Responses Last Confirmed:

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

Agency Contact

Peggy Simons, Coordinator, Nonpublic Institution Licensing
803-737-3922
psimons@che.sc.gov

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Mark Hammond
803-734-2170
rdaggerhart@sos.sc.gov
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

      x      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

         x    Non-degree, not‐for-profit institutions

          x   Non-degree, for‐profit institutions

2A2.
Clarifying comments:

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education licenses all out-of-state institutions that are operating or soliciting in South Carolina in any delivery format as well as in-state institutions not exempt by statute. *The Commission coordinates activities of in-state public institutions (program and facility approval) but does not authorize them through the Nonpublic    Postsecondary Institution Act. Private, in‐state, not‐for‐profit degree granting institutions founded in SC prior to 1953 are exempt from authorization.

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

Yes, for degree-granting institutions.

2B2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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

Regional Accreditation Required for:

      x       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

 

National Accreditation Required for:

          x   Public, in‐state degree granting institutions

           x  Public,

2B4.
Clarifying comments:

National or regional accreditation is required for authorization of non-public postsecondary degree granting institutions who wish to seek licensure in SC.

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

____ Institution   _____ Program   __X___ Both

2C2.
Clarifying comments:

South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation has oversight of specific occupations including nursing, barbering, and cosmetology.

                       SC Board of Nursing approves initial licensure Nursing programs.

                       Board’s website: https://www.llr.sc.gov/POL/Nursing/

                       SC Board of Barber Examiners

                       Board’s website: https://www.llr.sc.gov/POL/Barber/

                       SC Board of Cosmetology

                       Board’s website: https://www.llr.sc.gov/POL/Cosmetology/

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

Yes.

2D2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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

Yes, both licensed degree and nondegree granting institutions must have a tuition refund policy that is set forth in statute and regulation.

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.

http://www.che.sc.gov/InstitutionsEducators/Licensing/LicensingofNon-PublicPostsecondaryInstitutions.aspx

See Nonpublic Postsecondary Institution License Act, Section 59-58-30 (Exclusions)

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.

No.

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

Yes.

4A3.
Clarifying comments:

South Carolina does not require authorization of institutions that only enroll South Carolina residents into online programs unless the institutions operate or solicit in such a way that they create a physical presence.

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.

The link for determining physical presence is below.

5A2.
URL for physical presence definition

http://www.che.sc.gov/CHE_Docs/AcademicAffairs/License/ClarificationofOperatingOrSolicitingDefinition.pdf

5A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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

The institution must submit a letter of intent followed by an application for initial licensure (within two years of the LOI). The staff reviews the application and documents and makes a recommendation for staff approval or for a team evaluation.  Staff/team recommendations are reviewed by the executive staff and forwarded to a subcommittee of the Commission. The subcommittee reviews and makes a recommendation to the full Commission. (See Procedures documents on Licensing page:   http://www.che.sc.gov/InstitutionsEducators/Licensing/LicensingofNon-PublicPostsecondaryInstitutions.aspx)

6A2.
URL for application

N/A, must contact a member of the licensing staff to receive an application.

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.

Yes. The initial licensure application fee is one-half of one-percent of projected gross tuition income (minimum $150, maximum $5,500).

7A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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?

Licensed institutions must submit an annual report or license renewal. The report includes information regarding finances, surety bond continuation, insurance, changes in operations, pending litigation, publications (catalog, enrollment contract), student records, enrollments, faculty, curriculum review, Title IV participation, agent permits, and pending complaints.

8A2.
URL for reporting

N/A requested by staff

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?

Step by step instructions for handling complaints from a variety of institutional types is  explained in the complaint form.

9A2.
URL for the complaint form

http://www.che.sc.gov/CHE_Docs/academicaffairs/license/Complaint_Procedures_and_Form.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.)?

Complaints maybe referred to various state agencies depending on the nature of the complaint. Examples are included in the complaint form. 

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)?

Yes. 

9B2.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?

SC Commission on Higher Education

 Academic Affairs

Attn: Student Complaint

1122 Lady Street, Suite 300

Columbia, SC 29201

         or

E-mail: submitcomplaint@che.sc.gov

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.

SARA-related complaints are reviewed and processed according to SARA policy.

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.)?

Complaints maybe referred to various state agencies depending on the nature of the complaint. Examples are included in the complaint form. 

10A3.
URL for student complaints – SARA participating institutions

http://www.che.sc.gov/CHE_Docs/academicaffairs/license/Complaint_Procedures_and_Form.pdf

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

Peggy Simons

Coordinator, Postsecondary Institution Licensing

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

1122 Lady Street, Suite 300

Columbia, SC 29201

803.737.3922

psimons@che.sc.gov

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).

http://www.che.sc.gov/InstitutionsEducators/Licensing/LicensingofNon-PublicPostsecondaryInstitutions.aspx

See Act, Section 59-58-130 Restraining violations of Chapter or rules and regulations; civil penalties; Section 59-58-110 Denial, revocation or suspension of license or permit; probation.

See CHE Regulation 62-28, Revoking, Suspending, or Refusing to Issue or Renew a License.

Topic:

Records Retention

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

In the event that an institution closes, it must submit a plan to the Commission to provide for the retention and disposition of records. The plan shall provide for the assignment of the records to another institution or agency willing to accept responsibility for their safety, maintenance, distribution, and, where appropriate, disposal. If the institution cannot provide for assignment of the records to another institution or agency, the Commission may seize the records and, as necessary,  negotiate for assignment of the records to another institution or agency that will accept 

12B1.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?

Student records can be requested through the Commission.

A complete list of records that the Commission maintains from closed institutions is  listed on the transcript request form .

Information about closed schools previously licensed by the Commission and student record information is listed on the closed school directory.

Topic:

Additional Information

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

No.