Skip to Content

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We’ve made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the 'Feedback' button on the bottom right of each page!

Notice

Accrediting Agencies Currently Undergoing Review for the Purposes of Recognition by the U.S. Secretary of Education

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Herman Bounds, Director, Accreditation Group, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 270-01, Washington, DC 20202, telephone: (202) 453-7615, or email: herman.bounds@ed.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This request for written third-party comments concerning the performance of accrediting agencies under review by the Secretary of Education is required by § 496(n)(1)(A) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, and pertains to the summer 2022 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). The meeting date and location have not been determined, but will be announced in a later Federal Register notice. In addition, a later Federal Register notice will describe how to register to provide oral comments at the meeting.

Agencies Under Review and Evaluation: The Department requests written comments from the public on the following accrediting agencies, which are currently undergoing review and evaluation by the Accreditation Group, and which will be reviewed at the summer 2022 NACIQI meeting.

The agencies are listed by the type of application each agency has submitted. Please note, each agency's current scope of recognition is indicated below. If any agency requests a change to its scope of recognition, identified are both the current scope of recognition and the requested scope of recognition.

Applications for Renewal of Recognition

1. Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation. Scope of recognition: The accreditation and pre-accreditation (“Candidate Status”) of institutions of biblical higher education in the United States offering undergraduate certificates, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, graduate certificates, and master's degrees, including the accreditation of educational programs offered via distance education.

2. American Occupational Therapy Association, Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. Scope of recognition: The accreditation of occupational therapy educational programs offering the professional master's degree, combined baccalaureate/master's degree, and occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) degree; the accreditation of occupational therapy assistant programs offering the associate degree or a certificate; and the accreditation of these programs offered via distance education. Requested scope of recognition: The pre-accreditation and accreditation throughout the United States of occupational therapy education programs offering the professional master's degree, combined baccalaureate/master's degree, and occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) degree; and occupational therapy assistant programs offering the baccalaureate degree, associate degree, or a certificate; including those programs offered via distance education.

3. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Scope of recognition: The accreditation and pre-accreditation within the United States of professional degree programs in pharmacy leading to the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy, including those programs offered via distance education.

4. Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Accreditation Commission. Scope of recognition: The pre-accreditation (provisional) and accreditation of both clinical pastoral education (CPE) centers and Certified Educator CPE programs within the United States, including those that offer those programs via distance education.

5. American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation. Scope of recognition: The accreditation of predoctoral dental education programs (leading to the D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree), advanced dental education programs, and allied dental education programs that are fully operational or have attained “Initial Accreditation” status, including programs offered via distance education.

6. Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Scope of recognition: The accreditation of postsecondary institutions in the United States that offer degree and/or non-degree programs primarily by the distance or correspondence education method up to Start Printed Page 36533and including the professional doctoral degree, including those institutions that are specifically certified by the agency as accredited for Title IV purposes.

7. Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. Scope of recognition: The accreditation of postsecondary, non-degree granting institutions that offer all or part of their educational programs via distance education modalities in the United States.

8. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (“SACSCOC”). Scope of recognition: The accreditation and pre-accreditation (“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.

Compliance Reports

1. New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department, Office of the Professions (Public Postsecondary Vocational Education, Practical Nursing). Scope of Recognition: State agency for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education in the field of practical nursing offered by a Board of Cooperative Educational Services, an Educational Opportunity Center, City School Districts, and County Boards of Supervisors to prepare persons for licensed practical nursing careers in the State of New York. The compliance report includes findings of noncompliance with Criteria in 34 CFR 603 as referenced in the SDO decision letter dated May 27, 2020 available under NACIQI meeting date 02/27/2020 at https://surveys.ope.ed.gov/​erecognition/​PublicDocuments.

Submission of Written Comments Regarding a Specific Accrediting Agency Under Review

Written comments about the recognition of any of the accrediting agencies listed above must be received by August 15, 2021, in the ThirdPartyComments@ed.gov mailbox. Please include in the subject line “Written Comments: (agency name).” The electronic mail (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 email or provided in the body of an email message. Comments about an agency that has submitted a compliance report scheduled for review by the Department must relate to 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 an agency that has submitted a petition for initial recognition, renewal of recognition, or an expansion of scope must relate to the agency's compliance with the Criteria for the Recognition of Accrediting Agencies, which are available at http://www.ed.gov/​admins/​finaid/​accred/​index.html.

Only written materials 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 the 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.

Start Authority

Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1011c; 20 U.S.C. 1099b.

End Authority Start Signature

Annmarie Weisman,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation, Office of Postsecondary Education.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-14741 Filed 7-9-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P