Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The information on this page is updated regularly.  Last Updated on April 2, 2020 (2:00 PM CDT)

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has received a number of questions and inquiries from higher education institutions regarding compliance with relevant state rules and reporting requirements that may be impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The responses below are intended to provide guidance from THECB as institutions work with students in completing the term for which they are enrolled. For additional resources and information, we encourage institutions to visit THECB’s COVID-19 webpage, found at this link: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/misc/coronavirus-update-for-higher-education/.

THECB will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with all higher education institutions to provide further updates and guidance. The agency will update FAQ’s as needed.

Office of the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott

Yes.

Executive Order No. GA-8 is generally applicable to all public and private institutions of higher education. The Executive Order requires, in each specific aspect, that implementation occur in accordance with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While the order specifically requires the closure of primary and secondary schools; institutions of higher education are directed to operate in accordance with CDC guidelines.  

Each institution of higher education will have different scenarios that may need further clarification. For example, some campuses may need to remain open for essential operations, emergency student housing, or to provide food and other essential services. Such decisions will need to made on a campus-by-campus basis and in full consultation with local public health authorities.  

The following links provide guidance and resources for administrators of institutions of higher education to respond to the coronavirus per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The guidance provided varies based on whether a COVID-19 case has been confirmed on campus, when there is no community transmission, or when there is minimal to moderate community transmission. Therefore, the guidance may not adequately address the current needs of our State given the rapidly evolving situation. In fact, many institutions of higher education have already taken steps that go beyond the CDC guidance.

For further information, please contact Ray Martinez, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Workforce Education, at ray.martinez@thecb.state.tx.us.  

Governor Abbott has waived several regulations to help meet Texas growing need for nurses in response to the COVID-19 virus. Specifically, the Governor has expanded the active nursing workforce by doing the following:

  • Allowing temporary permit extensions to practice for graduate nurses and graduate vocational nurses who have yet to take the licensing exam;
  • Allowing students in their final year of nursing school to meet their clinical objectives by exceeding the 50% limit on simulated experiences; and
  • Allowing nurses with inactive licenses or retired nurses to reactivate their licenses.

More information about the Governor’s action to expand the Texas nursing workforce can be found here:https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-takes-action-to-expand-nursing-workforce.

Questions on nurse education at THECB can be directed to Stacey Silverman, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, at Stacey.Silverman@thecb.state.tx.us.

 

Online Modality

Ensuring the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff should be the first priority of all Texas institutions of higher education. The Chronicle of Higher Education has recently published an extensive guide to help institutions as they consider transitioning to an online modality due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Institutions may access the Chronicle’s publication: Moving Online Now.
 

Some institutions of higher education have implemented new protocols for small, face-to-face class meetings. For example, the Texas A&M University System provided guidance to component institutions stating that: “If face-to-face class meetings are the only way to deliver the curriculum, limiting the class or group to 50 or fewer in spaces that allow for social distancing, which the CDC recommends to be at least six feet.”

Institutions are not required to notify the THECB as they move to complete their spring semester using an online modality.
 

If an institution intends to offer a program permanently in an online modality, they should follow the standard processes related to distance education modifications and requests, which may be accessed online at Distance Education Modifications & Requests

 

Changes to Courses and Calendars

Texas public institutions of higher education are not required to adjust their spring semester end date if three or fewer contact hours of classes have been cancelled.

If more days have been cancelled, make up classes should be scheduled, the semester end date should be extended, or students should be provided with sufficient supplemental materials and assignments. Institutions that wish to suspend their classes for more than a week should notify Dr. Stacey Silverman, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, of their status and provide updates about spring schedule changes. Dr. Silverman can be reached at Stacey.Silverman@thecb.state.tx.us or (512)627-7505.

Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 4, Subchapter A, Rule 4.5(b) gives the Commissioner of Higher Education the authority to "grant waivers to the common calendar to benefit students and/or to improve the efficient operations of the institutions."

The Commissioner of Higher Education has authorized approval to any public university or community, technical, or state college that decides to alter their calendar from the common calendar because of disruption by COVID-19. Any institution doing so should immediately send an electronic notification to Ray Martinez, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Workforce Education, at ray.martinez@thecb.state.tx.us or (512)653-3331. This authorization is effective until terminated by the Commissioner of Higher Education or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration by Governor Abbott is lifted or expires.

Yes.
 

