§ 16-40-1. Approval of secondary and higher schools Certification to secretary of state.
(a) No academy, college, university, or other institution of secondary or higher education shall be incorporated or established in this state or be permitted to transact business, unless exempt pursuant to § 16-40-10, within this state unless and until:
(1) Suitable provision, approved by the council on elementary and secondary education or the council on postsecondary education, shall be made that the academy, college, university, or institution is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with the regulations and standards for approval adopted by the appropriate council or full board to implement this chapter; and
(2) For institutions offering an associates degree or higher, the institution has initiated discussions, that are evidenced by a writing, with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) regarding potential accreditation; or
(3) For distance-learning purposes only, a degree-granting institution has full accreditation by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and equivalent to NEASC.
(b) The secretary of state, upon the receipt by him or her under the provisions of the general laws of articles of association purporting to establish an educational institution, shall transmit the articles of association to the appropriate council and shall not issue the certificate of incorporation provided by the general laws unless and until the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or the commissioner of the office of postsecondary education shall file with the secretary of state a certificate over his or her signature that the appropriate council has approved the application for incorporation as complying with the requirements of this section.
(P.L. 1932, ch. 1897, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 200, § 1; impl. am. P.L. 1951, ch. 2752, §§ 10, 21; G.L. 1956, § 16-40-1; P.L. 1975, ch. 243, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 442, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 188, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 479, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 207, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 231, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 50, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 58, § 1.)