described in this paragraph, the institution shall submit copies of business tax returns and bank statements for the most current year.

                G.            Institutions licensed by the department shall maintain standard, commercial liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and property insurance sufficient to protect students, employees, and other citizens from hazards in the institution's facilities. Where appropriate, institutions shall have liability insurance covering students involved in internships at sites/locations other than the institution.

                H.            The department will include consideration of up to three years of financial stability history when considering action against a licensed institution for failure to meet standards of financial stability.

                I.              In determining financial stability the department shall review all financial information submitted by an applicant.

                J.             In the case where an institution submits an audit report and management letter provided by a certified public accountant, the department shall normally accept the report as accurate and rely on the auditor’s professional responsibility to evaluate and to make known whether there is substantial doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed one year beyond the period of the financial statement being audited; and

                K.            In determining stability of an institution providing a compiled report, the department shall review the following areas:

                    (1)     financial statement analysis;

                    (2)     ability to meet current obligations;

                    (3)     insurance coverage;

                    (4)     review of conditions and events.

                L.             The following are examples of conditions and events that may be considered in this review:

                M.           Negative trends -- recurring operating losses, working capital deficiencies, negative cash flows from operating activities, unpaid past due taxes, unpaid past due tuition refunds, adverse key financial ratios;

                N.            Other indicators -- default on loan or similar agreements, restructuring of debt, non-compliance with statutory capital requirements, inability to obtain a bond, untimely reporting of financial information, need to seek new sources or methods of financing or to dispose of substantial assets;

                O.            Internal matters -- work stoppage or other labor difficulties, substantial student complaints involving financial concerns, substantial dependence on the success of a particular project, uneconomic long-term commitments, need to significantly revise operations; and

                P.             External matters -- legal proceedings, legislation or similar matters that might jeopardize an institution’s ability to operate; loss of accreditation; loss of a principal customer or supplier; uninsured or underinsured catastrophe, such as fire, earthquake or flood.

                Q.            If considerable concern is established as to the institution’s ability to maintain its operation, department staff will contact the school to obtain additional information that may influence the institution’s financial picture:

                    (1)     if concerns are not addressed through the additional information requested, an internal financial analyst will conduct a second financial review; and

                    (2)     if after the second review, substantial doubt remains about the institution’s ability to continue, department may contract for further independent review of the records.

                R.            Following appropriate review and based on the determination of the department:

                    (1)     the institution may be approved for operation, or

                    (2)     the institution may be placed on probationary status and required to submit a “management plan of action”, or

                    (3)     the department may take appropriate actions to forward the file to the attorney general’s office for issuance of a notice of contemplated action to deny licensure.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.13 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.13, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.14             QUALIFICATIONS OF FACULTY:

                A.            Accredited institutions shall be subject to the requirements of their accrediting agencies regarding the qualifications of their faculty.

                B.            For non-accredited institutions, each member of the teaching faculty must have an educational background, including licensure and/or occupational certification or credential, and experience appropriate to his or her teaching assignment.  Faculty degrees, licensure, certification, and credentials must be in the appropriate field of instruction unless the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department on an individual basis that alternative qualifications are sufficient.

                    (1)     Faculty providing instruction leading to an undergraduate certificate, diploma, or other course of study less than a degree and in a subject not normally transferable to a degree program must have at least the vocational credential for which their students are studying, granted by an accredited institution, unless the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that alternative qualifications are sufficient.

                    (2)     Faculty providing instruction in general education courses must hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree from an accredited institution that includes appropriate education in the specific courses being taught.  “Appropriate education” is defined as 15 semester hours of instruction or the quarter hour equivalent.

                    (3)     Faculty teaching non-general education transfer courses (i.e., courses in subject areas where work toward a credential carries transfer credit toward higher degrees - business, technology, and a growing number of other fields) or courses in a degree program must hold degrees in the field of instruction from an accredited institution at a minimum one degree level higher than the level of instruction, and in no case less than a baccalaureate unless the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that alternative qualifications are sufficient.

                    (4)     Unless approved by the department, no more than twenty percent (20%) of the faculty of an institution may be employed under alternative qualifications. The following are guidelines for “alternative qualifications”:

                              (a)     At the undergraduate certificate/diploma level of instruction, hold an associate degree or higher out of field and five or more years of documented current on-the-job experience in the subject to be taught, or hold a high school diploma or its equivalent and ten or more years of documented current on-the-job experience in the subject to be taught.

                              (b)     At the associate degree level of instruction, hold a baccalaureate degree or higher out of field and five or more years of documented current on-the-job experience in the subject to be taught, or hold an associate degree out of field, and ten or more years of documented, current, on-the-job experience in the subject to be taught.

                              (c)     At the baccalaureate degree level of instruction, hold a baccalaureate degree or higher out of field and five or more years of documented, current, on-the-job experience in the subject to be taught.

                              (d)     At the master’s degree level of instruction, hold a master’s degree or higher out of field and five or more years of documented, current, on-the-job experience in the subject to be taught.

                              (e)     At the doctoral degree level of instruction, hold a doctoral degree or higher out of field and five or more years of documented, current, on-the-job experience in the subject to be taught.

                C.            For each proposed degree offering, the institutions shall employ at least one faculty member with the appropriate training who shall have the responsibility for providing oversight of the instructional program.

                D.            Faculty shall be sufficient in number to provide appropriate instruction and attention to the work of students of the institution.  Continuity of instruction for a given course is expected.  Except in self-paced courses, repeated instances in which the instructor of a course is changed more than once during the course may provide grounds for review of the instructional operations of the institution.

