FR Doc 04-2533
[Federal Register: February 5, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 24)]
[Notices]               
[Page 5526-5528]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr05fe04-57]                         
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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Recognition of Accrediting Agencies, State Agencies for the 
Approval of Public Postsecondary Vocational Education, and State 
Agencies for the Approval of Nurse Education

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 initial or renewed recognition or whose interim 
reports will be reviewed at the Advisory Committee meeting to be held 
on June 10-11, 2004.

Where Should I Submit My Comments?

    Please submit your written comments by March 22, 2004, to Ms. Carol 
Griffiths, 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. 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 comment.

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 the Secretary's 
Criteria for Recognition of Accrediting Agencies

[[Page 5527]]

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.

    We will also include your comments with the staff analyses we 
present to the Advisory Committee at its June 2004 meeting. Therefore, 
in order for us to give full consideration to your comments, it is 
important that we receive them by March 22, 2004. In all instances, 
your comments about agencies seeking initial or continued recognition 
must relate to the Criteria for Recognition. In addition, your comments 
for any agency whose interim 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 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 he grants to the agency. 
The following agencies will be reviewed during the June 2004 meeting of 
the Advisory Committee:

Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies

Petitions for Initial Recognition

    1. Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (Requested 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).

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

    1. Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (Current scope of 
recognition: The accreditation of private, postsecondary allied health 
education institutions and institutions that offer predominantly allied 
health programs, private medical assistant programs, and public and 
private medical laboratory technician programs leading to the Associate 
of Applied Science and the Associate of Occupational Science degrees.) 
(Requested scope of recognition: The accreditation of private, 
postsecondary institutions in the United States offering predominantly 
allied health education, medical assistant programs, and medical 
laboratory technician programs leading to a certificate, diploma or the 
Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Occupational Science 
degrees, including those offered via distance education.)
    2. Association of Theological Schools in the United States and 
Canada, Commission on Accrediting (Current scope of recognition: The 
accreditation and preaccreditation (``Candidate for Accredited 
Status'') of freestanding institutions, as well as schools affiliated 
with larger institutions, that offer graduate professional education 
for ministry and graduate study of theology in the United States) 
(Requested scope of recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation 
(``Candidate for Accredited Membership'') of freestanding theological 
schools and seminaries and schools or programs that are parts of 
colleges or universities offering graduate professional and graduate 
academic theological education, including delivery via distance 
education.)
    3. Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (Current scope of 
recognition: The accreditation of institutions in the United States, 
that award postsecondary certificates or diplomas in the practice of 
massage therapy and bodywork.) (Requested scope of recognition: The 
accreditation of institutions in the United States, that award 
postsecondary certificates or diplomas, including Associates degrees, 
in the practice of massage therapy and bodywork.)
    4. North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School 
Improvement, Board of Trustees (Requested scope of recognition: The 
accreditation and preaccreditation [``Candidacy status''] of schools 
offering non-degree, postsecondary education in Arizona, Arkansas, 
Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, 
Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South 
Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and in the Navajo Nation.)
    Interim Reports (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. American Academy for Liberal Education.
    2. American Optometric Association, Accreditation Council on 
Optometric Education.
    3. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on 
Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.
    4. National Accrediting Commission of Costmetology Arts and 
Sciences.
    5. National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Commission on 
Accreditation.
    6. National Association of Schools of Dance, Commission on 
Accreditation.
    7. National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on 
Accreditation, Commission on Non-Degree-Granting Accreditation, 
Commission on Community/Junior College Accreditation.
    8. National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on 
Accreditation.
    9. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on 
Institutions of Higher Education.
    10. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on 
Technical and Career Institutions.
    11. New York State Board of Regents, the Commissioner of Education.
    12. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher 
Learning Commission.
    13. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Public Postsecondary 
Vocational Education

Petition for Initial Recognition

    1. Pennsylvania State Board for Vocational Education.

Petition for Renewal of Recognition

    1. Puerto Rico State Agency for the Approval of Public 
Postsecondary Vocational, Technical Institutions and Programs.

Interim Reports

    1. Oklahoma Board of Career and Technology Education.

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Nurse Education

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

    1. Montana State Board of Nursing.

[[Page 5528]]

    2. North Dakota 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 and copying 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 May 17, 2004. They will 
be available again after the June 10-11 Advisory Committee meeting. An 
appointment must be made in advance of such inspection or copying.

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 at 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.gpo/nara/index.html.



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

    Dated: January 30, 2004.
Sally L. Stroup,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 04-2533 Filed 2-4-04; 8:45 am]

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