If an institution adjusts its start date for a second 8-week course, it is appropriate to change the Census date to six days after the new start date. This allows students opportunities to make decisions about adding/dropping courses and aligns with instructions for setting census dates based on days of actual instruction. If an institution would like to adjust a Census date in a manner that does not generally align with this guidance, please contact Victor Reyna at Victor.Reyna@thecb.state.tx.us or John Dinning at John.Dinning@thecb.state.tx.us.

Yes.
 

Institutions that report second 8-week courses as regular enrollment (not as flex) may extend the initial submission date to April 15.

Yes.

The “six drop” rule states that an institution may not allow a student with a total of six dropped courses (including those dropped at another institution of higher education) to drop any additional courses. However, as per Texas Education Code Sec. 51.907, an institution may allow additional drops if the student shows “good cause as determined by the institution of higher education” for dropping more than that six courses. The Coordinating Board recommends that institutions be generous in granting the “good cause” exception should students subject to the six-drop rule wish to drop courses this semester.

Courses dropped under the “good cause” allowance should be reported to the Coordinating Board as withdrawals on the CBM00S Student Schedule Report, as per existing instructions, but should not be counted toward a student’s total dropped course count.

 

Institutional Reporting

To assist institutions in making decisions that best support their local needs and information systems, institutions will be allowed to report data elements that have changed during the semester in whatever way works best for the institution. For example, if a course has already been reported and data certified as face-to-face delivery and the course is changed to an online modality, the institution may choose to report either option on the CBM00S at the end of the semester. Similarly, if a course was reported as 16 weeks for Census date reporting and it will be reduced to 13 weeks, the institution may choose how to report the course length for end-of-semester reporting. Also, if an institution has not yet certified Census reports, the institution may choose whichever response is best if the mode or length was changed as a result of the coronavirus.
Yes.
 

The THECB is extending the final certification deadline for the spring semester Census date reporting to May 15, 2020. In addition, the final certification deadline for fall 2019 end-of-semester reporting will be extended to May 1, 2020. Institutions that need additional time beyond these deadlines may contact Victor Reyna at victor.reyna@thecb.state.tx.us or (512)427-6286.

Yes.
 

Institutions should report courses that begin later in the semester, such as second 8-week courses, may also be compressed in length and/or adjusted regarding delivery mode. For CBM reporting purposes, report the actual length and mode whenever possible. If an institution faces challenges around Census date reporting, tuition payment, or related issues, please contact Mary Smith at Mary.Smith@thecb.state.tx.us. or (512)417-1997.

Coordinating Board leadership has been consulting with LBB staff regarding options to adjust formula funding data reporting arrangements to account for any impacts that COVID-19 has had or may have on second-8-week course enrollments/contact hours. More information will be forthcoming as conversations between the Coordinating Board and LBB continue.

Yes.

Right now, the CBM00S allows only grades of A, B, or C to be reported for courses designated as a First College-Level Course (FCL) on Item #20 (university manual) and Item #23 (CTC manual). All other options generate an error. The edit check will be adjusted to allow institutions to report Option 8 – “Credit/Passed” for courses designated as First College-Level Courses. This change will be in effect for the Spring 2020 reporting period only. In addition, for this spring only, institutions may report a student who passed a Pass/Fail course with Option 4 – “yes at my institution this semester” on Items #30/#50/#70 (Credit for First College-Level Course) on the University and CTC CBM002 TSI Reports.

 

Handling Incompletes for Reporting Purposes and Success Points

Student grades are reported to the THECB on the Student Schedule, CBM001 report, including grades of I (Incomplete). Because the number of incompletes reported have, traditionally, been very low, the Coordinating Board has not allowed for resubmission of an incomplete grade that has been resolved. However, because successfully completed hours are used in community college Success Point progress measures and student grade information is also used for data analytics and other purposes, the Coordinating Board will provide a mechanism for institutions to update incomplete grades for public two- and four-year higher education institutions for spring 2020. The Coordinating Board will consult with reporting officials to determine a workable approach for gathering this additional data and to set a final date for resubmissions that is sensitive to both institutional need and reporting requirements for Success Points and other analyses. Also, as per current rules, an institution may not resubmit a class for formula funding for a student who is finishing an incomplete if the course was already included in spring semester census date reports. Instructions for resubmission of incomplete grades will be forthcoming.

