Higher Learning Commission

Policy Title: Commission Approval of Institutional Teach-Out Arrangements

Number: FDCR.B.10.010

Commission approval shall be required when an institution must teach-out one or more students.

Institutional Situations Requiring Submission of Teach-Out Arrangements
The institution shall be required to submit a written teach-out plan in any of the following circumstances: (a) the U.S. Department of Education notifies the Commission of an emergency action, or a limitation, suspension or termination or similar action against the institution; (b) the Commission acts to withdraw, terminate or suspend the status of an institution; (c) the institution notifies the Commission that it intends to cease or suspend operations or permanently close a site where it offers at least 100% of either a Certificate or degree program before all students have completed their program of study; (d) a state licensing or authorizing agency notifies the Commission that an institution’s license or legal authorization to provide an educational program in that state has been or will be revoked; or (e) Commission staff determines that the institution is at risk for a sudden closure or suspension of its operations because it is in financial distress, under governmental investigation or facing other significant challenges.

Commission Approval of Teach-Out Plans
The institution shall submit the teach-out plan to the Commission; the Commission will provide its approval if the following are met:

  1. The teach-out plan provides for equitable treatment of students by ensuring that they are able to complete the educational program in which they were enrolled immediately prior to the notification in Institutional Situations Requiring Submission of Teach-Out Arrangements within a reasonable period of time; and
  2. The teach-out plan provides for prompt notification of additional charges to students, if any.

If the Commission approves a teach-out plan that includes a program accredited by a specialized or professional accreditor, the Commission shall notify that accreditor.

Commission Requirement for Teach-Out Agreement
The Commission may require that an institution in the situations identified in Institutional Situations Requiring Submission of Teach-Out Arrangements submit a teach-out agreement for the Commission’s review and approval in conjunction with its teach-out plan. In addition, any affiliated institution that enters into a teach-out agreement with, or on behalf of, another institution, regardless of whether that institution has presented a teach-out plan to the Commission or is accredited by the Commission, shall submit the teach-out agreement to the Commission for approval prior to its implementation. The Commission will provide its approval if the following are met:

  1. The teach-out agreement is with another institution that is accredited by or holding candidacy with an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and, where appropriate, that it is an eligible institution for Title IV financial aid;
  2. The teach-out agreement is consistent with all applicable state and federal regulations;
  3. The teach-out institution has the necessary experience, resources, and support services to provide an educational program that is of acceptable quality and reasonably similar in content, structure and scheduling to that provided by the institution closing or ceasing operations; demonstrates that it can provide students access to such programs and services without requiring them to move or travel substantial distances; and is stable, carrying out its mission and meeting all obligations to existing students; and
  4. The teach-out agreement is fair and equitable to students and provides students with reasonable opportunities to complete their education without additional charges and includes a notification provision to ensure that students have complete information about the tuition and fees of the institution conducting the teach-out.

Institutional Closure Without Approved Teach-Out Plan or Agreement
The Commission shall work with the U.S. Department of Education and the appropriate state agency, if any, in the event an institution the Commission accredits or has awarded candidacy for accreditation status closes without a teach-out plan or agreement, to assist students in finding reasonable opportunities to complete their education without additional charges.


 

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Policy History

Last Revised: August 2016
First Adopted: June 2008
Revision History: revised February 2009, February 2010, November 2010, August 2016
Notes: Policies combined November 2012: 3.9, 3.9(a), 3.9(b), 3.9(c), 3.9(d).

Policy Number Key

Section FDCR: Policies Required by Federal Regulation

Chapter B: Teach Out

Part 10: General

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