Friday, March 23, 2012

News Release: HECB to consider institutional authorization rule changes in March 29 meeting

OLYMPIA – During a conference call meeting on Thursday March 29, the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) will consider proposed rule changes related to higher education institutions that must obtain Board authorization to operate in Washington.
The proposed rules would increase fees for initial degree authorization, degree authorization renewal and degree authorization reapplication.  The rules also would establish fees for new program applications and new site applications, and create definitions for a “new program application” and “new site application.”
The Washington Degree-Granting Institutions Act (RCW 28B.85) requires institutions to seek authorization unless specifically exempted from the requirement. Public institutions, longstanding private institutions and schools that exclusively offer religious training are among those exempted from the requirement.
Last year, the Legislature allowed the HECB to eliminate unnecessary barriers to the delivery of online, competency-based education by Western Governor University-Washington.  Consistent with that legislation, WGU- Washington has been granted a temporary waiver from the authorization requirement of the Degree-Granting Institutions Act.  The proposed rules include language to allow a specific exemption category for schools that receive legislative recognition as Washington schools, provided the schools comply with all conditions established by the Legislature.
The proposed rules also add clarifying language to assist stakeholders in understanding Washington requirements for degree-granting institutions. No comments were received on the proposed rule revisions during a public hearing in January.
Briefing materials for the meeting are available at:

To listen to the meeting:
Phone: 1-877-668-4490
Access code: 572 909 365