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Low-Producing Programs

The Coordinating Board adopted rules (Chapter 4 Subchapter R §§ 4.285-4.293) establishing procedures for the annual review of the number of graduates produced by degree programs at institutions of higher education in April 2010. The Board adopted changes to its rules in July 2013, based on Senate Bill 215, passed by the 83rd Legislature, Regular Session in 2013 and codified as Texas Education Code, Chapter 61, Subchapter C, Section 61.0512 (f). Emergency rules were published in the August 23, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (Volume 38, Number 33, Page 5175) for the October Board meeting for final adoption.

As of September 1, 2013 the Coordinating Board no longer has the authority to order the closure or consolidation of programs at institutions of higher education, but may instead issue recommendations for closure or consolidation to the institution and its governing board. The amended rules reflect this change in authority.

Coordinating Board staff will recommend to the institution's governing board (or to an institution, where a system does not exist) the closure of any non-exempt degree program (see below) which has been on the annual list of low-producing programs for three or more consecutive years. If the governing board (or institution) does not accept the recommendation to close the program, then the university system (or the institution) must identify the programs recommended for closure on its next legislative appropriations request.

Thresholds for numbers of graduates of Low-Producing degree Programs (LPP) are:

  • less than 25 graduates in 5 years for undergraduate programs,
  • less than 15 graduates in 5 years for master's programs, and
  • less than 10 graduates in 5 years for doctoral programs.

Programs established within the previous ten years, academic associate programs, and master's-level programs leading directly to a doctoral program are exempt from LPP review.

Completers of career technical certificates are included with the count of similar applied associate degree completers.

Doctoral programs include research programs leading to the award of the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) and practice or special professional degrees often required to practice, such as the Juris Doctorate (J.D.), Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), and Doctor of Audiology (AUD), etc.

The Coordinating Board sends each university system, independent public institutions, and community college district/community college, on an annual basis, a detailed report that shows the productivity levels of all programs and informs them of programs that do not meet the five-year graduation thresholds. The report also provides notification of programs not meeting graduation thresholds for three and four year periods leading up to the five-year LPP period.

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