OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF HIGHER EDUCATION RELATING TO TEACH-OUT PLANS AND ON-SITE REVIEW OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS.
The bill expands the Office of Higher Education (OHE) executive director's oversight discretion regarding higher educational institutions that (1) are in danger of closing or (2) apply to OHE to offer programs in a field requiring a license to practice in Connecticut.
By law, the OHE executive director may take action to assist students attending a private occupational school that closes without meeting all the requirements in state law, including providing evidence to OHE of student refunds and course completion. Among the actions the director may take is the facilitation of a “teach-out,” defined as the completion of a course or program of study in which a student was enrolled (CGS § 10a-22m(a) & (d)). The purpose of a “teach out” is to ensure current students can complete their programs without significant impact.
The bill allows the OHE executive director to require any institution, not just a private occupational school, that is not regionally accredited to facilitate a teach-out if it is exhibiting financial and administrative signs that it is in danger of closing, provided, however, that he previously discussed a teach-out with the institution.
Additionally, the bill allows the OHE executive director or his designee to require of any program application for a field with practitioners who must be licensed to practice in Connecticut (1) evidence that the program meets state or federal licensing requirements and (2) a focused or onsite review. Under current law, the executive director can only require an onsite review for program applications for health-related fields that require a license to practice in Connecticut.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017
Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee
Joint Favorable Substitute