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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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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 8-9, 2003.

Where Should I Submit My Comments?

Please submit your written comments by September 18, 2003 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 Start Printed Page 45798offer 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) and are found at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​offices/​OPE/​accreditation.

We will also include your comments with the staff analyses we present to the Advisory Committee at its December 2003 meeting. Therefore, in order for us to give full consideration to your comments, it is important that we receive them by September 18, 2003. 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 it accredits that are encompassed within the scope of recognition he grants to the agency. The following agencies will be reviewed during the December 2003 meeting of the Advisory Committee:

Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

1. Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (Current scope of recognition: The accreditation of private, postsecondary allied health education institutions and institutions that offer predominantly allied health programs, private medical assistant programs, and public and private medical laboratory technician programs leading to the Associate of Applied Science and the Associate of Occupational Science degrees.)

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 Commission on Education for Health Services Administration

2. American Board of Funeral Service Education

3. Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools

4. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Progress Reports

1. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (This is a report on the agency's implementation of its new standards).

2. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools (This is a report on the agency's action plan for coming into compliance with criteria for recognition).

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Public Postsecondary Vocational Education

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

1. Missouri State Board of Education (Current scope of recognition: The approval of public, postsecondary vocational education in the state of Missouri)

At its June 2003 meeting, the Advisory Committee recommended that review of this agency's petition for continued recognition be deferred until the Committee's December 2003 meeting.

Interim Reports

2. New York Board of Regents (Public Postsecondary Vocational Education Unit)

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Nurse Education

Interim Reports

1. North Dakota Board of Nursing

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 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, until November 14, 2003. They will be available again after the December 8-9 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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Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 03-19723 Filed 8-1-03; 8:45 am]

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