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22 Pa. Code § 31.1. Purpose and scope.


§ 31.1. Purpose and scope.

 (a)  This chapter provides protection for students and citizens of this Commonwealth, guides the orderly development of postsecondary education in this Commonwealth and offers direction to those intending to establish new institutions of postsecondary education in this Commonwealth.

 (b)  This chapter does not apply to Chapter 35 (relating to community colleges), except for the following:

   (1)  Section 31.6 (relating to information).

   (2)  Section 31.23 (relating to program database).

   (3)  Section 31.24(e) (relating to faculty).

   (4)  Section 31.52 (relating to accreditation).

   (5)  Sections 31.61—31.63 (relating to honorary degrees).

   (6)  Section 31.71 (relating to notification).

   (7)  Section 31.72 (relating to obligations).

   (8)  The definition of ‘‘major corporate change’’ under §  31.2 (relating to definitions).

   (9)  Section 31.21(a) and (b) (relating to curricula).

 (c)  Exclusive of community colleges, this chapter applies to an institution of postsecondary education, domestic or foreign, including both out-of-State and out-of-country, legally authorized to award college credits or grant degrees in this Commonwealth, and to an institution or chartering group applying for authorization. An entity is required to be approved as a postsecondary institution under this chapter to award college credits or grant degrees in this Commonwealth. An institution is prohibited by law to operate in this Commonwealth and award college credits or grant degrees unless legally authorized to do so. Provisions of Board regulations in this part that are in conflict with this chapter do not affect the applicability of this chapter unless specified by another provision of Board regulations in this part.

 (d)  This subpart establishes the minimum standards for achieving and maintaining approval of institutions and programs.

 (e)  Only a postsecondary degree-granting institution having more than 50% of its degree programs consisting of resident-based instruction may be established or operate in this Commonwealth. For combination programs, the residential portion of the program shall be offered on a regularly scheduled basis. An approved postsecondary degree-granting institution that has operated for 10 years within this Commonwealth, or a private licensed school offering AST or ASB degrees that has operated for 10 years within this Commonwealth, may petition the Department to be established to operate as a college or university with more than 50% of its degree programs offered through distance education, if it has demonstrated the following:

   (1)  Accreditation by a regional accreditation agency approved by the United States Department of Education.

   (2)  Graduated a minimum of 25 students each from 10 degree programs in place at the time of petitioning for approval.

   (3)  Is not in corrective action status.

   (4)  The Department has not initiated the process to revoke its approval of the institution.

 (f)  Except as specifically provided in this chapter, this chapter does not apply to private licensed schools or other proprietary institutions of postsecondary education that do not offer degrees. These institutions are governed by the Private Licensed Schools Act (24 P. S. § §  6501—6518) and Chapters 42 and 73 (relating to program approval; and private licensed schools—general provisions).


   The provisions of this §  31.1 amended under sections 2603-B and 2604-B of the Public School Code (24 P. S. § §  26-2603-B and 26-2604-B); and section 1 of the act of August 13, 1963 (P. L. 698, No. 372) (24 P. S. §  2421) (Repealed).


   The provisions of this §  31.1 adopted March 14, 1969; amended August 10, 1973, effective August 11, 1973, 3 Pa.B. 1501; amended April 30, 1982, effective May 1, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 1389; amended January 29, 1988, effective January 30, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 455; amended February 7, 1992, effective February 8, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 578; amended July 14, 2006, effective July 15, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 3650. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (307727) to (307728).

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