Educ. Code Section 61.0512
Board Approval of Academic Programs
(a)A new degree or certificate program may be added at an institution of higher education only with specific prior approval of the board. A new degree or certificate program is considered approved if the board has not completed a review under this section and acted to approve or disapprove the proposed program before the first anniversary of the date on which an institution of higher education submits a completed application for approval to the board. The board may not summarily disapprove a program without completing the review required by this section. The board shall specify by rule the elements that constitute a completed application and shall make an administrative determination of the completeness of the application not later than the fifth business day after receiving the application. A request for additional information in support of an application that has been determined administratively complete does not toll the period within which the application is considered approved under this section.
(b)At the time an institution of higher education begins preliminary planning for a new degree program, the institution must notify the board before the institution may carry out that planning.
(c)The board shall review each degree or certificate program offered by an institution of higher education at the time the institution requests to implement a new program to ensure that the program:
(1)is needed by the state and the local community and does not unnecessarily duplicate programs offered by other institutions of higher education or private or independent institutions of higher education;
(2)has adequate financing from legislative appropriation, funds allocated by the board, or funds from other sources;
(3)has necessary faculty and other resources to ensure student success; and
(4)meets academic standards specified by law or prescribed by board rule, including rules adopted by the board for purposes of this section, or workforce standards established by the Texas Workforce Investment Council.
(d)The board may review the number of degrees or certificates awarded through a degree or certificate program every four years or more frequently, at the board’s discretion.
(e)The board shall review each degree or certificate program offered by an institution of higher education at least every 10 years after a new program is established using the criteria prescribed by Subsection (c).
(f)The board may not order the consolidation or elimination of any degree or certificate program offered by an institution of higher education but may, based on the board’s review under Subsections (d) and (e), recommend such action to an institution’s governing board. If an institution’s governing board does not accept recommendations to consolidate or eliminate a degree or certificate program, the university system or, where a system does not exist, the institution, must identify the programs recommended for consolidation or elimination on the next legislative appropriations request submitted by the system or institution.
(g)An institution of higher education may offer off-campus courses for credit within the state or distance learning courses only with specific prior approval of the board. An institution must certify to the board that a course offered for credit outside the state meets the board’s academic criteria. An institution shall include the certification in submitting any other reports required by the board.
(h)In approving a degree or certificate program under this section, the board:
(1)for a doctoral program, may not consider undergraduate graduation or persistence rates; and
(2)for a baccalaureate degree program proposed to be offered by a public junior college previously authorized by the board to offer baccalaureate degree programs under Section 130.0012:
(A)shall approve the degree program within 60 days after the date the board receives notice of the degree program if the degree program:
(i)is approved by the governing board of the junior college district; and
(ii)is not an engineering program; and
(B)is considered to have approved the degree program after the date described by Paragraph (A) if the conditions of that paragraph are satisfied.
Section 61.0512 — Board Approval of Academic Programs,
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ED/htm/ED.61.htm#61.0512 (accessed Dec. 2, 2023).