 

 

Spring and Summer Adjusted Reporting Deadlines

FADS Reporting Cycle 1 will not be collected in Spring 2020.
Extended Reporting Dates
SPRING 2020 Reports
Initial Submission Due Date
Certification Date
Student Report
CBM001
March 15
May 15
Class Report
CBM004
March 15
May 15
CTC - Continuing Ed Student Report
CBM00A
March 15
May 15
CTC - Continuing Ed Class Report
CBM00C
March 15
May 15
Texas Success Initiative Report
CBM002
June 30
August 1
Faculty Report
CBM008
June 30
August 1
Student Schedule Report
CBM00S
June 30
August 1
Student End of Semester Report
CBM0E1
June 30
August 1

Institutions may extend the spring semester or start a summer semester later than initially planned. The Coordinating Board and its Education Data Center team are committed to allowing as much flexibility as possible with reporting for the spring and summer 2020 semesters.

  • For extended spring semesters that are completed before the initial reporting due date for end-of-semester reports, institutions should report the actual course start and end dates on the CBM00S, whenever possible, and submit other reports as applicable. If a spring course ends too late to be included by the extended reporting deadline, report the course as “Flex 6.” Examples for flex reporting are located in Appendix P of the CBM Reporting Manuals.

  • If delaying summer course start dates, institutions must be sure to adjust the Census date accordingly. Also, if the course is shortened/compressed, institutions must follow the instructions in the CBM Manuals regarding setting the Census date based on the new length of the course. Summer courses that start late may be reported on the summer CBM001 and CBM004 reports unless reporting deadlines have passed for summer reporting. In those cases, the courses may be reported as Flex 1. Examples for flex reporting are located in Appendix P.

Additional questions about these instructions may be address to Victor Reyna at Victor.Reyna@thecb.state.tx.us or John Dinning at John.Dinning@thecb.state.tx.us

 

Allowing Students Pass/Fail Option

Allowing students to choose a Pass/Fail option for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester is an institutional decision.

For institutions electing to provide students the option for Pass/Fail, institutions should encourage students to seek academic advising/counseling to fully understand the implications of choosing a Pass/Fail option, including the impact to current academic major, transfer options, and long-term education and career goals.

Please refer to the reporting section of the FAQ for guidance on how to report data for these students.

 

 

Financial Aid

Institutions may apply the same guidance to the Texas College Work-Study Program, including the Texas Work-Study Mentorship Program, as the Department of Education has issued regarding the Federal Work-Study Program in their March 5, 2020 Electronic Announcement.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has issued additional guidance, indicating:

"According to guidance NASFAA has received from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the March 5, 2020 Electronic Announcement guidance under the "Federal Work-Study (FWS)" heading applies in instances when the school closes (temporarily ceases to offer instruction in any format for the remainder of the payment period) and when the school does not close, sends all students home, and moves all classes to an online format via distance education for the remainder of the payment period. In fact, the FWS guidance applies in any scenario when the student is unable to continue an FWS job due to classes being moved to a distance education format as a result of a decision made by the school.

The FWS guidance in the Electronic Announcement only applies when the student is unable to work because the school made the decision to close or to move to online/distance education classes; it does not apply to students who decide for themselves to leave campus and/or switch to online classes. These students are not eligible to be paid FWS for any hours they do not actually work. According to ED, the student can be paid for the FWS hours he, she, or they were scheduled to work for the term or nonterm period. Per ED, the school can have the student submit a timesheet for the hours he or she was scheduled to work and pay FWS wages based on that."

The Timely Distribution of Funds section of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Section 22.2 includes a Timely Disbursement expectation. This expectation requires institutions to disburse student financial aid funding (other than work-study) to a student recipient’s account no later than three business days after receiving the funds. Undisbursed funds must be returned to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) no later than six business days after the receipt of funds.
 

The Timely Disbursement expectations will be adjusted as follows:

  • Institutions should disburse state student financial aid funding to a recipient’s account as quickly as each institution’s operations will allow; and
  • Institutions have 30 business days after the receipt of the funds to return undisbursed funds to THECB.
This adjustment of the Timely Disbursement expectation will apply to all state financial aid funds disbursed to institutions by the THECB for Fiscal Year 2020.
The first reporting cycle of the FY20 Financial Aid Database (FAD) Report has been cancelled. Institutions will not need to submit a FAD Report until the second reporting cycle. The second reporting cycle opens for submission on June 22, 2020 and is due by August 28, 2020.

