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Notice

National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity Meeting

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AGENCY:

National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

ACTION:

Announcement of an open meeting.

SUMMARY:

This notice sets forth the agenda, time, and location for the July 30-31, 2019 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) and provides information to members of the public regarding the meeting, including requesting to make oral comments. The notice of this meeting is required under section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and section 114(d)(1)(B) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended.

DATES:

The NACIQI meeting will be held on July 30-31, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES:

Hilton Hotel—Old Town Alexandria, Grand Ballroom, 1767 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Hong, Executive Director/Designated Federal Official, NACIQI, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 271-03, Washington, DC 20202, telephone: (202) 453-7805, or email: Jennifer.Hong@ed.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NACIQI's Statutory Authority and Function: NACIQI is established under section 114 of the HEA. NACIQI advises the Secretary of Education with respect to:

  • The establishment and enforcement of the standards of accrediting agencies or associations under subpart 2, part G, Title IV of the HEA, as amended.
  • The recognition of specific accrediting agencies or associations.
  • The preparation and publication of the list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies and associations.
  • The eligibility and certification process for institutions of higher education under Title IV of the HEA and part C, subchapter I, chapter 34, Title 42, together with recommendations for improvement in such process.
  • The relationship between (1) accreditation of institutions of higher education and the certification and eligibility of such institutions, and (2) State licensing responsibilities with respect to such institutions.
  • Any other advisory function relating to accreditation and institutional eligibility that the Secretary of Education may prescribe by regulation.

Meeting Agenda: Agenda items for the July 2019 meeting are below.

Agencies Applying for Initial Recognition

1. National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation. Requested Scope of Recognition: The pre-accreditation and accreditation of nursing education programs, in the United States and its territories, which offer a certificate, diploma or degree at the practical/vocational, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctoral levels, including those offered via distance education.

Agencies Applying for Renewal of Recognition

1. Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. Scope of Recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of institutions of higher education that offer continuing education and vocational programs that confer certificates or occupational associate degrees, including those programs offered via distance education.

2. American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education. Scope of Recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Provisional Accreditation”) in the United States of programs leading to professional degrees (D.V.M. or D.M.D.) in veterinary medicine.

3. Council on Education for Public Health. Scope of Recognition: The accreditation within the United States of schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health, at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels, including those offered via distance education.

4. National Association of Schools of Dance, Commission on Accreditation. Scope of recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of freestanding institutions that offer dance and dance-related programs (both degree and non-degree-granting), including those offered via distance education.

5. National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation. Scope of recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of freestanding institutions that offer music and music related programs (both degree and non-degree-granting), including those offered via distance education.

6. National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation. Scope of recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of freestanding institutions that offer theatre and theatre-related programs (both degree and non-degree-granting), including those offered via distance education.

7. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. 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.

Compliance Report

1. The Council on Chiropractic Education. Compliance report includes the following: Finding identified in the May 25, 2017 letter from the senior Department official following the Start Printed Page 26827February 22, 2017 NACIQI meeting available at: https://opeweb.ed.gov/​aslweb/​finalstaffreports.cfm, with respect to recognition requirements found at 34 CFR 602.20(a). Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of programs leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree and single-purpose institutions offering the Doctor of Chiropractic program.

2. Commission on English Language Program Accreditation. Compliance report includes the following: Finding identified in the May 25, 2017 letter from the senior Department official following the February 22, 2017 NACIQI meeting available at: https://opeweb.ed.gov/​aslweb/​finalstaffreports.cfm, with respect to recognition requirements found at 34 CFR 602.20(b). Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of postsecondary, non-degree-granting English language programs and institutions in the United States.

3. Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. Compliance report includes the following: Finding identified in the September 20, 2017 letter from the senior Department official following the June 20, 2017 NACIQI meeting available at: https://opeweb.ed.gov/​aslweb/​finalstaffreports.cfm, with respect to recognition requirements found at 34 CFR 602.15(a)(1) and 602.15(a)(2). Scope of recognition: The accreditation of institutions with postsecondary, non-degree granting career and technology programs in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to include the accreditation of postsecondary, non-degree granting institutions that offer all or part of their educational programs via distance education modalities.

4. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Compliance report includes the following: Finding identified in the September 20, 2017 letter from the senior Department official following the June 20, 2017 NACIQI meeting available at: https://opeweb.ed.gov/​aslweb/​finalstaffreports.cfm, with respect to recognition requirements found at 34 CFR 602.15(a)(2). Scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of degree-granting institutions of higher education in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, including the accreditation of programs offered via distance and correspondence education within these institutions. This recognition extends to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees and the Appeals Committee of the College Delegate Assembly on cases of initial candidacy or initial accreditation and for continued accreditation or candidacy.

Application for an Expansion of Scope

1. Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of both clinical pastoral education (CPE) centers and supervisory CPE programs located within the United States and territories. Requested Scope of Recognition: The provisional accreditation and accreditation of both clinical pastoral education (CPE) centers and certified educator CPE programs within the United States and territories, including those that offer those programs via distance education.

2. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Scope of Recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of community and other colleges with a primarily prebaccalaureate 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. Requested Scope of Recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of community and other colleges 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 Marianas, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which have as a primary mission the granting of associate degrees, but which may also award certificates and other credentials, including bachelor's degrees, where the provision of such credentials is within the institution's mission and, if applicable, is authorized by their governmental authorities, and the accreditation of 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.

Subcommittee on Substantive Change

The subcommittee on substantive change will report out to the full committee on its charge from the May 22-24, 2018 meeting to look at the issue of substantive changes, including, but not limited to, for-profit institutions' conversions to non-profit entities.

