Process, Applications for Connecticut Independent Institutions of Higher Learning
Timothy D. Larson

Timothy D. Larson

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Process, Applications for Connecticut Independent Institutions of Higher Learning


The Office of Higher Education (OHE) is charged with the licensure and accreditation of independent colleges and universities operating in Connecticut. State statutes require OHE to approve proposals submitted by independent colleges and universities for:

  • licensure which allows institutions to enroll students in a program,

  • accreditation which allows institutions to confer a degree in a program, and

  • program modifications which are revisions to existing programs.  These may be determined to be substantive or non-substantive.

Applications for approval of new academic programs and institutions should be submitted to the OHE as early as possible before their planned implementation to allow adequate time for review and student recruitment. State regulations specify nine months in advance.

All Institutional and Programmatic applications are accepted through our Veoci database. To provide notice of new programs, program modifications, program phase-out or program termination please log into the Veoci system. In order to request a login, email Emily Bjornberg

Applications are reviewed by OHE within 45 days of receipt. During the review period, OHE staff will evaluate the proposal and contact college officials with questions or requests for more information. Successful proposals will have been deemed to meet all state academic standards.

Additional review, extending beyond the 45-day period, may be required for:

  • proposals for academic programs in fields new to the applicant institution,

  • proposals for academic programs at degree levels new to the application institution, and

  • proposals to establish new institutions.

There are two types of additional review:

  • a Focused Review, which involves the participation of an out-of-state expert in the proposed content field.

  • an On-site Review by an evaluation team, involving out-of-state experts conducted at the institution.  This level of review most often occurs in cases of an application for licensure of a new institution for which there is a 9-month review period.

Circulation Requirements

Applications for licensure of new programs must be circulated for comment to all Connecticut public and independent colleges and universities at the same time applications are submitted to OHE.  The 15-day circulation period is conducted by OHE once it receives both a licensure application and circulation form in Veci.  Any institution wishing to comment on the application must send their statements both to OHE and the applicant institution. The latter must then respond to the comments both to OHE and the commenting institution.


In accordance with Public Act 21-2, certain non-profit private colleges and universities are exempt from the OHE approval process with no cap until July 1, 2023.
After July 1, 2023, the cap is increased to 15 programs (up from 12). To qualify for an exemption, institutions of higher education must:

  • maintain eligibility to participate in financial aid programs governed by Title IV, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965;

  • have a financial responsibility score, as determined by the United States Department of Education, that is not less than 1.5 for the most recent fiscal year for which the data necessary for determining the score is available; and

  • have been located in the state and accredited as a degree-granting institution in good standing for 10 years or more by a regional accrediting association recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and maintain such accreditation status.

Exempt institutions shall file with OHE the relevant forms in Veoci prior to students enrolling in any new program of higher learning or any existing program subject to a program modification.

Exempt institutions must provide OHE with the following information by July 1 of each year:

  • a list and brief description of any new programs of higher learning introduced by the institution in the preceding academic year;

  • a list of any discontinued programs for the preceding academic year;

  • the institution's current program approval process and all actions of the governing board concerning approval of any new program of higher learning; and

  • the most recent financial responsibility composite score available, as determined by the United States Department of Education.


Applications for program accreditation which contain evidence of programmatic accreditation by an external, professional accrediting agency may be considered by OHE to have met state academic standards.

For institutional accreditation, OHE accepts regional accreditation (i.e., accreditation by a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education) in lieu of state accreditation, unless it finds cause not to do so.

OHE accepts national accreditation (i.e. accreditation by a national accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education) in lieu of state accreditation only for Connecticut independent institutions of higher education accredited prior to July 1, 2013, unless it finds cause not to do so. Program Accreditation and Reaccreditation is also completed in the Veoci system.

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