Application Due Dates, Review, and Training

APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS

The initial authorization and application review process was significantly changed due to legislation effective July 1, 2022. See 2022 Tenn. Pub. Ch. No. 1044  relevant to the statutes governing institutional authorization.  

  Information on the legislation and related rules is available HERE.

STARTING JULY 1, 2022

Authorization End Date Adjustments and Related Filing Deadlines

On June 30, 2022, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) Executive Director signed a memorandum extending authorization time periods effective July 1, 2022, in order to effectuate the purposes of   2022 Tenn. Pub. Ch. No. 1044, and set future filing deadlines as indicated in the below chart at the bottom of this page. The memorandum directed that it be posted on  this website and Commission staff provide notification via email of the posting to all institutions.  Emails were sent to all authorized institutions on June 30, 2022.   Questions concerning the memorandum should be sent to Julie Woodruff  at julie.woodruff@tn.gov or Marcie Mills at marcie.mills@tn.gov.  The memorandum is available HERE.

INITIAL AUTHORIZATION APPLICATION PROCESS AND TRAININGS

Initial Authorization Applications Training

In accordance with Rule1540-01-02-.07(2)(a)(18), the Division of Postsecondary State Authorization (DPSA) will begin implementing a mandatory IA Application Training (IAT) for institutions seeking Regular Authorization in Tennessee. The training will be presented via WebEx and will: include an overview of the IA and the relevant statutes and rules governing postsecondary educational institutions and within the jurisdiction of THEC, identify the most common errors made when completing the IA, highlight the importance of Rule1540-01-02-.19, Fair Consumer Practices and Complaints, when creating institutional policies. 

A Q&A Session will be opened at the end of the training to offer an opportunity for attendees to ask questions regarding the application and authorization process.  It is strongly encourage that the IA is reviewed prior to the meeting so that applicants may ask questions specific to the institution.

IAT Training Dates

     Wednesday, January 31, 2024 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CST/CDT. Institutions may register HERE.

The date for each quarterly meeting will be posted approximately thirty (30) days before the training. If you have questions, you may contact Stephanie Bellard Chase at stephanie.bellard@tn.gov or 615-532-7495.    

Initial Authorization Applications

Initial Authorization Applications will be reviewed by the staff of DPSA. If DPSA staff determines that the institution meets the minimum standards for authorization, then it will recommend that the Executive Director award the institution provisional authorization, subject to ratification by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at a regularly scheduled meeting. If necessary, the institution will have two (2) opportunities to correct its application. If the institution does not meet the minimum standards after the opportunity to submit corrections has been given, the application will be denied. If you have questions, you may contact Stephanie Bellard Chase at stephanie.bellard@tn.gov or 615-532-7495. The IA and related applications are locatied HERE.

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Post-Initial Authorization Training 

Institutions receiving iniitial provisional authorization from the Executive Director must attend the Post-Initial Authorization Training ("PIAT") following the Commission meeting during which the institution’s provisional authorization is ratified. It is recommended that you attend this training with video and audio access. The presentation is considered interactive and questions are appreciated. Participants are encouraged to have the rules available during the presentation. The rules are available at 1540-01-02 (12-2022).pdf (tn.gov). If joining a TEAMS meeting for the first time, you may be prompted to download the app. As such, allow additional time for the download before joining the meeting. Contact THEC.RCD@tn.gov if you have questions or difficulties registering. 

PIAT Training Dates:

  • For institutions whose provisional authorization is ratified at the Thursday, May 16, 2024                                           Commission meeting:                                                                                                                                                                        Friday, May 17, 2024 09:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CST/CDT. Institutions may register HERE.      
  • For institutions whose provisional authorization is ratified at the Thursday, July 25, 2024                                             Commission meeting:                                                                                                                                                                        Friday, July 26, 2024 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. CST/CDT. Registration link pending.
  • For institutions whose provisional authorization is ratified at the Thursday, November 7, 2024                                   Commission meeting:                                                                                                                                                                       Friday, November 8, 2024 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CST/CDT. Registration link pending.

For information regarding the trainng or assistance with registration and / or joining                                   the meeting, send an email to THEC.RCD@tn.gov.

 PIAT Training Materals

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Optional Expedited Authorizations

Applications for Optional Expedited Authorization (OEA) of an institution with regular authorization or of an institution that is not currently authorized in Tennessee will be reviewed by the staff of the DPSA. If DPSA staff determines that the institution meets the minimum standards for authorization, then it will recommend that the Executive director award your institution provisional authorization, subject to ratification by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at a regularly scheduled meeting. If necessary, the institution will have two (2) opportunities to correct its application. If the institution does not meet the minimum standards after the opportunity to submit corrections has been given, the application will be denied.

Additional Applications

The following applications will be reviewed and acted upon by the staff of DPSA. If DPSA staff determines that the application complies in all respects with the applicable statutes and rules, then it will approve the application. If necessary, the institution will have two (2) opportunities to correct its application. If the institution does not meet the minimum standards after the opportunity to submit corrections has been given, the application will be denied.

o         Application for Reauthorization of a regularly authorized institution

o         Application for Optional Expedited Authorization (renewal) 

o         Program Registration Requests

o         Certifications of Compliance

o         for Regular Authorizaion

o         for Optional Expedited Authorization

o         Applications for Change of Ownership

o         Personnel Applications

o         Exemption Determination Requests

Assistance in completing the applications is available by emailing THEC.DPSA@tn.gov.

Optional Expedited Authorization for Regularly Authorized Institutions

Regularly Authorized (RA) institutions accredited by a USDOE recognized accreditor will be able to apply for OEA. OEA gives deference to accreditors for many of the  tasks and consumer documentation. The application is succinct, and applicant institutions do not submit new program applications. The current OEA rules are available at Rule Chapter 1540-01-10 and the application is available HERE. DPSA will begin accepting new OEA Applications on Friday, May 27, 2022; however, no determinations will be made prior to July 1, 2022. If you are interested in more information regarding this option, please send an email to marcie.mills@tn.gov

Authorization End Dates as of July 1, 2022