                E.             All institutions shall maintain a file open to inspection by the department or its representative confirming the academic status and adequacy of each faculty member to meet the instructional demands of his or her assignment.  Such files shall at a minimum include: (a) the results of periodic student and peer/supervisor assessment of teaching; (b) original official transcripts of record sent directly to the hiring institution from institutions issuing the faculty member a degree and appropriate license/certification demonstrating the educational qualifications of the faculty member; (c) documentation of appropriate experience for faculty members with alternative qualifications; and (d) a separate file available for review containing documentation regarding all complaints lodged against the faculty member during the prior twelve months.

                F.             All institutions shall provide evidence of ongoing professional development and a professional development plan for all faculty.  This evidence shall be maintained in a file open to inspection by the department or its representative confirming date(s), location(s) and topic(s) of completed professional development programs.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.14 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.14, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.15             INSTITUTIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE(S):

                A.            As a condition of licensure, an institution must demonstrate to the department that it maintains and regularly consults one or more advisory committees or boards composed of persons appropriately qualified to advise the institution regarding program(s) offered or under consideration.  Members of advisory committees may not be employees of the institution.

                B.            For institutions offering primarily vocational/technical or other employment-related programs, the advisory committee(s) will normally be consulted by the institution for assistance in assessing the employment needs of the community (ies) served by the institution and the adequacy of the institution's program(s) and staffing to meet these needs, including periodic assessment of the success of these programs and their graduates.

                C.            For non-accredited degree-granting institutions, the advisory committee(s) will normally be consulted regarding the content of academic programs and acceptance of such programs in employment settings and in other academic settings.

                D.            The institution shall maintain a file with appropriate documentation of the meetings and actions of the advisory committee(s) which shall be available for inspection on request.  This file shall contain at a minimum:

                    (1)     names, addresses and telephone numbers of committee members; and

                    (2)     minutes from all committee meetings within the past twenty-four (24) months.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.15 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.15, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.16             PROGRAMS, CURRICULUM, EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES:

                A.            Non accredited institutions proposing to change existing programs or add new degree programs to their curriculum shall submit application to the department for approval prior to enrolling students.

                B.            Accredited institutions shall be governed by their accrediting agencies in making changes or additions to their programs. The department shall be formally notified of all program changes/additions.

                C.            A new applicant for licensure will be approved to offer no more than six degree programs during its first two years of operation.

                D.            Each branch which is not located in the same state as its parent campus or which does not offer substantially the same curriculum as is offered at the parent campus shall be considered to be a separate private institution and must obtain a separate license to operate.

                E.             For each program and course of instruction offered by an institution, a current, detailed outline, syllabus, or curriculum guide shall be available to students and to representatives of the department from instructors or administrators of the institution. Such materials shall accurately describe the objectives, content, and methods of the program or course.

                F.             The objectives, content, and methods of each program and course of instruction shall meet generally accepted standards of quality, as demonstrated by endorsement of the institution's advisory committee(s) (see Section 15, above) and an authorized representative for an accrediting agency or other qualified reviewers as approved by the department.

                G.            Any equipment and facilities utilized by a program shall be reasonably current in comparison to those of other institutions and intended sites of employment, shall be sufficient for the number of students using them, and shall be appropriate to the objectives set for the program. Equipment and facilities shall meet all applicable standards for safety and sanitation.

                H.            For vocational/technical programs, institutions shall be able to demonstrate that each program is designed to provide training for an occupation that is recognized in New Mexico and that the training provided is sufficient in length and quality to prepare students for immediate employment in the occupation(s).

                I.              Evidence of satisfactory/appropriate health and fire inspections must be on file. Where inspections are not satisfactory, the institution shall have on file a corrective plan.

                J.             The institution should provide evidence of compliance with regulations pursuant to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.16 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.16, 5-15-01; A, 5/15/02; A. 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.17             STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES:

                A.            Financial aid.  Institutions offering financial aid to students must employ personnel qualified to administer the financial aid programs according to the regulations of all cognizant agencies.

                B.            Academic counseling and progress.  Institutions shall provide adequate counseling for students regarding their academic progress.  Students shall receive warning when their academic status is at risk and shall be given clear information about their academic status and whatever actions are needed to maintain satisfactory progress.

                C.            The institution's catalog and other publications of the institution shall clearly inform students about the institution's standards for academic progress and any academic counseling and support services available to students.

                D.            Employment counseling and placement.  Institutions offering programs that are primarily vocational/technical or occupational in nature shall provide appropriate services that assist students in locating and qualifying for employment opportunities within the community served by the institution.  Such services must be provided at no additional charge to students.  No institution shall be expected to provide employment counseling and placement services beyond provision of academic and financial aid transcripts for more than one year following a student's receipt of a diploma, certificate, or degree, except by such policy of the institution.

                E.             Academic and financial aid transcripts.  As a condition of licensure by the department, an institution agrees to provide students with access to their academic transcripts in perpetuity after a student has departed from the institution.  Such records shall be accessible either through the institution, a successor institution, or through the New Mexico state records center and archives or a comparable retrieval facility.  An institution shall provide access to financial aid transcripts for at least five (5) years after a student has departed from the institution or for whatever period is required by federal law or regulation or by rules of the New Mexico student loan guarantee corporation, whichever is longest.

                F.             The method by which students and graduates may obtain transcripts shall be described clearly in the institution's catalog or in other documents provided to students.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 5.100.2.17 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.17, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.18             ADVERTISING, RECRUITMENT AND ADMISSION OF STUDENTS:

                A.            All advertisements and promotional literature must be truthful regarding the content of an institution's educational program(s), the duration of the program(s), student attributes and skills needed for successful completion of the program(s), and costs of the program(s).  An institution shall use no advertisements or promotional materials that are false, deceptive, inaccurate, or misleading.

