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Notice

Recognition of Accrediting Agencies, State Agencies for the Approval of Public Postsecondary Vocational Education, and State Agencies for the Approval of Nurse Education

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AGENCY:

National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, Department of Education (The Advisory Committee).

What Is the Purpose of This Notice?

The purpose of this notice is to invite written comments on accrediting agencies and State approval agencies whose applications to the Secretary for initial or renewed recognition or whose interim reports will be reviewed at the Advisory Committee meeting to be held on December 2-4, 2002.

Where Should I Submit My Comments?

Please submit your written comments by September 9, 2002 to Carol Griffiths, Chief, Accrediting Agency Evaluation, Accreditation and State Liaison. You may contact her at the U.S. Department of Education, room 7105, MS 8509, 1990 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006, telephone: (202) 219-7011. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

What Is the Authority for the Advisory Committee?

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity is established under Section 114 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1011c. One of the purposes of the Advisory Committee is to advise the Secretary of Education on the recognition of accrediting agencies and State approval agencies.

Will This Be My Only Opportunity To Submit Written Comments?

Yes, this notice announces the only opportunity you will have to submit written comments. However, a subsequent Federal Register notice will announce the meeting and invite individuals and/or groups to submit requests to make oral presentations before the Advisory Committee on the agencies that the Committee will review. That notice, however, does not offer a second opportunity to submit written comment.

What Happens to the Comments That I Submit?

We will review your comments, in response to this notice, as part of our evaluation of the agencies' compliance with the Secretary's Criteria for Recognition of Accrediting Agencies and State Approval Agencies. The Criteria are regulations found in 34 CFR part 602 (for accrediting agencies) and in 34 CFR part 603 (for State approval agencies).

We will also include your comments with the staff analyses we present to the Advisory Committee at its December 2002 meeting. Therefore, in order for us to give full consideration to your comments, it is important that we receive them by September 9, 2002. In all instances, your comments about agencies seeking initial or continued recognition must relate to the Criteria for Recognition. In addition, your comments for any agency whose interim report is scheduled for review must relate to the issues raised and the Criteria for Recognition cited in the Secretary's letter that requested the interim report.

What Happens to Comments Received After the Deadline?

We will review any comments received after the deadline. If such comments, upon investigation, reveal that the accrediting agency is not acting in accordance with the Criteria for Recognition, we will take action either before or after the meeting, as appropriate.

What Agencies Will the Advisory Committee Review at the Meeting?

The Secretary of Education recognizes accrediting agencies and State approval agencies for public postsecondary vocational education and nurse education if the Secretary determines that they meet the Criteria for Recognition. Recognition means that the Secretary considers the agency to be a reliable authority as to the quality of education offered by institutions or programs that are encompassed within the scope of recognition he grants to the agency. The following agencies will be reviewed during the December 2002 meeting of the Advisory Committee:

Nationally Recognized Accredity Agencies

Petition for Initial Recognition

1. Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation of postsecondary English language programs and institutions in the United States)

2. Teacher Education Accreditation Council (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of professional education programs in institutions offering baccalaureate and Start Printed Page 48451graduate degrees for the preparation of teachers K-12)

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

1. Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation of institutions of higher education throughout the United States that offer non-collegiate continuing education programs.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation of institutions of higher education throughout the United States that offer non-collegiate continuing education programs, including programs offered via distance education.)

2. American Optometric Association, Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation in the United States of professional optometric degree programs, optometric technician (associate degree) programs, and optometric residency programs and for the preaccreditation categories of Preliminary Approval and Reasonable Assurance for professional optometric degree programs and Candidacy Pending for optometric residency programs in Veterans' Administration facilities.)

3. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (Candidacy status) throughout the United States of Master's and doctoral-level degree programs in speech-language pathology and/or audiology.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Accreditation Candidate”) throughout the United States of entry-level graduate education programs at the master's or doctoral level leading to the first professional or academic degree in audiology and/or speech-language pathology and the accreditation of these programs offered via distance education.)

4. Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of direct-entry midwifery educational institutions and programs conferring degrees and certificates.) (Requested scope of recognition: the preaccreditation and accreditation throughout the United States of direct-entry midwifery educational institutions and programs conferring degrees and certificates, including the accreditation of programs offered via distance education.)

5. National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Commission on Accreditation (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in art and design and art and design-related disciplines.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in art and design and art and design-related disciplines, including programs offered via distance education.)

6. National Association of Schools of Dance, Commission on Accreditation (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in dance and dance-related disciplines.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in dance and dance-related disciplines, including programs offered via distance education.)

