Chapter 405

2007 -- S 0392

Enacted 07/07/07





     Introduced By: Senators Gallo, and P Fogarty

     Date Introduced: February 13, 2007


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Chapter 16-59 of the General Laws entitled "Board of Governors for

Higher Education" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:


     16-59-27. Sale and purchase of degrees solely on the basis of life experience

prohibited. (a) The purchase and sale of academic degrees wherein the degree is obtained on

the basis of a combination of a payment of a fee and the attainment of academic credit for so-

called life experiences, without the applicant undertaking any academic coursework at the entity

or institution purporting to issue the degree, shall be prohibited. Provided, this section shall not

prohibit an award of academic credit for work experience or other so-called "life experience" as

part of a program to obtain a degree in higher education, but shall prohibit the award of such

degree solely on the basis of such experience.

     (b) Pursuant to its investigative powers under section 16-59-11, the board of governors

shall investigate persons and entities brought to the board's attention that purport to offer

academic degrees in violation of this section. By way of direction, and as a guide in enforcing

this section, the general assembly notes that higher education can take many forms, and it is not

the intent of this section to curtail or limit academic freedom and/or the use of alternative

methods of instruction that deviate from traditional norms. Rather, the intent of this section is to

prohibit the awarding and attainment of academic degrees primarily on the basis of purchase and

sale, and to prevent the fraudulent use of life and work experience to attain academic credit.


     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.