Responses Last Confirmed:

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

Agency Contact

Mark Stolter
304-558-0261
mark.stotler@wvhepc.edu

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Andrew "Mac" Warner
3045586000
wvsos@wvsos.com
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

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

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

____      Non-degree, not-for profit

2A2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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

Yes. 

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, 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

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

____      Non-degree, not-for profit

2B4.
Clarifying comments:

Policy allows for the recognition of Regional or National accreditation.  By practice, the Commission has generally required Regional accreditation.

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

__x__ Institution _____ Program _____ Both

2C2.
Clarifying comments:

When authorizing an accredited out-of-state to temporarily offer degree or courses in the state, approval may be at the programmatic level.

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

No. 

2D2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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

A new institution authorized to locate in West Virginia must have a refund policy.

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.

Exemptions are provided for 1. Non-degree granting institutions and 2. Institutions engaged in collaborative arrangement with in-state public institution.

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:

No response provided

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.

Defined in Series 20.

5A2.
URL for physical presence definition
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

For online institutions who are not SARA approved, there is a short application to discern physical presence triggers. There is no specific application for institutions seeking to locate in West Virginia.  The process is spelled out in Series 20.  The entity would submit a self-study report to the Commission and fee after consultation with Academic Affairs staff.

6A2.
URL for 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.

$500 for non-SARA online institutions and accredited out-of-state institutions.  For new institutions locating in West Virginia, the fee is $6,000.

7A2.
URL for Fee Information

http://www.wvhepc.edu/resources/rules-and-policies/

Series 20, Sections 7.2.c and 8.4.

 

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?

Non-SARA online institutions must provide enrollment data, identify programs and summarize the process for assessing online quality. 

8A2.
URL for reporting

No response provided

8A3.
How frequently do institutions report data?

Annually.

8A4.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

No. 

8A5.
Clarifying comments:

There is a more extensive reporting requirement for institutions located in West Virginia. 

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?

Student files a complaint utilizing the application and process described on the Commission web site.

9A2.
URL for the complaint form
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.)?

Everything is handled within the agency.

9A4.
Clarifying comments:

Nothing precludes a student from filing a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division within the Office of the Attorney General.

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 Matt Turner
  • Title   Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration
  • Agency West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
  • Address 1018 Kanawha Blvd., E.,  Suite 700 Charleston, WV  25301 
  • Email matt.turner@wvhepc.edu
  • Phone 304-558-5719
  • URL
9B3.
Clarifying comments:

The Complaints are received through the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and then forwarded to the appropriate Office/Division for response.

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

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

Student files a complaint utilizing the application and process described on the Commission web site.

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.)?

Everything is handled within the agency.

10A3.
URL for student complaints – SARA participating institutions

No response provided

10A4.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
    • Contact Name Matt Turner
    • Title Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration
    • Agency West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
    • Address 1018 Kanawha Blvd., E.,  Suite 700 Charleston, WV  25301 
    • Email matt.tuurneer@wvhepc.edu
    • Phone 304-558-5719
    • URL
10A5.
Clarifying comments:

The Complaints are received through the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and then forwarded to the appropriate Office/Division for response.

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.wvhepc.edu/resources/rules-and-policies/

Series 20, Section 10 and Series 52, Section 10.

Topic:

Records Retention

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

Series 20 states that following a decision to discontinue operations, the institution must notify the Commission and provide the name and address of the agency where records will be maintained.

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

The closing institution identifies the entity the will maintain records.

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