OAR 583-050-0011
Definitions of Terms

Effective January 13, 2015:


“Academic Standards” means those standards in 583-030-0035 (Standards for Schools Offering Degree Programs In or From Oregon) or the equivalent standards of an accrediting body that relate to admission requirements, length of program, content of curriculum, award of credit and faculty qualifications.


“Accredited” means accredited and approved to offer degrees at the specified level by an agency or association recognized as an accreditor by the U.S. Secretary of Education, under the 1965 Higher Education Act as amended at the time of recognition, or having candidacy status with such an accrediting agency or association whose pre-accreditation is also recognized specifically for HEA purposes by the Secretary of Education.


“Claim a degree” means to present orally, or in writing or in electronic form any symbol or series of letters or words that would lead the listener or reader to believe a degree had been received and is possessed by the person speaking or writing, for purposes related to employment, application for employment, professional advancement, qualification for public office, teaching, offering professional services or any other use as a public credential, whether or not such use results in monetary gain.


“College level work” required for a degree means academic or technical work at a level demonstrably higher than that required in the final year of high school and demonstrably higher than work required for degrees at a lower level than the degree in question. From lowest to highest, degree levels are associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral. Professional degree levels may vary. College level work is characterized by analysis, synthesis and application in which students demonstrate an integration of knowledge, skills and critical thinking. Awards of credit for achieving appropriate scores on Commission-approved nationally normed college-level examinations such as those from College Level Examination Program, American Council on Education, Advanced Placement or New York Regents meets this standard.


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“Degree” means any earned or honorary title, rank, or status designated by a symbol or by a series of letters or words-such as, but not limited to, associate, bachelor, master, doctor, and forms or abbreviations thereof, that signifies, purports, or may generally be taken to signify:


Completion of a course of instruction at the college or university level;


Demonstration of achievement or proficiency comparable to such completion; or


Recognition for non-academic learning, public service, or other reason of distinction comparable to such completion.


“Degree” does not refer to a certificate or diploma signified by a series of letters or words unlikely to be confused with a degree, clearly intended not to be mistaken for a degree, and represented to the public so as to prevent such confusion or error.


“Confer a degree” means give, grant, award, bestow, or present orally or in writing any symbol or series of letters or words that would lead the recipient to believe it was a degree that had been received.


“Diploma mill” or “degree mill” means an entity that meets any one of the following conditions as defined in ORS 348.594 (Definitions for ORS 348.594 to 348.615):


A school against which a court or public body, as defined in ORS 174.109 (“Public body” defined), has issued a ruling or finding, after due process procedures, that the school has engaged in dishonest, fraudulent or deceptive practices related to the award of degrees, academic standards or student learning requirements; or


Is an entity without legal authority as a school to issue degrees valid as credentials in the jurisdiction that authorizes issuance of degrees.


“Disclaimer” when appended to a published reference to a degree means the following statement from statute: “(Name of school) does not have accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and has not been approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.”


“Earned degree” means a degree awarded based on academic work evaluated and accepted by qualified faculty in the context of a specific degree program, based on the Carnegie credit system as set forth in OAR 583-030-0035 (Standards for Schools Offering Degree Programs In or From Oregon)(5) or an equivalent as determined by the Commission’s executive director.


“Foreign equivalent of such accreditation” means authorization by a non-U.S. government found by the Commission’s executive director to have adequate academic standards. This determination may be made through one or more of the following methods at executive director’s discretion:


Direct investigation of foreign standards;


Reliance on an evaluation and determination made by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO); or


Evaluation of the transferability of courses and degrees earned in the foreign country to accredited Oregon institutions at similar degree levels.


“Honorary Degree” means a credential awarded by an accredited or approved school in recognition of the recipient’s personal merits unrelated to academic achievement demonstrated through course work or equivalent work taken at the awarding school.


“Nonstandard School” means a degree provider that has legal authority to issue degrees valid in its authorizing jurisdiction, but which does not meet the requirements to be a standard school.


“School” includes a person, organization, school or institution of learning that confers or offers to confer an academic degree upon a person or to provide academic credit applicable to a degree. The activities attributable to a school include instruction, measurement of achievement or proficiency, or recognition of educational attainment or comparable public distinction.


“Standard School” means a school that meets the requirements of ORS 348.609 (Representation of possession of academic degree) for degree use without a disclaimer.


“Valid degree” means a degree issued by a standard school or by a nonstandard school if the disclaimer required by ORS 348.609 (Representation of possession of academic degree)(2) is used.
[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Source: Rule 583-050-0011 — Definitions of Terms, https://secure.­sos.­state.­or.­us/oard/view.­action?ruleNumber=583-050-0011.

Last Updated

Jun. 24, 2021

Rule 583-050-0011’s source at or​.us