                B.            Prior to a student signing a financial aid agreement, each student must be informed in writing regarding his or her obligations associated with receipt of financial aid and the institution must take reasonable steps to assure that the student understands that obligation.

                C.            Advertisements and promotional literature shall not contain promises of job placement or employment, either explicitly or implicitly, but may refer to an institution's services to assist students in obtaining employment.  Advertisements shall clearly indicate by their content and location in media that the institution is offering education or training and may not either explicitly or implicitly suggest that the institution is offering employment.  "Blind" advertising is prohibited.

                D.            An institution advertising salary ranges or averages for its graduates must have on file and available to inspection by students, the department, or their representatives current and accurate data that includes New Mexico employers and that validates such claims.

                E.             An institution licensed by the department may not use terms such as "accredited," "endorsed," or "recommended" in reference to its approval by the department but may use the phrase "licensed by the New Mexico higher education department" in its advertising and promotional literature.  Such use shall indicate the department’s licensure of the institution but shall not state nor suggest department approval or endorsement for any particular program offered by the institution.

                F.             An institution shall not advertise the transferability of its courses or programs to a regionally accredited institution unless it has signed transfer agreements with that institution.

                G.            An institution shall not include in its advertising or promotional materials any photograph or other illustration of facilities unless those facilities serve predominantly as sites of instruction or related activities provided by the institution, either in New Mexico or in other states.  Photographs or other illustrations must accurately depict the size and condition of any facilities or equipment illustrated.

                H.            No person shall for a fee solicit enrollment at an institution who is not employed by and under supervision of the institution.  The institution shall be responsible for the representations of its employees.

                I.              Prospective students shall not be solicited by any representative of an institution on the sites of any government agency such as motor vehicle registration offices, unemployment offices, or public assistance offices.  However, leaflets or other promotional material may be made available at such sites.

                J.             Prospective students shall not be solicited by any representative of an institution on the site of any public school, except at the invitation of school personnel.  No institution shall offer or provide financial inducement to any public school in return for permission to solicit students.

                K.            No institution shall solicit the enrollment of any student who is currently attending another institution in New Mexico by using any inducement of greater financial assistance in meeting the costs of education.

                L.             The institution shall retain for a minimum of 3 years, all forms of advertising and make them available on request.

                M.           An institution is prohibited from making offers of training in any form or manner without including therein the full name under which it is licensed.  Permutations of its name, e.g., initials, or shortened name or nicknames, cannot be employed without prior written permission of the department.

                N.            An institution may not make claims to or advertise an accreditation status if the accrediting agency is not recognized by the U.S. department of education.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.18 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.18, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.19             QUALIFICATIONS OF STUDENTS FOR ADMISSION:

                A.            No student shall begin a certificate or diploma program who has not received a high school diploma or the equivalent or who has not demonstrated ability to benefit from the program through a process of assessment that meets standards of the U.S. department of education or the department or who is participating in a concurrent enrollment program with a secondary school.

                B.            Institutions enrolling students who are of compulsory school age or who are concurrently attending an elementary or secondary school shall have in their possession a signature or other written confirmation by elementary/secondary officials or by the student's parent or guardian that it is in the best interest of the student to be enrolled.

                C.            Institutions using an ability-to-benefit admission option shall provide the department with a clear and detailed statement describing their ability-to-benefit assessment programs (including cut off scores and validity data for any test used) and shall be able to demonstrate that ability-to-benefit assessment is performed in a consistent and valid manner.

                D.            No student shall be admitted to an associate degree or baccalaureate degree program who has not received a high school diploma or the equivalent.

                E.             No student shall be admitted to a graduate degree program who has not received a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. department of education, or received a baccalaureate degree from a non-accredited institution licensed by the department or by the cognizant state agency in another state, or qualified in an alternative manner approved by the department.

                F.             An institution shall in its catalog or other appropriate materials provide prospective students with a description of the criteria and methods used to admit or reject students and methods used to assess their ability to complete program requirements.

                G.            An institution shall periodically prepare an analysis demonstrating the relationship between (a) its system for assessing ability to benefit and (b) the likelihood of students successfully completing a program at the institution.  Such analyses shall be prepared in a manner acceptable to the department and a report of each analysis shall be provided to the department.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.19 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.19, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.20             PAYMENT OF TUITION AND FEES; REFUNDS OF TUITION AND FEES:

                A.            Cooling off period.  Any student signing an enrollment agreement or making an initial deposit or payment toward tuition and fees of the institution shall be entitled to a cooling off period of at least three work days from the date of agreement or payment or from the date that the student first visits the institution, whichever is later.  During the cooling off period the agreement can be withdrawn and all payments shall be refunded.  Evidence of personal appearance at the institution or deposit of a written statement of withdrawal for delivery by mail or other means shall be deemed as meeting the terms of the cooling off period.

                B.            Refunds prior to commencing instruction.  Following the cooling off period but prior to the beginning of instruction, a student may withdraw from enrollment, effective upon personal appearance at the institution or deposit of a written statement of withdrawal for delivery by mail or other means, and the institution shall be entitled to retain no more than $100 or 5% in tuition or fees, whichever is less, as registration charges.

                    (1)     In the case of students enrolling for non-traditional instruction, a student may withdraw from enrollment following the cooling off period, prior to submission by the student of any lesson materials and effective upon deposit of a written statement of withdrawal for delivery by mail or other means, and the institution shall be entitled to retain no more than $100 or 5% in tuition or fees, whichever is less, as registration charges or an alternative amount that the institution can demonstrate to have been expended in preparation for that particular student's enrollment.

                    (2)     Upon request by a student or by the department, the institution shall provide an accounting for such amounts retained under this standard within five work days.