The March 5, 2020 Electronic Announcement from the Department of Education provides guidance on when Federal Work-Study funds can be used to pay students who are unable to work due to school closures or other modifications a school makes in light of the public health crisis. This same guidance applies to the Texas College Work-Study Program, including the Texas Work-Study Mentorship Program. (See related FAQ above.)

Since an institution’s revenue comes from multiple sources (e.g. federal grants, tuition revenue, state grants, auxiliary revenue, etc.), the source of the institutional share of work-study wages may vary by student. Restrictions on using revenue to pay students for hours not worked would vary by source. The agency is not aware of any restrictions on the use of tuition revenue as the institutional work-study match to pay hours not worked, but we encourage financial aid officers to consult with their institution’s legal counsel to determine the institution’s response to using various funding sources in these situations.

The satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements for the state's grant and exemption programs are outlined in the following rules and statute:

  • TEXAS Grant – Rule §22.229
  • Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) – Rule §22.256(b)(8)
  • Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) – Rule § 22.25
  • Exemptions – TEC §54.2001(a)(1)

Institutions may allow a student to continue receiving a grant or exemption in another semester or term on a showing of hardship or other good cause.

  • TEXAS Grant – Rule §22.231
  • Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) – Rule §22.257
  • Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) – Rule § 22.27
  • Exemptions – TEC §54.2001(d)

The agency has determined that institutional modifications to semesters in response to COVID-19 would be considered an "other good cause" if those modifications impact a student's ability to achieve SAP.

The agency has also determined that institutions do not need to require a student to submit a formal appeal in these situations. Institutions may apply the COVID-19 "other good cause" provision as deemed appropriate, though the institution must keep a record of this decision in the student's financial aid file and notify the student that the provision has been applied.

The agency is currently reviewing SAP in relation to the Texas Armed Services Scholarship and will issue updated guidance specific to that program.

Note: The SAP requirements for the following state financial aid programs are based on an institution’s minimum requirements for enrollment, rather than an institution’s financial aid SAP policy: College Access Loan, Texas College Work-Study, Texas Work-Study Mentorship, exemptions outlined in TEC §§54.216, 54.341, 54.342, 54.366, or 54.367, and all waiver programs (e.g. those programs that allow an out-of-state student to pay in-state tuition rates).

The deadline for institutions to submit applications for the Good Neighbor Scholarship Program has been extended to May 1, 2020.

Yes.

While the annual update of the Net Price Calculator typically occurs in June, it will occur on September 1 in 2020. Guidance regarding the annual update will be distributed to financial aid officers in the coming months.

 

 

Student Loan Borrowers

The THECB services student loans through several programs. The largest program is the College Access Loan (CAL). Other programs include the B-On-Time (BOT) Loan, the HELP loan, two federal student loan programs (FFELP and HEAL), and conditional scholarships that have converted to loans through the Texas Armed Services Scholarships and the Teach for Texas programs.

Borrowers in these programs may be eligible for a reduced payment or a temporary postponement (forbearance) of payments. Borrowers may submit a request for a reduced payment or a forbearance online at: Contact Us (Borrowers will need to select "Student Loan Question" for the Contact Reason, describe their financial relief request, and include COVID-19 in the body of their e-mail.) Interest continues to accrue during a forbearance period.

During the public health crisis, the Coordinating Board has suspended collection activities on delinquent and defaulted student loans. During this period, the agency will not assess late fees on student loans, nor will it report delinquencies to the national credit bureaus. The interest waiver and other student loan provisions recently passed by Congress only apply to federally held student loans. Loans held and serviced by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board are not included in those student loan provisions.

 

 

Tuition Installment Plans

TEC §54.007 and TAC Rule §21.4 outline an institution’s ability to utilize installment plans for the payment of tuition and mandatory fees. As per previous guidance from the THECB, students are not required to pay tuition and mandatory fees in full by the Census Date for community colleges or the 20th class day for GAIs (15th class day for each summer session), as long as the student enters into a written or electronic agreement reflecting the terms and conditions of an installment plan by those dates. With an appropriate plan in place, a student may be reported as fundable to the THECB.

Installment plans must include an initial payment by the appropriate date. They must also include a plan of subsequent payments that result in the tuition and mandatory fees being paid in full by the end of the semester or session. The institution may determine what amount is required in the first payment, as well as what amounts will be required in subsequent payments. There is no requirement that the payments must be equal across the installment plan.

While statute allows an institution to collect administrative fees or late fees, those are not requirements of an installment plan and may be waived at an institution’s discretion.

