2011 ORS § 348.604¹
Exemption from ORS 348.594 to 348.615

Upon application from a school, as defined in ORS 348.594 (Definitions for ORS 348.594 to 348.615), the Higher Education Coordinating Commission shall grant an exemption from ORS 348.594 (Definitions for ORS 348.594 to 348.615) to 348.615 (Appeal procedure) to the school if the school:

(1) Is, or is operated by, a nonprofit corporation;

(2) Offers only associate, bachelors or masters degrees with titles in theology or religious occupations, or, if the school also offers doctoral degrees, offers doctoral degrees in theology or religious occupations that have been approved by a federally recognized accrediting organization;

(3) Teaches students with faculty members who:

(a) Hold degrees:

(A) From a school that, at the time of the conferral of the degrees, was accredited by a federally recognized accrediting organization, held an exemption under this section, or was a school that, on July 14, 2005, met the criteria and followed procedures to obtain a religious exemption adopted by rule by the Oregon Student Access Commission and that offered only degrees with approved titles in theology or religious occupations;

(B) That are at least one level above the degree level of the program in which the faculty members teach or that are the terminal degrees in the field in which the faculty members teach; and

(C) That are not honorary degrees; or

(b) Possess sufficient compensatory qualifications to substitute for academic degrees in the fields in which the faculty members teach;

(4) Offers a curriculum:

(a) Of a duration and level that is comparable to the curriculums offered by schools that are not exempt under this section; and

(b) That, with higher degrees, increases the difficulty of the work expected of students;

(5) Requires students to complete academic assignments and to demonstrate learning appropriate to the curriculum;

(6) Awards credit toward degrees proportionate to the work done by students;

(7) Offers admission:

(a) To a student:

(A) With a high school diploma or an equivalent credential; or

(B) Who completed the equivalent of a high school education through home study; and

(b) Based on evidence that the student can reasonably expect to complete a degree and benefit from the education offered;

(8) Provides or arranges for faculty members and students to have access to information that supports instruction and stimulates research or independent study in all areas of the curriculum;

(9) Provides accurate and appropriate credit transcripts to students of the school and accurate and appropriate diplomas to graduates of the school;

(10) Charges tuition by the credit hour or other fixed rate for instruction during an academic term and does not charge tuition or fees for the award of a degree or charge a single fee for an entire degree program;

(11) Provides the oversight required by the commission over a faculty member or administrator who has:

(a) Been convicted of a felony; or

(b) Violated a state or federal law related to the operation of a school;

(12) Provides facilities that permit private communication between faculty members and students;

(13) Provides a number of faculty members that is adequate for the number of students enrolled;

(14) Provides clear and accurate information to students about the schools expectations of students in the schools courses;

(15) Ensures that a student who is pursuing a degree is making continuous progress toward the degree;

(16) Before a student enrolls in the school, informs the student that a school to which the student might transfer retains the discretion whether to accept the transfer of credits earned at the school;

(17) Provides official transcripts of faculty members to the commission; and

(18) Pays the fee imposed by ORS 348.607 (Fee for exemption application). [2005 c.546 §2; 2011 c.353 §2; 2011 c.637 §181]

Note: The amendments to 348.604 (Exemption from ORS 348.594 to 348.615) by section 181, chapter 637, Oregon Laws 2011, become operative July 1, 2012. See section 292, chapter 637, Oregon Laws 2011. The text that is operative until July 1, 2012, including amendments by section 2, chapter 353, Oregon Laws 2011, is set forth for the users convenience.

348.604 (Exemption from ORS 348.594 to 348.615). Upon application from a school, as defined in ORS 348.594 (Definitions for ORS 348.594 to 348.615), the Oregon Student Access Commission, through the Office of Degree Authorization, shall grant an exemption from ORS 348.594 (Definitions for ORS 348.594 to 348.615) to 348.615 (Appeal procedure) to the school if the school:

(1) Is, or is operated by, a nonprofit corporation;

(2) Offers only associate, bachelors or masters degrees with titles in theology or religious occupations, or, if the school also offers doctoral degrees, offers doctoral degrees in theology or religious occupations that have been approved by a federally recognized accrediting organization;

(3) Teaches students with faculty members who:

(a) Hold degrees:

(A) From a school that, at the time of the conferral of the degrees, was accredited by a federally recognized accrediting organization, held an exemption under this section, or was a school that, on July 14, 2005, met the criteria and followed procedures to obtain a religious exemption adopted by rule by the Oregon Student Access Commission and that offered only degrees with approved titles in theology or religious occupations;

(B) That are at least one level above the degree level of the program in which the faculty members teach or that are the terminal degrees in the field in which the faculty members teach; and

(C) That are not honorary degrees; or

(b) Possess sufficient compensatory qualifications to substitute for academic degrees in the fields in which the faculty members teach;

(4) Offers a curriculum:

(a) Of a duration and level that is comparable to the curriculums offered by schools that are not exempt under this section; and

(b) That, with higher degrees, increases the difficulty of the work expected of students;

(5) Requires students to complete academic assignments and to demonstrate learning appropriate to the curriculum;

(6) Awards credit toward degrees proportionate to the work done by students;

(7) Offers admission:

(a) To a student:

(A) With a high school diploma or an equivalent credential; or

(B) Who completed the equivalent of a high school education through home study; and

(b) Based on evidence that the student can reasonably expect to complete a degree and benefit from the education offered;

(8) Provides or arranges for faculty members and students to have access to information that supports instruction and stimulates research or independent study in all areas of the curriculum;

(9) Provides accurate and appropriate credit transcripts to students of the school and accurate and appropriate diplomas to graduates of the school;

(10) Charges tuition by the credit hour or other fixed rate for instruction during an academic term and does not charge tuition or fees for the award of a degree or charge a single fee for an entire degree program;

(11) Provides the oversight required by the commission through the office over a faculty member or administrator who has:

(a) Been convicted of a felony; or

(b) Violated a state or federal law related to the operation of a school;

(12) Provides facilities that permit private communication between faculty members and students;

(13) Provides a number of faculty members that is adequate for the number of students enrolled;

(14) Provides clear and accurate information to students about the schools expectations of students in the schools courses;

(15) Ensures that a student who is pursuing a degree is making continuous progress toward the degree;

(16) Before a student enrolls in the school, informs the student that a school to which the student might transfer retains the discretion whether to accept the transfer of credits earned at the school;

(17) Provides official transcripts of faculty members to the office; and

(18) Pays the fee imposed by ORS 348.607 (Fee for exemption application).

Note: See note under 348.597 (Applicability of ORS 348.594 to 348.615).