                C.            Refunds following commencement of instruction.  An institution licensed by the department shall adhere to either the following tuition refund schedule or to a schedule established by the institution's accrediting body and recognized by the U.S. department of education.  Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by the department or its designee.

                D.            A student may withdraw after beginning instruction or submitting lesson materials, effective upon appearance at the institution or deposit of a written statement of withdrawal for delivery by mail or other means.  In accordance with the most recent U.S. department of education guidelines, the institution shall be entitled to retain, as registration charges, no more than $100 or 5% of tuition and fees, whichever is less.  Additionally, institutions are eligible to retain tuition and fees earned and state gross receipts taxes at a pro-rata amount according to the following schedule, as outlined by the U.S. department of education:

 

Date of student

withdrawal as a %

of the enrollment

period for which the

student was obligated

 

Portion of tuition

and fees obligated

and paid that are

eligible to be retained

by the institution

 

 

 

On 1st class day

 

0%

After 1st day; within 10%

 

10%

After 10%; within 25%

 

50%

After 25%; within 50%

 

75%

50% or thereafter

 

100%

 

                E.             "Enrollment period for which the student was obligated" means a quarter, semester, or other term of instruction followed by the institution which the student has begun and for which the student has agreed to pay tuition.

                F.             Tuition/fee refunds must be made within 30 calendar days of the institution receiving written notice of a student's withdrawal or of the institution terminating enrollment of the student, whichever is earlier.

                G.            Upon request by a student or the department, the institution shall provide an accounting for such amounts retained under this standard within five workdays.

                H.            The institution's payment and refund policies shall be clearly articulated in the institution's catalog and as part of all enrollment agreements.

                I.              Tuition and fee charges shall be the same for all students admitted to a given program for a given term of instruction.  An institution may not discount its tuition and fees charged to individual students as an incentive to quick enrollment or early payment.  An institution may negotiate special rates with business, industrial, governmental, or similar groups for group training programs and may establish special rates for students who transfer between programs.  An institution may charge a reasonable carrying fee associated with deferred or time payment plans.

                J.             In the case of vocational/technical/occupational programs, an institution shall be able to demonstrate that its tuition and fees for completing each program are reasonable in relation to the earnings that a graduate or completer of the program can be reasonably expected to earn.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.20 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.20, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.21             PROVISION OF INFORMATION TO STUDENTS:

                A.            An institution shall publish and make available to all students a catalog and/or other appropriate materials that clearly describe:

                    (1)     admission policies and requirements of the institution;

                    (2)     programs offered, the program completion requirements of each, and descriptions of all courses offered;

                    (3)     requirements for those occupations that require licensure and for which the institution is offering preparation;

                    (4)     tuition and tuition refund policies, consistent with requirements stated elsewhere in these regulations;

                    (5)     types of financial aid available to students and the procedure for applying for such aid;

                    (6)     the institution's policy regarding program or course cancellations;

                    (7)     rules and regulations pertaining to academic progress and to student conduct;

                    (8)     the procedure to be followed in the instance that a student decides to withdraw from the institution prior to completing a program; and

                    (9)     the institution's policy regarding student complaints and the resources available to students for resolving differences with the institution.

                B.            Such information shall be provided to students prior to their signing an enrollment agreement and the institution shall make reasonable effort to assure and verify that each student understands his/her academic and financial obligations prior to enrolling in the institution.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 5.100.2.21 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.21, 5-15-01]

 

5.100.2.22             ENROLLMENT CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT:

                A.            Before a student begins work at an institution, the institution shall execute an enrollment agreement with the student. The enrollment agreement is any agreement, instrument or note which creates a binding obligation to purchase a course of instruction from a school.  Each enrollment contract or agreement shall include at least the following:

                    (1)     the school's cancellation and refund policies;

                    (2)     information that will clearly and completely define the terms of the agreement between the student and the school, including at least the following:  (1) names and addresses of the school and the student; and (2) the program or course title as it appears in the school’s catalog, date training is to begin, and the number of hours or units of instruction or lessons for which the student will be enrolled;

                    (3)     an itemization of all charges, fees and required purchases being incurred by the student or his/her sponsor in order to complete the training, e.g., tuition, books, supplies and all other items of expense required by the school; the enrollment agreement shall also indicate the method of payment and/or payment schedule being established; and

                    (4)     when applicable, a statement detailing the institution’s placement policy.

                B.            An enrollment agreement will be binding only when it has been fully completed, signed, and dated by the student and authorized institution representative prior to the beginning of instruction.

                C.            The institution shall retain the original enrollment agreement and a copy shall be delivered to the student at the time of execution or by mail when the enrollment is solicited by mail.

                D.            The original copy of the enrollment agreement shall be housed in the official student file.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.22 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.22, 5-15-01]

 

5.100.2.23             STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PROGRESS AND RECORDS:

                A.            An institution shall have a clear statement of what constitutes satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a program and shall make such statement available to all students.

                B.            An institution shall have a clear policy and procedure for assessing the progress of students toward their program objectives.  Records of the institution, including individual student records, shall reflect consistent application of such policy and procedure.

                C.            An institution's policy regarding academic progress shall include a procedure for determining when a student is unable satisfactorily to complete the requirements of a program, for notifying the student in an appropriate manner and terminating enrollment in a manner that minimizes the financial cost to the student.

                D.            Records of student progress shall be maintained in the official student file and available for inspection by each student and by the department or its representative(s).

                E.             Upon completion of a program of study or withdrawal by a student, an institution shall prepare for that student an appropriate summary transcript of record, including:

                    (1)     designation of the program(s) of study for which the student has been enrolled;

                    (2)     each course completed by the student and the grade or other indication of performance assigned; and

                    (3)     a dated statement of completion of the program and award of any certificate, diploma, or degree earned by the student.

