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13B.02.01.07

.07 Institutional Initial Approval Process.

A. An out-of-State institution seeking initial approval may not operate in Maryland, do business, recruit or enroll students, begin instruction, or promote advanced publicity through advertisements, announcements, or other similar media on proposed courses or programs to be offered in Maryland until it obtains approval from the Secretary in accordance with this chapter.

B. The Secretary's approval to operate in Maryland, if granted, shall be for a period of 1 year and may be renewable on an annual basis for the first 5 years of operation in Maryland, and thereafter for an extended period of time up to 5 years.

C. An out-of-State institution that has received a certificate of approval to operate in Maryland may not add a new program until it has complied with §D(3) of this regulation.

D. Procedures to Apply for Initial Approval to Operate in Maryland.

(1) To receive initial approval to operate in Maryland, the chief executive officer shall submit to the Secretary, on the forms provided, a written application for authorization to offer one or more postsecondary educational courses or programs in a specific location in Maryland. The completed application and all supportive documentation shall be provided at least 5 months before the out-of-State institution proposes to begin operation.

(2) An institution shall submit a non-refundable application fee in the amount of:

(a) $7,500 for up to two degree programs; and

(b) An additional $850 for each degree program over two programs.

(3) The application to offer degree and certificate programs shall include:

(a) Identification of the institution;

(b) The specific address, if known, or the geographical location of proposed operation, including, at a minimum, the county or city, with the specific address to be provided when known;

(c) Proposed start date and term of operation;

(d) Identification of authorized representatives;

(e) Board of trustees resolution of financial solvency;

(f) Except as provided in §D(4)(a) of this regulation, certificate of incorporation as a foreign (out-of State) corporation from the Department of Assessments and Taxation;

(g) Institutional accreditation status with an organization recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education to grant institutional accreditation;

(h) Copies of awards to be granted;

(i) Programmatic data, including the degree or certificate, the curriculum, and proposed schedule of classes;

(j) A detailed and accurate description of the proposed programs and operations including:

(i) All degree and certificate programs to be offered by the institution;

(ii) A description of the objectives of each degree and certificate program including the mode of instructional delivery;

(iii) A description of the student population to be served; and

(iv) A description of a teach-out plan allowing enrolled students to complete their program if the institution decides to cease operation in Maryland;

(k) Evidence of a critical and compelling regional or Statewide need and demand for specific academic degree programs in a specific geographic region of the State in accordance with Regulation .06 of this chapter;

(l) Data projecting market demand and the availability of openings in the job market to be served by each new program;

(m) Qualification of instructors and staff;

(n) Library resources;

(o) Certificate of compliance with fire and safety codes;

(p) Copies of advertisements; and

(q) If applicable, a letter of sponsorship from the employer or institution that is requesting the out-of-State institution to offer a program in Maryland.

(4) Certificate of Incorporation.

(a) A public institution is not required to submit a certificate of incorporation as a foreign corporation.

(b) A business entity affiliated with a public institution is required to submit a certificate of incorporation.

(5) The institution may apply to offer courses only if the full complement of courses comprise not more than 3 courses or 9 credits of a degree or certificate program. The application to offer courses shall include:

(a) Identification of the institution;

(b) The specific address, if known, or the geographic location of proposed operation, including, at a minimum, the county or city, with the specific address to be provided when known;

(c) Proposed start date and term of operation;

(d) Certificate of incorporation as a foreign (out-of-State) corporation, if required by State law;

(e) Institutional accreditation status with an organization recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education to grant institutional accreditation;

(f) Programmatic data, including the degree or certificate, the curriculum, and the proposed schedule of classes;

(g) A description of the objectives of each course including the mode of instructional delivery;

(h) A description of the student population to be served;

(i) Evidence of a critical and compelling regional or Statewide need and demand for specific academic degree programs in a specific geographic region of the State in accordance with Regulation .06 of this chapter;

(j) Qualification of instructors and staff;

(k) Certificate of compliance with fire and safety codes; and

(l) If applicable, a letter of sponsorship from the employer or institution that is requesting the institution to offer a course in Maryland.

(6) Application to Operate in Maryland as a Closed Site Out-of-State Institution.

(a) An application to offer degree and certificate programs as a closed-site institution shall include all of the application requirements specified in §D(3) of this regulation. An application to offer not more than 3 courses or 9 credits of a degree or certificate program as a closed-site institution shall include all of the application requirements specified in §D(5) of this regulation.

(b) In addition, the institution shall supply a memorandum of understanding from the Maryland entity sponsoring the institution. The memorandum of understanding shall specify that the institution is operating as a closed-site and that courses are offered solely for its own employees.

E. Application Review, Notice, and Period for Comments and Objections.

(1) Upon submission by an out-of-State institution of the application and documentation required by §D of this regulation, the Secretary shall review the application and documentation to ensure that the institution has satisfied the requirements of this chapter.

(2) Upon receipt of a complete application and documentation, the Secretary shall inform all institutions of higher education and segments of higher education of the proposal.

(3) A 30-day period for comments and objections shall be allowed.

(4) Any institution of higher education or segment of higher education desiring to raise an objection shall do so during the 30-day comment period.

(5) The Secretary shall consider all comments and objections received before making the final decision.

(6) The Secretary may not consider an objection raised after the 30-day period.

(7) The Secretary may ask the applicant institution for additional information in response to comments and objections received.

(8) The 30-day period for comments and objections does not apply to a closed-site institution.

F. Secretary's Grant of Approval to Operate in Maryland.

(1) The Secretary shall grant the certificate of approval to the out-of-State institution to operate in Maryland on such conditions as may be considered appropriate, if the Secretary is satisfied that:

(a) The application and documentation submitted by the institution is in compliance with this chapter and the institution is in compliance with this chapter;

(b) The institution is fully accredited by an organization recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education to grant institutional accreditation; and

(c) The programs to be offered in Maryland are similar to programs offered at its main or primary campus.

(2) The Secretary shall notify the chief executive officer of the institution in writing of the official action taken by the Secretary.

G. Secretary's Denial of Approval to Operate in Maryland.

(1) If the Secretary is not satisfied that an out-of-State institution is in compliance with this chapter, the Secretary shall issue a notice of deficiencies and deny approval to the institution.

(2) Within 20 days of receipt of a notice of deficiencies, the institution denied approval to operate in Maryland may request a hearing before the Commission as provided in Education Article, §11-202(f), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(3) The hearing before the Commission shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 13B.04.01.

(4) If the institution requests a hearing, the Commission may refer the hearing to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(5) After the hearing in §G(3) of this regulation, the Commission may take the following action:

(a) Grant approval to operate;

(b) Deny approval to operate; or

(c) Remand the case to the Secretary for further action as directed by the Commission.

(6) If the institution does not file a timely request for a hearing on the notice of deficiencies, the Secretary's decision becomes final.

H. Completed Application and Documentation.

(1) An application is complete as of the day on which an out-of-State institution submits documentation satisfactory to the Secretary that the institution has completed the application process.

(2) If the Secretary has neither issued a certificate of approval nor a written notice of deficiency within 6 months of the completed application, the institution may request a hearing before the Commission to determine whether a certificate of approval shall be issued.

(3) The request shall be made within 20 days of the expiration of the 6-month period.

(4) The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 13B.04.01.

I. Judicial Review.

(1) An out-of-State institution that is denied a certificate of approval by the Commission after a hearing granted under §G or H of this regulation has the right to judicial review provided by State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The decision of the Commission is presumed correct and the institution has the burden of proving otherwise.

(3) The Commission shall be a party to the proceeding.

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