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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 1005
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F.S. 1005.31
1005.31 Licensure of institutions.
(1)(a) Each college or school operating within this state must obtain licensure from the commission unless the institution is not under the commission’s purview or jurisdiction as provided in s. 1005.06.
(b) Each licensee is solely responsible for notifying the commission in writing of the licensee’s current mailing address and the location of the institution. A licensee’s failure to notify the commission of a change of address constitutes a violation of this paragraph, and the licensee may be disciplined by the commission. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, service by regular mail to a licensee’s last known address of record with the commission constitutes adequate and sufficient notice to the licensee for any official communication to the licensee by the commission.
(2) The commission shall develop minimum standards by which to evaluate institutions for licensure. These standards must include, at a minimum, the institution’s name; financial stability; purpose; administrative organization; admissions and recruitment; educational programs and curricula; retention and completion, including a retention and completion management plan; career placement; faculty; learning resources; student personnel services; physical plant and facilities; publications; and disclosure statements about the status of the institution with respect to professional certification and licensure. The commission may adopt rules to ensure that institutions licensed under this section meet these standards in ways that are appropriate to achieve the stated intent of this chapter, including provisions for nontraditional or distance education programs and delivery.
(a) The standard relating to admissions and recruitment shall include, but is not limited to, requirements for verification of high school graduation, high school equivalency, or qualifying scores on an ability-to-benefit test.
(b) The commission may require a licensed institution to submit a management plan, prohibit a licensed institution from enrolling new students in the institution or a program of the institution, or limit the number of students in a program at a licensed institution, based upon the institution’s performance on the licensure standards or criteria established pursuant to this chapter; the placement of the institution or a program of the institution on probation or the imposition of other adverse actions by the commission, an accrediting agency, or other regulatory agency, including the United States Department of Education; or similar circumstances that leave the institution unable to meet the needs of students or prospective students.
(3) The commission shall recognize an institution based on the institution’s highest educational offering and shall adopt rules for licensure that include reporting requirements for each level of licensure.
(4) Approved-applicant status shall be extended to all institutions that have submitted a complete application, as defined in rule, for provisional licensure and paid all attendant fees. An incomplete application shall expire 1 year after initial filing. Institutions granted approved-applicant status may not advertise, offer programs of study, collect tuition or fees, or engage in any other activities not specifically approved by the commission. If the commission, or the commission staff if specifically directed by the commission, determines that identified omissions or deficiencies have been provided for or corrected, the institution may be awarded a provisional license.
(5) Provisional licensure shall be granted to an applicant for initial licensure for a period not to exceed 1 year when the commission determines that the applicant is in substantial compliance with the standards for licensure. A provisional license granted for initial licensure may be extended for up to 1 additional year. A licensed institution that has undergone a substantive change, as defined by rule, must be granted a provisional license for a period of time determined by the commission, after which period the institution may apply for a different status. A provisional license may include conditions required by the commission, and all conditions must be met before the institution may receive a different licensure status.
(6) The commission may establish, by rule, performance benchmarks to identify high-performing institutions licensed by the commission.
(7) The commission shall ensure through an investigative process that applicants for licensure meet the standards as defined in rule. When the investigative process is not completed within the time set out in s. 120.60(1) and the commission has reason to believe that the applicant does not meet licensure standards, the commission or the executive director of the commission may issue a 90-day licensure delay, which shall be in writing and sufficient to notify the applicant of the reason for the delay. The provisions of this subsection shall control over any conflicting provisions of s. 120.60(1).
(8) An annual license shall be granted to an institution holding a provisional license, or seeking a renewal of an annual license, upon demonstrating full compliance with licensure standards. An annual license may be extended for up to 1 year if the institution meets the requirements set by rule for such an extension.
(9) A license granted by the commission is not transferable to another institution or to another agent, and an institution’s license does not transfer when the institution’s ownership changes.
(a) A licensed institution must notify the commission prior to a change of ownership or control. The commission shall adopt procedures for interim executive approval of a change of ownership or control if the next scheduled meeting of the commission occurs after the scheduled date of the change of ownership or control.
(b) The commission may adopt rules governing changes of ownership or control.
(10) An independent postsecondary educational institution or any person acting on behalf of such an institution may not publish any advertisement soliciting students or offering a credential before the institution is duly licensed by the commission or while the institution is under an injunction against operating, soliciting students, or offering an educational credential.
(11) The commission shall establish minimum standards for the approval of agents. The commission may adopt rules to ensure that licensed agents meet these standards and uphold the intent of this chapter. An agent may not solicit prospective students in this state for enrollment in any independent postsecondary educational institution under the commission’s purview or in any out-of-state independent postsecondary educational institution unless the agent has received a license as prescribed by the commission or solicits for a postsecondary educational institution that is not under the jurisdiction of the commission pursuant to s. 1005.06(1)(h).
(12) A student of a foreign medical school may not engage in a clinical clerkship in this state unless the foreign medical school has received a license, in the case of a core clerkship or an ongoing regular program of clerkships, or has received individual approval, in the case of an occasional elective clerkship. The commission may adopt rules to administer this subsection.
(13) The granting of a license is not an accreditation.
(14) As a condition of licensure, an independent college or university must provide the commission with a copy of its antihazing policy.
(15) Duly authorized agents and employees of the commission shall have the power to inspect, in a lawful manner at all reasonable hours, any applicant for licensure or licensed independent postsecondary educational institution.
History.s. 254, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2005-202; s. 3, ch. 2017-87; s. 13, ch. 2023-39.