                F.             Transcript records are subject to the maintenance and access provisions specified in Subsection E of 5.100.2.17 NMAC, above.

                G.            An institution offering placement services for its students and/or graduates shall maintain records listing, for each student who has been assisted, each placement conference held with the student and each placement contact made in behalf of the student.  Such records must be maintained for a minimum of three years after the student departs from the institution.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.23 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.23, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.24             STUDENT RECORDS:  The official student file shall be kept for each student and shall include at a minimum:

                A.            the program/admission application and enrollment agreement;

                B.            official transcripts indicating qualification for admission;

                C.            when appropriate, actual test and scores from an ability-to-benefit assessment;

                D.            grades received (up-dated transcript);

                E.             all obligations incurred and all funds paid by the student to the institution;

                F.             student attendance information;

                G.            academic counseling records; and

                H.            financial aid records.

[9-30-96, 5.100.2.24 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.24, 5-15-01]

 

5.100.2.25             COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE INSTITUTION:

                A.            An institution licensed by the department shall have and make available to all students a written procedure that describes in detail how students or other parties may register a complaint or grievance, how the institution will investigate the complaint, and how the institution will attempt to resolve the complaint.  Such policies shall at a minimum include the following components:

                    (1)     requirement that students or other parties with complaints or grievances against an institution first seek to resolve their complaint or grievance directly with the institution;

                    (2)     a time frame within which the institution will investigate the complaint and respond to the complainant;

                    (3)     assurance of the involvement of a person who will serve as an impartial representative of the institution but not be directly involved in the area of the complaint;

                    (4)     assurance that no adverse action will be taken against the complainant for registering the complaint; and

                    (5)     identification of the higher education department as the agency to be contacted in cases where a complaint cannot be resolved.

                B.            The institution shall maintain adequate records of all complaints and their resolutions for a period of not less than three years.

                C.            Complaint to the department.  A student or other party not satisfied with an institution's resolution of a complaint may submit a complaint to the department in writing on a form provided by the department. A student must file a complaint with the department within three (3) years of his/her last date of enrollment.

                D.            Upon receipt of a written complaint, the department or its authorized representative shall verify that the complaint involves one or more standards for licensure of the institution and is therefore a legitimate subject of complaint to the department.  If the complaint is determined to be legitimate, the department or its authorized representative shall forward the complaint to the institution for a written response and shall encourage resolution of the complaint between the student and the institution.  The institution shall have thirty (30) days to forward its response to the department  A copy of the institution’s response will be forwarded to the student with a request that the student indicate satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the response.

                E.             In attempting to resolve a verified complaint, the department or its authorized representative may, but is not obliged to, convene a hearing and shall give written notice to the institution and to all persons involved, regarding the time, date, and place of the hearing.  Such hearings, if held, shall be informal and for the purpose of determining the facts surrounding the claim and, if the claim is correct, to effect a settlement by persuasion and conciliation.

                F.             In the event that the party complained against refuses to attend the hearing or effect the settlement of any claim determined by the department to be correct, the department shall invoke its powers to take such action as shall be necessary for the indemnification of the claimant.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.25 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.25, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.26             EVALUATION AND APPRAISAL OF PROGRAMS AND THE INSTITUTION:

                A.            The institution shall maintain a program of periodically assessing the satisfaction of its graduates and shall make available to the department all reports of these assessments prepared during the past five years.  The institution may submit to the department additional measures of institutional success such as the results of surveys of employers of recent graduates.

                B.            The institution shall have a written plan/process for keeping its courses current.

                C.            The institution shall have a plan for faculty improvement in terms of content knowledge and relevant instructional techniques. The institution shall provide evidence that the plan is in operation.

                D.            The institution shall have a written plan for using new and appropriate technologies to support instruction.

                E.             Any institution subject to federal reporting of student outcomes such as graduation rates or other measures required under the Student-Right-to-Know Act shall provide the department with copies of all reports submitted to the cognizant federal agency.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.26 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.26, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.27             ADDITIONAL STANDARDS FOR DEGREE-GRANTING INSTITUTIONS:  “The department shall promulgate and file, in accordance with the State Rules Act, rules and regulations that provide standards for the award of associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees..." [Section 21-23-6.2.C NMSA 1978 as amended]. In addition to the general standards for licensure, institutions awarding degrees must meet the following standards.

                A.            Program requirements:

                    (1)     new degree-granting institutions making application on or after September 30, 1996 will be required to obtain within three years, accreditation with the distance education and training council (DETC) or another accrediting agency recognized by the United States department of education and the department as an authority on the quality of institutions awarding such degrees. Institutions operating prior to September 30, 1996 shall be exempt from this requirement;

                    (2)     institutions proposing to add degree programs to their curriculum shall submit application to the department for degree approval prior to enrolling students;

                    (3)     associate degree programs must include both technical/vocational and general education instruction. No associate degree program shall consist of less than 60 semester credit hours of study or the equivalent;

                    (4)     associate of applied science degrees, associate of occupational studies degrees or comparable appellations must be based upon the institution's certification that the recipient is prepared for immediate employment in a specified career field and must be comprised primarily of technical/vocational study;

                    (5)     associate of arts or associate of science degrees must be based upon the institution's certification that the recipient is prepared both for immediate employment in a specified career field and transfer to another institution for more advanced study; associate of arts and associate of science degree programs will normally consist of approximately equal numbers of technical/vocational and general education courses;

                    (6)     baccalaureate and graduate degree programs must be comparable in quality to those offered by institutions operating in New Mexico that are accredited by agencies recognized by the United States department of education as authorities regarding the quality of such degree programs; award of degrees must be based upon the institution's certification that the recipient has met standards of performance and competency comparable to the standards of institutions so accredited;

