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Notice

Accrediting Agencies Under Review for Recognition by the U.S. Secretary of Education

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AGENCY:

Accreditation Group, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

ACTION:

Call for written third-party comments.

SUMMARY:

This notice provides information to members of the public on submitting written comments for accrediting agencies currently undergoing review for purposes of recognition by the U.S. Secretary of Education. This solicitation of third-party comments concerning the performance of accrediting agencies under review by the Secretary is required by § 496(n)(1)(A) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Herman Bounds, Director, Accreditation Group, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 6C115, Washington, DC 20202, telephone: (202) 453-7615, or email: herman.bounds@ed.gov.

Agencies Under Review and Evaluation: Below is a list of agencies currently undergoing review and evaluation by the Accreditation Group, including their current and requested scopes of recognition:

Applications for Renewal of Recognition

1. American Podiatric Medical Association Scope of Recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Provisional Accreditation”) 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.

2. Commission on English Language Program Accreditation Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of postsecondary, non-degree-granting English language programs and institutions in the United States.

3. The Council on Chiropractic Education Scope of recognition: The accreditation of programs leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree and single-purpose institutions offering the Doctor of Chiropractic program.

4. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology Scope of recognition: The accreditation of education programs in radiography, magnetic resonance, radiation therapy, and medical dosimetry, including those offered via distance education, at the certificate, associate, and baccalaureate levels.

Compliance Report

Western Association for Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Compliance report includes the following: (1) Findings identified in the Start Printed Page 71090April 5, 2016 letter from the senior Department official following the December 2015 NACIQI meeting available at: https://opeweb.ed.gov/​aslweb/​finalstaffreports.cfm, (2) Findings identified in the January 4, 2016 Secretary's appeal decision available at: http://oha.ed.gov/​secretarycases/​2014-10-O.pdf

(3) The limitation on ACCJC's authority to approve single baccalaureate programs within the scope of accreditation of previously accredited institutions, as outlined in the April 5, 2016 letter from the senior Department official, (4) Review under 34 CFR 602.33.

Scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of community and other colleges with a primarily pre-baccalaureate mission 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, which offer certificates, associate degrees, and the first baccalaureate degree by means of a substantive change review offered by institutions that are already accredited by the agency, and such programs offered via distance education and correspondence education at these colleges. This recognition also extends to the Committee on Substantive Change of the Commission, for decisions on substantive changes, and the Appeals Panel.

Application for an Expansion of Scope

Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools Scope of recognition: The accreditation of private, postsecondary institutions in the United States offering predominantly allied health education programs and the programmatic accreditation of medical assistant, medical laboratory technician and surgical technology programs, leading to a certificate, diploma, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Occupational Science, Academic Associate degree, or Baccalaureate degree, including those offered via distance education. This scope extends to the Substantive Change Committee, jointly with the Commission, for decisions on substantive changes.

Requested Scope: The accreditation of private, postsecondary institutions in the United States offering predominantly allied health education programs and the programmatic accreditation of medical assistant, medical laboratory technician and surgical technology programs, leading to a certificate, diploma, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Occupational Science, Academic Associate degree, Baccalaureate degree and Master's degree, including those offered via distance education. The scope extends to the Substantive Change Committee, jointly with the Commission, for decisions on substantive change.

Application for Renewal of Recognition—State Agency for the Approval of Nurse Education

Missouri State Board of Nursing.

Submission of written comments regarding a specific accrediting agency or state approval agency under review: Written comments about the recognition of a specific accrediting or State agency must be received by November 14, 2016, in the ThirdPartyComments@ed.gov mailbox and include the subject line “Written Comments: (agency name).” The email must include the name(s), title, organization/affiliation, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the person(s) making the comment. Comments should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document or in a medium compatible with Microsoft Word (not a PDF file) that is attached to an electronic mail message (email) or provided in the body of an email message. Comments about an agency's recognition after review of a compliance report must relate to issues identified in the compliance report and the criteria for recognition cited in the senior Department official's letter that requested the report, or in the Secretary's appeal decision, if any. Comments about the renewal of an agency's recognition based on a review of the agency's petition must relate to its compliance with the Criteria for the Recognition of Accrediting Agencies, or the Criteria and Procedures for Recognition of State Agencies for Approval of Nurse Education as appropriate, which are available at http://www.ed.gov/​admins/​finaid/​accred/​index.html.

Only material submitted by the deadline to the email address listed in this notice, and in accordance with these instructions, become part of the official record concerning agencies scheduled for review and are considered by the Department and NACIQI in their deliberations.

Electronic Access to this Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/​fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

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Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099b.

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Lynn B. Mahaffie,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Policy, and Innovation, delegated the duties of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 2016-24893 Filed 10-13-16; 8:45 am]

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