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

CourtEducation Department
Citation86 FR 71251
Record Number2021-27095
Publication Date15 December 2021
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 238 (Wednesday, December 15, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 15, 2021)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 71251-71252]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-27095]
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                DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                Accrediting Agencies Currently Undergoing Review for the Purposes
                of Recognition by the U.S. Secretary of Education
                AGENCY: U.S. Department of Education, Accreditation Group, Office of
                Postsecondary Education.
                ACTION: Call for written third-party comments.
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                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.
                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: [email protected].
                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 Sec. 496(n)(1)(A)
                of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, and pertains to
                the winter 2023 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 winter 2023
                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. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. Scope of
                recognition: Accreditation of nursing education programs and schools,
                both postsecondary and higher degree, which offer a certificate,
                diploma, or a recognized professional degree, including clinical
                doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical
                nursing programs in the United States and its territories, including
                those offered via distance education.
                 2. Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. Scope of
                recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation of basic
                certificate, basic graduate nurse-midwifery, direct entry midwifery,
                and pre-certification nurse-midwifery education programs, including
                those programs that offer distance education.
                 3. American Physical Therapy Association, Commission on
                Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Scope of recognition: The
                accreditation and preaccreditation (``Candidate for Accreditation'') in
                the United States of physical therapist education programs leading to
                the first professional degree at the master's or doctoral level and
                physical therapist assistant education programs at the associate degree
                level and for its accreditation of such programs offered via distance
                education.
                 4. Higher Learning Commission. Scope of recognition: The
                accreditation and preaccreditation (``Candidate for Accreditation'') of
                degree-granting institutions of higher education in the United States,
                including the tribal institutions, and the accreditation of programs
                offered via distance education and correspondence education within
                these institutions. This recognition extends to the Institutional
                Actions Council jointly with the Board of Trustees of the Commission
                for decisions on cases for continued accreditation or reaffirmation,
                and continued candidacy, and to the Appeals Body jointly with the Board
                of Trustees of the Commission for decisions related to initial
                candidacy or accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation.
                 5. Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Scope of
                recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (``Candidacy
                status'') of institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District
                of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico,
                and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and
                [[Page 71252]]
                any other geographic areas in which the Commission elects to conduct
                accrediting activities within the United States including distance and
                correspondence education programs offered at those institutions.
                 6. New England Commission of Higher Education. Scope of
                recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (``Candidacy
                status'') of institutions of higher education in Connecticut, Maine,
                Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont that award
                bachelor's master's and/or doctoral degrees and associate degree-
                granting institutions in those states that include degrees in liberal
                arts or general studies among their offerings, including the
                accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these
                institutions. Jointly with the Commission, this recognition extends to
                its Executive Committee and also to the Appeals Body for decisions
                related to the appeal of denial or withdrawal of candidacy; probation;
                and denial or withdrawal of accreditation.
                 7. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and
                University Commission. Scope of recognition: The accreditation and
                preaccreditation (``Candidate for Accreditation'') of institutions of
                higher education in the United States that offer the baccalaureate
                degree or above, including distance education programs offered at those
                institutions.
                 Compliance Reports:
                 1. New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department,
                Office of the Professions (Nursing Education). The compliance report
                relates to findings of noncompliance with the Department's criteria for
                recognition of state agencies for approval of nurse education, set
                forth in a Federal Register notice published on January 16, 1969. 34 FR
                587, 644-645 (January 16, 1969). The senior Department official's (SDO)
                decision letter, dated October 28, 2020, is available under NACIQI
                meeting date 07/29/2020 at https://surveys.ope.ed.gov/erecognition/PublicDocuments.
                 2. Maryland Board of Nursing. The compliance report relates to
                findings of noncompliance with the Department's criteria for
                recognition of state agencies for approval of nurse education, set
                forth in a Federal Register notice published on January 16, 1969. 34 FR
                587, 644-645 (January 16, 1969). The Acting Secretary's Order, dated
                January 19, 2021, is 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 January 20,
                2022, in the [email protected] 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 Recognition of
                Accrediting Agencies, which are available at https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-34/subtitle-B/chapter-VI/part-602?toc=1.
                 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.
                 Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099b
                Annmarie Weisman,
                Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation, Office
                of Postsecondary Education.
                [FR Doc. 2021-27095 Filed 12-14-21; 8:45 am]
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