                    (7)     at a minimum, issuance of a baccalaureate degree shall require at least 120 semester hours of academic credit or the equivalent; the degree program must include at least 35 semester hours of general education core requirements;

                    (8)     at a minimum, issuance of a master's degree shall require at least 30 semester hours of academic credit or the equivalent beyond a baccalaureate degree;

                    (9)     at a minimum, issuance of a doctoral degree shall require at least 90 semester credit hours of academic credit or the equivalent beyond a baccalaureate degree or at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent beyond the master’s degree and shall require successful completion and defense of a major independent project, involving original research or application of knowledge;

                    (10)     the research/project shall include a review of the literature, bibliography, and citations and shall otherwise conform to a recognized writing style manual;

                    (11)     a research/project committee composed of no fewer than three qualified readers shall review the project at various stages of development; documentation shall be provided to support this requirement;

                    (12)     a final defense of the project shall be required; the committee members shall be present and participate in the process; the final version of the research/project shall be accompanied by the original signature of each committee member;

                    (13)     the institution shall maintain a copy of the final report of the research/project and make it available upon request;

                    (14)     the research component shall provide no more than 30 percent of the degree credit requirement; and

                    (15)     all baccalaureate and graduate degree programs at an institution licensed by the department must be reviewed and approved periodically by teaching faculty of the institution; in non-traditional institutions, the institution must be able to demonstrate that representatives of the teaching faculty designated by the teaching faculty have, at intervals no longer than five years, provided such review and approval for each program offered.

                B.            Academic support resources:

                    (1)     an institution offering degrees shall provide or otherwise assist students in gaining access to resources needed for completion of their degree programs, including library materials, laboratories, equipment and materials, and relevant experiences needed to meet program requirements; no institution shall absolve itself from this requirement solely by referring students to the resources of other private or public institutions or facilities, except by written agreement with such institutions or facilities; and

                    (2)     in assessing this requirement the following will apply:

                              (a)     the institution shall have provisions for ensuring that students have access to appropriate learning resources;

                              (b)     the institution shall ensure that resources are adequate to support the programs;

                              (c)     the institution shall insure that students are adequately informed about learning resources available to them and how to access such resources and services;

                              (d)     the institution shall make training available for accessing learning resources; and

                              (e)     the institution shall ensure that resources are delivered within a reasonable period of time.

                C.            Credit for life experience: if an institution offers academic credit for life experience or employment related experience, the institution must have and adhere to the following requirements:

                    (1)     applicable life experience shall be limited to work experience, military experience or a combination of the two;

                    (2)     no more than 30 percent of the credit in a student's degree program may be awarded for life or work experience;

                    (3)     the institution shall utilize the methodologies outlined by the council for adult and experimental learning (CAEL) for evaluating life experience or shall have in place a comparable plan which describes procedures and requirements for the assessment of experiential learning;

                    (4)     the institution shall maintain documentation for at least three years of all materials used to assess and award credit for experiential learning;

                    (5)     the institution shall clearly indicate on the student degree plan the course(s) for which the experiential learning is being substituted;

                    (6)     the institution shall evaluate extra institutional learning only in subject areas in which it has or can arrange for faculty expertise or where it can rely on nationally validated examinations or other procedures for establishing credit equivalencies; and

                    (7)     no life experience credit shall be awarded toward the doctorate degree beyond master’s level study.

                D.            Special requirements for non-campus-based instruction: when evaluating the suitability for licensure of institutions offering nontraditional instruction, the department shall consider the extent to which instructional materials and procedures are:

                    (1)     suitable for students to learn by self-direction within whatever guidance is provided by the institution;

                    (2)     suitable for students typically admitted to the institution, considering students' reading ability, educational backgrounds, and interests;

                    (3)     organized in a manner that assists students in mastery of the necessary information and skills required to meet the stated objectives of the program and the types of further learning or employment situations for which the student is being prepared;

                    (4)     designed to assist students in gaining access to those materials, equipment, facilities, or experiences that are characteristic of comparable programs provided through traditional means and that are generally considered essential to earning an award for completion of such a program;

                    (5)     designed to permit students to assess their progress and to apply knowledge learned, for example, by using student checklists, examinations, sample problems, exercises, internships or cooperative work experiences, or other means; and

                    (6)     accompanied by valid and secure means of evaluating student performance, so that records of progress, grades, and/or awards for program completion remain comparable to those characteristic of sound traditional instructional programs.

                E.             Principles of good practice for electronically offered academic degree and certificate programs: quality is an essential component of the department’s agenda for higher education in New Mexico. The department endorses the principles of good practice established by the western interstate department for higher education (WICHE). It is expected that all distance learning courses and programs meet the following principles:

                    (1)     each program of study results in learning outcomes appropriate to the rigor and breadth of the degree or certificate awarded;

                    (2)     an electronically offered degree or certificate program is coherent and complete;

                    (3)     the program provides for appropriate real-time or delayed interaction between faculty and students and among students;

                    (4)     qualified faculty provide appropriate oversight of the program electronically offered;

                    (5)     the program is consistent with the institution’s role and mission;

                    (6)     review and approval processes ensure the appropriateness of the technology being used to meet the program’s objectives;

                    (7)     the program provides faculty support services specifically related to teaching via an electronic system;

                    (8)     the program provides training for faculty who teach via the use of technology;

                    (9)     the program ensures that appropriate learning resources are available to students;

                    (10)     the program provides students with clear, complete, and timely information on the curriculum, course and degree requirements, nature of faculty/student interaction, assumptions about technological competence and skills, technical equipment requirements, availability of academic support services and financial aid resources, and costs and payment policies;