7. National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation, Commission on Non-Degree-Granting Accreditation, Commission on Community/Junior College Accreditation (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in music and music-related disciplines, including community/junior colleges and independent degree-granting and non-degree-granting institutions.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in music and music-related disciplines, including community/junior colleges and independent degree-granting and non-degree-granting institutions and programs offered via distance education.)

8. National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in theatre and theatre-related disciplines.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation throughout the United States of institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs in theatre and theatre-related disciplines, including programs offered via distance education.)

9. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) of institutions of higher education in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont that award bachelor's, master's, and/or doctoral degrees and associate degree-granting institutions in those states that include degrees in liberal arts or general studies among their offerings. This recognition extends to the Board of Trustees of the Association jointly with the Commission for decisions involving preaccreditation, initial accreditation, and adverse actions.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) of institutions of higher education in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont that award bachelor's, master's, and/or doctoral degrees and associate degree-granting institutions in those states that include degrees in liberal arts or general studies among their offerings, and the accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these institutions. This recognition extends to the Board of Trustees of the Association jointly with the Commission for decisions involving preaccreditation, initial accreditation, and adverse actions.)

10. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate status”) of secondary institutions with vocational-technical programs at the 13th and 14th grade level, postsecondary institutions, and institutions of higher education that provide primarily vocational/technical education at the certificate, associate, and baccalaureate degree levels in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This recognition extends to the Board of Trustees of the Association jointly with the Commission for decisions involving preaccreditation, initial accreditation, and adverse actions.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate status”) of secondary institutions with vocational-technical programs at the 13th and 14th grade level, postsecondary institutions, and institutions of higher education that provide primarily vocational/technical education at the certificate, associate, Start Printed Page 48452and baccalaureate degree levels in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and the accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these institutions. This recognition extends to the Board of Trustees of the Association jointly with the Commission for decisions involving preaccreditation, initial accreditation, and adverse actions.)

11. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of degree-granting institutions of higher education in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, including schools of the Navajo Nation.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of degree-granting institutions of higher education in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, including schools of the Navajo Nation, and the accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these institutions.)

12. Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities, Commission on Colleges and Universities (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) of postsecondary educational institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) of postsecondary educational institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, and the accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these institutions.)

13. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (Current scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of community and junior colleges located in California, Hawaii, the United States territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.) (Requested scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of community and junior colleges located in California, Hawaii, the United States territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the accreditation of programs offered via distance education at these colleges.)

Interim Reports (An interim report is a follow-up report on an accrediting agency's compliance with specific criteria for recognition that was requested by the Secretary when the Secretary granted renewed recognition to the agency.)

1. Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

2. American College of Nurse-Midwives, Division of Accreditation.

3. American Council on Pharmaceutical Education.

4. Commission on Opticianry Accreditation.

5. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

6. Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

7. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities:

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Public Postsecondary Vocational Education

Petition for Renewal of Recognition

1. Oklahoma Board of Career and Technology Education (Current scope of recognition: the approval of public postsecondary vocational education offered at institutions in the State of Oklahoma that are not under the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.)

2. Utah State Board for Applied Technology Education:

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Nurse Education

Petition for Renewal of Recognition

1. Iowa Board of Nursing

2. Maryland Board of Nursing

Federal Agency Seeking Degree-Granting Authority

In accordance with the Federal policy governing the granting of academic degrees by Federal agencies (approved by a letter from the Director, Bureau of the Budget, to the Secretary, Health, Education, and Welfare, dated December 23, 1954), the Secretary is required to establish a review committee to advise the Secretary concerning any legislation that may be proposed that would authorize the granting of degrees by a Federal agency. The review committee forwards its recommendation concerning a Federal agency's proposed degree-granting authority to the Secretary, who then forwards the committee's recommendation and the Secretary's recommendation to the Office of Management and Budget for review and transmittal to the Congress. The Secretary uses the Advisory Committee as the review committee required for this purpose. Accordingly, the Advisory Committee will review the following institution at this meeting:

Proposed Master's Degree-Granting Authority

1. U.S. Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA (request to award a master's degree of Operational Studies)

Where Can I Inspect Petitions and Third-Party Comments Before and After the Meeting?

All petitions and those third-party comments received in advance of the meeting, will be available for public inspection and copying at the U.S. Department of Education, room 7105, MS 8509, 1990 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 219-7011 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, until November 8, 2002. They will be available again after the December 2-4 Advisory Committee meeting. An appointment must be made in advance of such inspection or copying.

How May I Obtain Electronic Access to This Document?

You may view this document, as well as all other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​legislation/​FedRegister.

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

Note:

The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

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Dated: July 18, 2002.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 02-18663 Filed 7-23-02; 8:45 am]

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