2004 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges
By: Senator(s) Burton
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-101-241 AND 75-60-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT CERTAIN DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF PRIOR APPROVAL BY THE COMMISSION ON COLLEGE ACCREDITATION AND THE COMMISSION ON PROPRIETARY SCHOOL AND COLLEGE REGISTRATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-101-241, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-101-241. There is hereby created the Commission on College Accreditation. Said commission shall be composed of the Director of the Division of Junior Colleges in the State Department of Education, the Commissioner of Higher Education, and two (2) additional members, one (1) of whom shall be selected by the foregoing two (2) members and who shall represent the private colleges within the state, and one (1) of whom shall be selected by the Mississippi Association of Colleges. The latter two (2) members shall each serve for a term of three (3) years.
The commission shall meet and organize by electing from among its membership a chairman, a vice chairman and a secretary. The commission shall keep full and complete minutes and records of all its proceedings and actions.
The commission shall have the power and authority, and it shall be its duty, to prepare an approved list of junior and senior colleges and universities located in the State of Mississippi. In preparing the list of approved colleges and universities the commission shall adopt standards which are in keeping with the best educational practices in accreditation and receive reports from the institutions seeking to be placed on the approved list.
All colleges and universities not already authorized to grant degrees to students graduating from their courses must be approved by the commission in order to grant diplomas of graduation or degrees.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to private commercial schools and colleges. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any distance learning course domiciled in Mississippi which does not provide education services to Mississippi students.
SECTION 2. Section 75-60-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-60-5. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to the following categories of courses, schools or colleges:
(a) Tuition-free courses or schools conducted by employers exclusively for their own employees;
(b) Schools, colleges, technical institutes, community colleges, junior colleges or universities under the jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning or the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges;
(c) Schools or courses of instruction under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Cosmetology or State Board of Barber Examiners;
(d) Courses of instruction required by law to be approved or licensed, or given by institutions approved or licensed, by a state board or agency other than the Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration; however, a school so approved or licensed may apply to the Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration for a certificate of registration to be issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;
(e) Correspondence courses;
(f) Nonprofit private schools offering academic credits at primary or secondary levels, or conducting classes for exceptional education as defined by regulations of the State Department of Education;
(g) Private nonprofit colleges and universities or any private school offering academic credits at primary, secondary or postsecondary levels;
(h) Courses of instruction conducted by a public school district or a combination of public school districts;
(i) Courses of instruction conducted outside the United States;
(j) A school which offers only instruction in subjects which the Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration determines are primarily for avocational, personal improvement or cultural purposes and which does not represent to the public that its course of study or instruction will or may produce income for those who take such study or instruction;
(k) Courses conducted primarily on an individual tutorial basis, where not more than one (1) student is involved at any one time, except in those instances where the Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration determines that the course is for the purpose of preparing for a vocational objective;
(l) Kindergartens or similar programs for preschool-age children;
(m) Any distance learning courses domiciled in Mississippi which do not provide education services to Mississippi students.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.