                    (11)     enrolled students have reasonable and adequate access to the range of student services appropriate to support their learning;

                    (12)     accepted students have the background, knowledge and technical skills needed to undertake the program;

                    (13)     advertising, recruiting, and admissions materials clearly and accurately represent the program and the services available;

                    (14)     policies for faculty evaluation include appropriate consideration of teaching and scholarly activities related to electronically offered programs;

                    (15)     the institution demonstrates a commitment to ongoing support, both financial and technical, and to continuation of the program for a period sufficient to enable students to complete a degree/certificate;

                    (16)     the institution evaluates the program’s educational effectiveness, including assessments of student learning outcomes, student retention, and student and faculty satisfaction; students have access to such program evaluation data; and

                    (17)     the institution provides for assessment and documentation of student achievement in each course and at completion of the program.

                F.             Licensed, private degree-granting institutions may issue honorary degrees or certificates. An honorary degree/certificate shall identify in its title or name that it is an honorary degree/certificate and shall bear such on its face.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.27 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.27, 5-15-01; A, 5/15/02; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.28             ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE:

                A.            Application for and acceptance of a license constitutes an agreement by the institution to abide by each of the requirements specified in 5.100.2. NMAC pertinent to award of the license.

                B.            A “provisional approval to operate” (PAO) will be granted annually for up to two years to new applicants meeting basic regulation requirements. The PAO is not a license, and the issuance of the PAO does not imply automatic eligibility for licensure. During operation under the provisional status, the school must demonstrate its ability to meet all standards and must provide evidence of financial stability. By the end of the first two years of operation, the appropriate administrative staff and facilities must be in place. Site reviews will be conducted during the initial start-up phase and prior to the final review for licensure.

                C.            In making its decision regarding issuance of a license, the department may consider curricula and other descriptive and evaluative information submitted by the institution; information gathered during visits to the institution by representatives of the department; and information supplied by federal or state agencies, accrediting agencies, licensing boards, or other entities or their representatives judged by the department to be knowledgeable about the institution.

                D.            The department's determination shall normally be based upon, but need not be limited to consideration of the following factors as defined by the department:

                    (1)     adequacy of the administration of the institution;

                    (2)     adequacy of the financial condition of the institution;

                    (3)     adequacy of the curriculum and program completion requirements of the institution and of its programs;

                    (4)     adequacy of qualifications and performance of the teaching faculty of the institution;

                    (5)     adequacy of the support services needed by and available to students, including access to equipment and materials needed in specific programs;

                    (6)     adequacy of the institution's policies and procedures for admitting students, for advising and counseling students, and for informing students of their progress;

                    (7)     adequacy of the institution's policies and procedures regarding payment and refund of tuition and fees and regarding complaints by students or their representatives or by other citizens with grievances against the institution; and

                    (8)     the institution's effectiveness, as reflected in student outcomes such as program completion rates, withdrawal rates, and indices of satisfaction from students, employers, and other knowledgeable sources;

                    (9)     has been renumbered to Subsection E of 5.100.2.28 NMAC.

                    (10)     has been renumbered to Subsection F of 5.100.2.28 NMAC.

                E.             The department shall determine an appropriate schedule on which to evaluate each individual institution and the specific programs offered by that institution in order to evaluate compliance with these standards. Immediate evaluations of each individual institution will be conducted when:

                    (1)     an institution involuntarily loses its accreditation status;

                    (2)     the department is notified of an institution’s non-compliance with federal financial aid program regulations or the outcome of an audit from another state agency;

                    (3)     the institution fails to renew its surety bond, or appropriate alternative in a timely manner;

                    (4)     an institution is experiencing financial difficulties sufficient to threaten program quality;

                    (5)     an institution has significant staff turnover;

                    (6)     an institution fails to immediately notify the department of a change in ownership/management; or

                    (7)     the department becomes aware of any other factor that could alter basis for licensure.

                F.             An institution licensed by the department may use the term "licensed," but may not use terms such as "accredited", "endorsed" or "recommended" in reference to its approval by the department.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.28 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.28, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.29             DENIAL OF A LICENSE:  An applicant that fails to satisfy the requirements of Section 5.100.2.28 NMAC and/or fails to adequately address the specific criteria set forth in Subsection D of 5.100.2.28 NMAC shall be subject to denial of licensure.  If the department contemplates denial of licensure to any applicant, the department shall commence proceedings pursuant to and in accordance with the Uniform Licensing Act, Sections 61-1-1 through 61-1-31 NMSA 1978.

[02-15-00, 5.100.2.29 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.29, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.30             REVOCATION OF A LICENSE:

                A.            The department may revoke an institution's license to operate or approval to offer a specific degree program(s) at any time, upon finding that:

                    (1)     Any statement made in the institution's application for licensure is untrue;

                    (2)     The institution has failed to maintain the faculty, facilities, equipment, or other necessary support for its program(s) of study on the basis of which the license or approval was granted; and

                    (3)     The institution has failed to advise the department about significant factors which serve as a basis for licensure, such as:

                              (a)     financial difficulties sufficient to threaten program quality;

                              (b)     significant staff changes in a short period of time;

                              (c)     change of ownership/management;

                              (d)     outcomes of audits by other state agencies;

                              (e)     loss or lowering of accreditation status; or

                              (f)     any other factor that could alter basis for licensure.

                    (4)     The institution has failed to renew annual license in a timely manner.

                    (5)     The institution has failed to comply with one or more standards of licensure established by the department or with applicable law.

                B.            Prior to revoking a license, the department, or its designee, shall give the institution notice of ten work days and shall provide an opportunity for the institution to demonstrate why the license should not be revoked.