Accreditation Rules

The Principal Deputy Under Secretary Delegated the Duties to Perform the Duties of Under Secretary will provide remarks on the Administration's implementation of regulations under 34 CFR 602. The Department reached consensus on rules governing the Secretary's recognition process during negotiated rulemaking sessions on April 3, 2019.

Meeting Discussion

In addition to following the HEA, the FACA, implementing regulations, and the NACIQI charter, as well as its customary procedural protocols, NACIQI inquiries will include the questions and topics listed in the pilot plan it adopted at its December 2015 meeting. A document entitled “June 2016 Pilot Plan” available at: http://sites.ed.gov/​naciqi/​files/​naciqi-dir/​2016-spring/​pilot-project-march-2016.pdf, provides further explanation and context framing NACIQI's work. As noted in this document, NACIQI's reviews of accrediting agencies will include consideration of data and information available on the accreditation data dashboards: https://sites.ed.gov/​naciqi/​files/​2018/​05/​NACIQI-May-2018-Accreditor-Dashboards.pdf. Accrediting agencies that will be reviewed for renewal of recognition will not be on the consent agenda and are advised to come prepared to answer questions related to the following:

  • Decision activities of and data gathered by the agency.

○ NACIQI will inquire about the range of accreditation activities of the agency since its prior review for recognition, including discussion about the various favorable, monitoring, and adverse actions taken. Information about the primary standards cited for the monitoring and adverse actions that have been taken will be sought.

○ NACIQI will also inquire about what data the agency routinely gathers about the activities of the institutions it Start Printed Page 26828accredits and about how that data is used in their evaluative processes.

  • Standards and practices with regard to student achievement.

○ How does your agency address “success with respect to student achievement” in the institutions it accredits?

○ Why was this strategy chosen? How is this appropriate in your context?

○ What are the student achievement challenges in the institutions accredited by your agency?

○ What has changed/is likely to change in the standards about student achievement for the institutions accredited by your agency?

○ In what ways have student achievement results been used for monitoring or adverse actions?

  • Agency activities in improving program/institutional quality.

○ How does this agency define “at risk?”

○ What tools does this agency use to evaluate “at risk” status?

○ What tools does this agency have to help “at risk” institutions improve?

○ What can the agency tell us about how well these tools for improvement have worked?

To the extent NACIQI's questions go to improvement of institutions and programs that are not at risk of falling into noncompliance with agency requirements, the responses will be used to inform NACIQI's general policy recommendations to the Department rather than its recommendations regarding recognition of any individual agency.

The discussions and issues described above are in addition to, rather than substituting for, exploration by NACIQI members of any topic relevant to recognition.

Submission of requests to make an oral comment regarding a specific accrediting agency under review, or to make an oral comment or written statement regarding other issues within the scope of NACIQI's authority: Opportunity to submit a written statement regarding a specific accrediting agency under review was solicited by two previous Federal Register notices published on September 4, 2018 (Vol. 83, No. 171) and March 4, 2019 (Vol. 84, No. 42), respectively. The period for submission of such statements are now closed. Additional written comments regarding a specific agency or state approval agency under review will not be accepted at this time. However, members of the public may submit written statements regarding other issues within the scope of NACIQI's authority for consideration by NACIQI in the manner described below. No individual in attendance or making oral comments may distribute written materials at the meeting. Oral comments may not exceed three minutes.

Oral 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. Oral comments about an agency seeking expansion of scope must be directed to the agency's ability to serve as a recognized accrediting agency with respect to the kinds of institutions or programs requested to be added. Oral 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, which are available at http://www.ed.gov/​admins/​finaid/​accred/​index.html. Written statements and oral comments concerning NACIQI's work outside of a specific accrediting agency under review must be limited to the scope of NACIQI's authority as outlined under section 114 of the HEA.

To request to make a third-party oral comment of three minutes at the July 30-31, 2019 meeting, please follow either Method One or Method Two. To submit a written statement to NACIQI concerning its work outside a specific accrediting agency under review, please follow Method One.

Method One: Submit a request by email to the ThirdPartyComments@ed.gov mailbox. Please do not send material directly to NACIQI members. Written statements and requests to make oral comment must be received by July 12, 2019, and include the subject line “Oral Comment Request: (agency name),” “Oral Comment Request: (subject)” or “Written Statement: (subject).” The email must include the name(s), title, organization/affiliation, mailing address, email address, telephone number, of the person(s) submitting a written statement or requesting to speak, and a brief summary (not to exceed one page) of the principal points to be made during the oral presentation, if applicable. All individuals submitting an advance request in accordance with this notice will be afforded an opportunity to speak.

Method Two: Register at the meeting location on July 30, 2019, from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m., to make an oral comment during NACIQI's deliberations. The requestor must provide the subject on which he or she wishes to comment, in addition to his or her name, title, organization/affiliation, mailing address, email address, and telephone number. A total of up to fifteen minutes for each agenda item will be allotted for oral commenters who register on July 30, 2019 by 8:30 a.m. Individuals will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. If selected, each commenter may not exceed three minutes.

Access to Records of the Meeting: The Department will post the official report of the meeting on the NACIQI website within 90 days after the meeting. In addition, pursuant to the FACA, the public may request to inspect records of the meeting at 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC, by emailing aslrecordsmanager@ed.gov or by calling (202) 453-7615 to schedule an appointment.

Reasonable Accommodations: The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this notice at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although we will attempt to meet a request received after that date, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

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. 1011c.

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Lynn B. Mahaffie,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation.

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[FR Doc. 2019-12123 Filed 6-7-19; 8:45 am]

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