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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 renewed recognition, requests for expansion of scope of recognition, or reports will be reviewed at the Advisory Committee meeting to be held on December 7-9, 2005, at the DoubleTree Hotel “ Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

Where Should I Submit My Comments?

Please submit your written comments by mail, fax, or e-mail no later than August 24, 2005 to Ms. Robin Greathouse, 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, fax: (202) 219-7005, or e-mail: Robin.Greathouse@ed.gov. 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 comments.

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 Section 496 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and 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/​admins/​finaid/​accred/​index.html.

We will also include your comments with the staff analyses we present to the Advisory Committee at its December 2005 meeting. Therefore, in order for us to give full consideration to your comments, it is important that we receive them by August 24, 2005. In all instances, your comments about agencies seeking continued recognition and/or an expansion of an agency's scope of recognition must relate to the Criteria for Recognition. In addition, your comments for any agency whose interim report or progress 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 or State approval 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 she grants to the agency.

The following agencies will be reviewed during the December 2005 meeting of the Advisory Committee:

Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies

Petition for an Expansion of the Scope of Recognition

1. Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (Current scope of recognition: The accreditation of private, postsecondary, non-degree-granting institutions and degree-granting institutions in the United States, including those granting associate and baccalaureate degrees, that are predominantly organized to educate students for occupational, trade and technical careers, and including institutions that offer programs via distance education.) (Requested scope of recognition: The accreditation of private, postsecondary, non-degree-granting institutions and degree-granting institutions in the United States, including those granting associate, baccalaureate, and master's degrees, that are predominantly organized to educate students for occupational, trade and technical careers, and including institutions that offer programs via distance education.) Start Printed Page 42541

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

1. Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (Current scope of recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of first-professional master's degree and professional master's level certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, as well as freestanding institutions and colleges of acupuncture or Oriental medicine that offer such programs.) (Requested scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation throughout the United States of first-professional Master's degree and professional Master's level certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, as well as freestanding institutions and colleges of acupuncture or Oriental medicine that offer such programs.)

2. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (Current and requested scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy”) throughout the United States of clinical training programs in marriage and family therapy at the master's, doctoral, and postgraduate levels.)

3. American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (Current and requested scope of recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of programs in legal education that lead to the first professional degree in law, as well as freestanding law schools offering such programs.)

4. American Osteopathic Association, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (Current and requested scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Provisional Accreditation”) throughout the United States of freestanding, public and private non-profit institutions of osteopathic medicine and programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Osteopathy or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.)

5. American Podiatric Medical Association, Council on Podiatric Medical Education (Current and requested scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate Status”) throughout the United States of freestanding colleges of podiatric medicine and programs of podiatric medicine, including first professional programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.)

6. Council on Occupational Education (Current scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) throughout the United States of non-degree granting postsecondary occupational/vocational institutions and those postsecondary occupational/vocational education institutions that have state authorization to grant the applied associate degree in specific vocational/occupational fields.) (Requested scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) throughout the United States of non-degree granting postsecondary occupational/vocational institutions and those postsecondary occupational/vocational education institutions that have state authorization to grant the applied associate degree in specific vocational/occupational fields, including institutions that offer programs via distance education.)

7. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (Current and requested scope of recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of professional education units providing baccalaureate and graduate degree programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional personnel for elementary and secondary schools.)

8. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions (Current and 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, 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.)

Interim Report (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. Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools.

2. National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Commission on Accreditation.

3. National Association of Schools of Dance, Commission on Accreditation.

4. National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation, Commission on Non-Degree-Granting Accreditation, Commission on Community/Junior College Accreditation.

5. National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation.

6. North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees.

7. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.

8. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

9. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools.

Progress Report (A report describing the agency's implementation of its process for measuring success with respect to student achievement in the institutions that it accredits.)

1. American Academy for Liberal Education.

State Agency Recognized for the Approval of Public Postsecondary Vocational Education

Interim Reports

1. Pennsylvania State Board for Vocational Education, Bureau of Career and Technical Education.

2. Oklahoma Board of Career and Technology Education

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Nurse Education

Interim Reports

1. Montana State 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 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 4, 2005. They will be available again after the December 7-9, 2005 Advisory Committee meeting. An appointment must be made in advance of such inspection.

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 Start Printed Page 42542at 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.gpoaccess.gov/​index.html.

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

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Dated: July 9, 2005.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 05-14565 Filed 7-22-05; 8:45 am]

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