                C.            At its discretion, the department, or its designee, may institute a probationary period of continued licensure for the institution during which time the institution must demonstrate its resolution of deficiencies to the satisfaction of the department.  Under no circumstance shall this probationary period exceed one year.

                D.            If the institution fails to sufficiently demonstrate that its licensure should not be revoked, as provided by Subsection B of 5.100.2.30 NMAC, the department shall commence proceedings pursuant to and in accordance with the Uniform Licensing Act, Sections 61-1-1 through 61-1-31 NMSA 1978.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92,7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.30 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.30, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.31             ANNUAL FEES:

                A.            Initial licensure. Institutions seeking initial approval to operate in New Mexico shall provide all information on a form specified by the department and shall pay a fee in an amount set by the department for the first year of operation ending June 30.  In setting the fee, consideration shall be given to the projected revenue of the institution in New Mexico and the projected cost of performing a review of the institution; provided, that the fee shall not be less than $200 nor more than $5,000.  Exemptions:  Institutions that are not regionally accredited and are seeking an “exemption from licensure” on or after September 30, 1996 shall pay an exempt application fee in an amount equal to the minimal licensure renewal fee, as outlined in Subsection B of 5.100.2.31 NMAC.

                B.            Licensure renewal.  By July 1 of each year or as soon thereafter as requested by the department, each institution licensed by the department and wishing to continue to operate in New Mexico shall pay a fee in an amount set by the department or shall have reached agreement with the department regarding a schedule of payment.  The fee shall be proportionate to the school's gross annual tuition revenue, excluding continuing education, during a period specified by the department; provided, that the fee shall not be less than $200 nor more than $5,000.

                C.            Late fee.  The department will establish and impose an additional fee to be assessed each institution that has filed for renewal of its license but is more than twenty (20) working days delinquent in submission of its annual fee.

                D.            The department shall maintain and circulate a written summary of the factors and rates that are being observed in setting fees for licensure.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.31 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 100.2.31, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.32             SURETY BONDS:

                A.            Each institution licensed by the department shall maintain in force a surety bond or alternative surety accepted by the department, in an amount set by the department, and payable to the department.

                B.            The amount of the bond or alternative surety shall be sufficient to indemnify any student damaged as a result of fraud or misrepresentation by a licensed institution or as a result of the institution ceasing operation prior to its students having completed the programs for which they have contracted. If a licensed institution closes, the department may draw upon the bond to pay costs associated with preservation of student records.

                C.            The department shall establish the amount of bond required for each institution, taking into consideration factors such as the institution's size, number of students, and total income and assets of the institution within New Mexico.  Provided that, in no case shall the bond be less than $5,000 nor shall it exceed twenty percent of the institution's anticipated or actual gross annual tuition and fee revenue in New Mexico.

                D.            Surety bonds may be canceled only following delivery of written notice to the department no less than ninety calendar days prior to the date of cancellation.  In case of cancellation, the institution shall provide the department with a like surety or acceptable alternative in order to maintain licensure.

                E.             Bonds provided by institutions must be accompanied by the name, office address and phone number of the issuing company representative.

                F.             Alternative Forms of Surety. An institution may request a waiver from the bond requirement and provide to the department an explanation of the alternative form for which they are seeking approval.  The department has the authority to accept or reject any request.  Such alternative may be a cash deposit escrow account, irrevocable letter or credit, or similar alternative payable to the department in the amount equal to the bond requirement.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 5.100.2.32 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.32, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.33             CLOSURE OF INSTITUTIONS:

                A.            As a condition of licensure, an institution agrees that it will not cease operation within New Mexico without making appropriate provisions for the completion of programs by its students, if and when the institution ceases operations in New Mexico, or if and when the institution makes a substantial change of location within New Mexico.

                B.            An institution shall notify the department as soon as possible but in no case fewer than 30 calendar days prior to terminating or moving operations in New Mexico and shall present to the department a plan that provides for (a) completion of programs by its students; (b) preservation of student records, as prescribed in section 17, above; and (c) identification of the location of a responsible agent for the school for a period of at least one year following closure.

                C.            Prior to terminating or substantially moving operations in New Mexico, an institution shall arrange with another public or private institution(s) to complete the instruction of any currently enrolled students who will not have completed their programs at the time of closure or move.  Such teach-out shall be arranged at no additional cost to the students beyond that originally agreed to by the student.

                D.            The department may find that teach-out arrangements are not feasible for students in one or more programs offered by the institution, in which case the institution shall refund all tuition and fees paid by the students in question for the current period of enrollment and shall provide appropriate transcripts and evaluations to assist students in transferring their work to another institution.

                E.             If any private institution discontinues its operation, the chief administrative officer shall file with the appropriate receiving agent, the original or legible true copies of all educational records required by the agency.  The department may seek a court order to protect and if necessary take possession of the records.

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94, 9-30-96, 2-15-00, 5.100.2.33 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.33, 5-15-01; A, 7/31/05]

 

5.100.2.34             APPEALS OF LICENSURE DECISIONS:  [Repealed]

[2-27-85, 6-30-92, 7-1-94; 02-15-00, 5.100.2.34 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 100.2.34, 5-15-01]

 

HISTORY OF 5.100.2 NMAC:

Pre-NMAC History:

BEF 75-1, Standards and Guidelines for Certifying Private Proprietary Schools and Colleges, 6-25-75.

BEF Rule 710, In-State Proprietary Institutions - Administrative Regulations, 2-27-85.

CHE Rule 710, Private Postsecondary Institutions Operating Under the Post-Secondary Educational Institution Act: Administrative Regulations, 6-30-94.

 

History of Repealed Material:  [RESERVED]