TEC §54.0071 outlines an institution’s ability to provide payment options for students whose financial aid is delayed. It includes delaying the payment due date for tuition and mandatory fees while a student awaits the receipt of financial aid. It also includes providing a 30-day extension on payment if the student becomes ineligible for the financial aid or the amount of financial aid is reduced to less than the tuition and mandatory fees owed.

 

 

Institutional flexibility to determine withdrawal drop date after Census date has passed

There are no restrictions in state statute or rule that limit when institutions may set their withdrawal deadlines after the Census date has passed. Currently, institutions set their own course withdrawal (drop) dates. The Coordinating Board is not aware of any federal or accrediting body requirements regarding setting withdrawal deadlines.

 

 

Refunds

Texas public institutions of higher education are required to refund at a minimum a certain percentage of a withdrawing a student’s tuition and mandatory fees paid for a term or semester, based on his or her withdrawal date. For community, state, and technical colleges, the specific requirements and percentages reside in Texas Administrative Code, Rule §21.5 For universities and health-related institutions, the specific requirements and percentages reside in Texas Education Code, Section 54.006. However, institutions of higher education may adopt policies to refund an amount greater than the minimum required by statute and rule.

Students who are sent home as a result of coronavirus should check with their college or university to determine the institution’s policy with respect to refunds concerning room and board.

With respect to tuition refunds for students who withdraw from the institution due to coronavirus, Texas public institutions of higher education are required to refund at a minimum a certain percentage of a withdrawing a student’s tuition and mandatory fees paid for a term or semester, based on his or her withdrawal date. For community, state, and technical colleges, the specific requirements and percentages reside in Texas Administrative Code, Rule §21.5 For universities and health-related institutions, the specific requirements and percentages reside in Texas Education Code, Section 54.006. However, institutions of higher education may adopt policies to refund an amount greater than the minimum required by statute and rule.

 

Students in the Texas National Guard

On March 17, Governor Greg Abbott today activated the Texas National Guard to be prepared to assist with response efforts for COVID-19. Under Texas statute and rule, students who are guardsmen are entitled to certain protections when called to active military duty.

If a student guardsman is temporarily absent due to active service, Texas Education Code (TEC) 51.9111 requires a public institution to excuse the student from attending classes or other required activities. The student may not be penalized and must be allowed to complete assignments or take examinations within a reasonable time after the absence. Coordinating Board rules specify that a student may be excused for up to 25% of the total number of class meetings or the contact hours for the course.

If a student guardsman withdraws due to active military service, TEC 54.006(f) provides that the institution shall, at the student’s option:

  • refund the tuition and fees paid by the student for that semester;
  • grant an incomplete with a designation of “withdrawn-military” on the student’s transcript, or;
  • assign an appropriate final grade to a student who has completed a substantial amount of coursework.

Finally, TEC 51.9242 provides that a student guardsman who withdraws shall be readmitted within one year of completing their service, without reapplication or charging a fee. The institution shall provide the readmitted student with the same financial assistance and academic status they enjoyed prior to withdrawal.

 

 

Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Testing

Circumstances are changing daily and will likely continue to evolve in the next few months. If possible, we recommend postponing decisions regarding fall enrollments until May 1, 2020, at which time we expect to provide additional guidance reflective of the context at that time. Please contact Suzanne Morales-Vale at suzanne.morales-vale@thecb.state.tx.us or (512)427-6262 for questions.

All TSIA/TSIA2 trainings scheduled through May 31, 2020 have been cancelled. Staff at the College Board are currently working on rescheduling all sessions as well as exploring alternative delivery methods. All institutions will be notified with new training dates once they have been established.

 

TSI Assessment and Summer 2020 Enrollment:

For non-exempt students enrolling at higher education institutions in summer 2020, institutions may use either of the following options, depending on other indicators of students’ level of preparation, such as HS GPA, HS course-taking, and non-cognitive factors:

  • Enroll the student in the college-level course as part of a corequisite model, in which case, we recommend the support component of the corequisite model be delivered as a non-course based option (NCBO), which includes flexibility for faculty to modify the required support for students who are doing well in the college course, as demonstrated via assessments and other relevant assignments; or
  • Utilize Rule 4.55(a) (Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 4, subchapter C) “exceptional circumstances” provision for an individual who has no access to TSI testing. Under the “exceptional circumstances” provision, an institution may permit a student to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework without assessment but shall require the student to be assessed not later than the end of the first semester of enrollment in entry-level freshman coursework.

