Responses Last Confirmed:

Minnesota Office of Higher Education

Agency Contact

Betsy Talbot
651-259-3965
betsy.talbot@state.mn.us

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Steve Simon
651-201-1324
secretary.state@state.mn.us
Topic:

Types of Educational Providers Authorized

2A1.
Institution Types Authorized – Indicate the types of institutions that your agency authorizes. Please provide a short explanation of any ambiguity in the comment section below

NO INFORMATION PROVIDED AT THIS TIME

____      Public, in-state degree granting institutions

__X__    Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions                

___X_    Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions

_X___    Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions  

__X__    Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions

__X__    Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions

____      Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions

___X_    Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions

__X__

2A2.
Clarifying comments:

We only regulate tribal colleges if they participate in state financial aid programs.  Religious institutions must qualify for an exemption from authorization.  Only some seminaries qualify for this limited exemption.

2B1.
Is accreditation required for an institution to be authorized in your state? Yes or No.

Both.

2B2.
Clarifying comments:

Accreditation is required for degree-granting institutions, not for non-degree granting institutions.

2B3.
If yes, what type of accreditation is required? Please, check all that apply as appropriate.

OHE does not distinguish between national and regional accreditation.  OHE does require institutional accreditation (so hybrid accreditation is allowed if all degree-programs are accredited).   Exempt institutions, including religious institutions, are not required to have accreditation.

Regional Accreditation Required for:
____ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
____ Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private,

2B4.
Clarifying comments:

no distinction between national and regional accreditation- accreditation must be institutional accreditation.

2C1.
Does your agency authorize specific academic programs offered by institutions, only institutions themselves, or both?

No response provided

____ Institution   _____ Program   __x___ Both

2C2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

2D1.
Does your state require a Surety Bond for authorized out-of-state institutions? Yes or No.

Both.

2D2.
Clarifying comments:

There are surety requirements for all non-degree granting institutions and degree-granting institutions if the schools is on HCM1 or LOC status with the USDOE.

2E1.
Does your state have a Tuition Refund Policy Requirement? If so, for which types of institutions?

Yes, only for non-degree granting institutions.

Topic:

Exemptions

3A1.
Are certain institutions or programs exempt by law or policy from your state authorization requirements? If so, for which types of institutions? Which types of programs? Please provide web link.

The office has many exemptions, including for reciprocity agreements, tuition-free or low cost programs, and religious institutions.  They are found here: 

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.833 and https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.653 and

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.657 and

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.658 and

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.834

Topic:

Authorization of Distance Education

4A1.
Does your agency require purely online programs offered by out-of-state institutions to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No.

Both

 

Yes for degree-granting institutions

No for non-degree granting institutions

 

4A2.
If not, does your agency determine whether an institution must be authorized based on a physical presence (“operating”) standard? Yes or No.

Yes, non-degree schools have triggers for physical presence beyond online only programs.

4A3.
Clarifying comments:

Physical presence can be triggered by sending recruiters to MN, have on-ground internships or clinical experiences, and advertising in the state.

 

Yes: for non-degree granting institutions.

No: for degree-granting institutions

4B1.
Does your agency require correspondence study programs to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No

No.

4B2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Physical Presence Policy - Common Triggers

5A1.
If your agency uses a physical presence standard, how does your agency define physical presence? If available, please provide a link to that policy or a citation to the relevant regulation giving that standard.

Degree granting institutions: “All schools located within Minnesota and all schools located outside Minnesota which offer degree programs or courses within Minnesota shall register annually with the office.”  Minn. Stat. 136A.63

 

Non-degree granting institutions: “A private career school must not maintain, advertise, solicit for, administer, or conduct any program in Minnesota without first obtaining a license from the office.” Minn. Stat. 136A.822 subd. 1.

5A2.
URL for physical presence definition

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.63

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.822

5A3.
Clarifying comments:

OHE has had to develop a test to determine whether a degree-granting institution is located in Minnesota (as to deal with issues of diploma mills or schools using a PO Box to establish location).  Factors include administrative services location, office space (not just by the hour), and board member and meeting location.

Topic:

Application Process

6A1.
Description – Please provide a short description of the application process to obtain state authorization. If available, please provide web links to the specific references to all applicable state laws, regulations, manuals, forms, or other pertinent docu

Applications for programs, institution information (including ownership information), faculty information, locations, financial information, and accreditation information.

6A2.
URL for application

https://mn.edvera.com for degree granting and https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=204 for non-degree granting

6A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Fees Associated with Authorization

7A1.
Application Fee – Is there an application fee to initiate the authorization process? If so, what is the fee or fee schedule? Please provide a web link if available.

Fee schedule is based on number and type of academic programs.

7A2.
URL for Fee Information

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.69 and https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.824

7A3.
Clarifying comments:

We ask that schools ask our office to calculate total fees as most schools over-calculate what the total cost would be.

Topic:

Reporting

8A1.
What kinds of information or data must an institution report to your agency as a condition for continued out-of-state authorization?

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/136A.64

8A2.
URL for reporting
8A3.
How frequently do institutions report data?

Annually.

8A4.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

No. 

8A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - Non-SARA Participating Institutions

9A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about out-of-state postsecondary institutions or programs?

https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=1078

9A2.
URL for the complaint form

https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/pdf/ComplaintForm.pdf

9A3.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

The process is handled within OHE, except for in-state public institutions.  Those complaints are referred to the appropriate entity.

9A4.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

9B1.
Does this complaint process extend to institutions not authorized by the agency that may enroll residents of the state (such as explicitly distance education programs with no physical presence or exempt institutions)?

No. 

9B2.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name: Kate McCartan
  • Title: Institutional Monitoring Specialist
  • Agency: Minnesota Office of Higher Education
  • Address: 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108
  • Email: kate.mccartan@state.mn.us
  • Phone: 651-259-3912
  • URL
9B3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

10A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about SARA participating Institutions.

Same as above if they are in-state schools.  Out of State schools are referred to the appropriate SARA entity.

10A2.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education handles complaints for SARA institutions and Private Institutions.  OHE does not have authority over public institutions and exempt institutions unless the schools and complaints are related to SARA.

10A4.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?

No response provided

    • Contact Name: Kate McCartan
    • Title: Institutional Monitoring Specialist
    • Agency: Minnesota Office of Higher Education
    • Address: 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108
    • Email: kate.mccartan@state.mn.us
    • Phone: 651-259-3912
    • URL

 

10A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Enforcement

11A1.
If your agency has written descriptions of the possible consequence of institutional non-compliance, please provide it (or provide a web link).

No response provided

Topic:

Records Retention

12A1.
When a school closes, what is the process your state uses to ensure that transcripts/records are kept available?

Minnesota requires a school to provide a copy (or the originals, if paper and only one is available) of all transcripts prior to closing or leaving the state.  Minnesota has a required retention schedule/plan for all schools.  Many of these plans include a surety bond that Minnesota will not released until Minnesota receives the transcripts.  Minnesota retains transcripts for 50 years.

12B1.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?
  • Agency Name: Minnesota Office of Higher Education
  • Contact Person: Brian Geraghty
  • Contact Phone: 651-259-3976
  • Contact Address: 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108
  • Contact Email: brian.geraghty@state.mn.us
  • Contact web site: https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=1190
Topic:

Additional Information

13A1.
Is there anything else about the authorization process in your state that we and others ought to know about?

No response provided