For non-exempt high school students enrolling in dual credit courses at higher education institutions in summer 2020, institutions may use either of the following:

  • Adapt the same processes described above, to be consistent with eligibility and placement procedures used by the institution for other students, to ensure that dual credit students are prepared for college level courses; or
  • Where students are non-degree-seeking or non-certificate seeking students enrolling in individual courses, institutions may provide exemptions by utilizing Rule 4.54(b) (Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 4, subchapter C).

In all cases, institutions should ensure that their practices are consistent with SACSCOC standards and policy. In addition, if institutions of higher education opt to enroll a high school student in college-level course using a corequisite model, that option requires co-enrollment in a developmental education support course or NCBO aligned to the college course designed to help ensure the student’s success in the college course. However, the developmental education component of the corequisite model is not eligible for state appropriations (TAC, Chapter 9, Subchapter H, Rule §9.146).

 

THECB Grant Programs

The safety of students, faculty, and the public is paramount. THECB will work with institutional grant recipients to ensure that grant funded projects can be accomplished, as appropriate. THECB will work with institutions so deadlines can be adjusted as needed to allow grant recipients to do the work they need to do.

The safety of students, faculty, and the public is paramount. Where practicable, grantees should move their project or activities to an online format for the remainder of the grant period.

In instances when institutions close (temporarily cease to offer instruction in any format for the remainder of the payment period) or when the project or activity is unable to convert to an online format for the remainder of the grant period, institutions may request grant/contract extensions. THECB will work with institutions so deadlines can be adjusted as needed to allow grant recipients to do the work they need to do.

Institutions may apply this guidance to THECB programs funded by state appropriations (i.e., Developmental Education, Advise TX, GradTX, Generation TX).

 

Graduate Program Review

Yes.

Texas public universities and health-related institutions may assess whether evaluating their doctoral programs using desk reviews, Skype, or other distance modalities would be prudent at this time. While THECB rules suggest that Texas public universities and health-related institutions should bring external reviewers to campus for a site visit, (TAC, Chapter 5, Rule 5.52 (c) (4), in light of the coronavirus, THECB will not require external reviewers be physically present on site. Conducting a review via Skype or another modality will suffice.

Institutions may request to reschedule their site visits to a later date and adjust their graduate program review submission date accordingly. If you would like to reschedule the submission of a graduate program review report, please contact James Goeman, at James.Goeman@thecb.state.tx.us or (512)427-6249.

 

Faculty Evaluations

Given the disruption of moving a course from an in-person to online modality, institutions anticipate that faculty evaluations may not accurately reflect faculty work. An institution of higher education should consider if they can productively conduct end-of-course faculty evaluations for classes in keeping with state statute and Board rules (Texas Education Code §51.974 (h) and Texas Administrative Code, rule 4.228 (e)), which requires institutions conduct end-of-course student evaluations of faculty. Some classes may have been disrupted to the extent that it might be difficult to ensure effective evaluation. Institutional administrators may be able to conduct evaluations for some classes but not others and should keep documentation of their decision(s) where appropriate for institutional and programmatic accreditors.

 

Generic Clinical

Institutional administrators and faculty should refer to programmatic accreditors or licensing bodies for guidance and flexibility regarding practicum/clinical hours. For disciplines without accreditors/licensing bodies, institutions should exercise discretion in devising alternatives strategies for teaching and learning in practicum or clock hour experiences, including ACGM Academic Cooperatives courses at community colleges.

 

Planning for Federal Reimbursement

Institutions of higher education may be eligible for FEMA reimbursement of certain costs associated with preparing for and responding to COVID-19. Such costs would likely be related to personnel and preparedness activities.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) is the lead state agency for disaster response, and Chief W. Nim Kidd has offered his team's assistance in addressing any questions institutions have regarding disaster assistance. An important consideration is that cost tracking for authorized expenditures during the event is key to quick and accurate reimbursements. TDEM has published guidance on their website (https://tdem.texas.gov/local-officials-resources) to assist eligible jurisdictions in tracking eligible costs.

TDEM is also asking all jurisdictions to report any costs through their Disaster Summary Outline (DSO), so an institution would want to ensure they are reporting their costs to their city or county. If there are any questions, you can reach out to TDEM District Coordinator John O’Valle. His contact information is:

John.Ovalle@tdem.texas.gov
M:  956-227-0696


Inquiries should be directed to Mary.Smith@THECB.state.tx.us