FR Doc E8-4011[Federal Register: March 3, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 42)]
[Page 11404-11405]
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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 renewed recognition, requests for an expansion of the 
scope of recognition, or reports will be reviewed at the Advisory 
Committee meeting to be held Spring 2008, in Washington, DC.

Where Should I Submit My Comments?

    Please submit your written comments by mail, fax, or e-mail no 
later than April 2, 2008 to Ms. Robin Greathouse, Accreditation and 
State Liaison. You may contact her at the U.S. Department of Education, 
Room 7126, MS 8509, 1990 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006, 
telephone: (202) 219-7011, fax: (202) 219-7005, or e-mail: 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 Role of the Advisory Committee?

    The Advisory Committee is established under Section 114 of the HEA, 
as amended, and is composed of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of 
Education from among individuals who are representatives of, or 
knowledgeable concerning, education and training beyond secondary 
education, including representatives of all sectors and type of 
institutions of higher education.
    The Advisory Committee meets at least twice a year and provides 
recommendations to the Secretary of Education pertaining to:
     The establishment and enforcement of criteria for 
recognition of accrediting agencies or associations under Subpart 2 of 
Part H of Title IV, HEA.
     The recognition of specific accrediting agencies or 
     The preparation and publication of the list of nationally 
recognized accrediting agencies and associations.
    As the Advisory Committee deems necessary or on request, the 
Advisory Committee also advises the Secretary about:
     The eligibility and certification process for institutions 
of higher education under Title IV, HEA.
     The development of standards and criteria for specific 
categories of vocational training institutions and institutions of 
higher education for which there are no recognized accrediting 
agencies, associations, or State agencies in order to establish the 
interim eligibility of those institutions to participate in Federally 
funded programs.
     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 functions relating to accreditation and 
institutional eligibility that the Secretary may prescribe.

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 Advisory Committee will review. That 
notice, however, does not offer a second opportunity to submit written 

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 Section 496 of the 
Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and the Secretary's Criteria 
for Recognition of Accrediting Agencies 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:
    We will also include your comments with the staff analyses we 
present to the Advisory Committee at its Spring 2008 meeting. 
Therefore, in order for us to give full consideration to your comments, 
it is important that we receive them by April 2, 2008. In all 
instances, your comments about agencies seeking continued recognition 
and/or an expansion of an agency's scope of 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 or 
State approval agency is not acting in accordance with the Criteria for 
Recognition, we will take action either before or after the meeting, as 

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

[[Page 11405]]

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 she grants to the 
    The following agencies will be reviewed during the Spring 2008 
meeting of the Advisory Committee:

Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies

Petitions for an Expansion of the Scope of Recognition

    1. National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (Current 
scope of recognition: The accreditation in the United States of 
programs in practical nursing, and diploma, associate, baccalaureate 
and higher degree nurse education programs.) (Requested scope of 
recognition: The accreditation in the United States of programs in 
practical nursing, and diploma, associate, baccalaureate and higher 
degree nurse education programs, including those offered via distance 

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

    1. American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal 
Education and Admissions to the Bar (Current and requested scope of 
recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of programs 
in legal education that lead to the first professional degree in law, 
as well as freestanding law schools offering such programs. This 
recognition also extends to the Accreditation Committee of the Section 
of Legal Education (Accreditation Committee) for decisions involving 
continued accreditation (referred to by the agency as ``approval'') of 
law schools.)
    2. American Board of Funeral Service Education, Committee on 
Accreditation (Current and requested scope of recognition: The 
accreditation of institutions and programs within the United States 
awarding diplomas, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees in funeral 
service or mortuary science, including accreditation of distance 
learning courses and programs offered by these programs and 
    3. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on 
Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology 
(Current and requested scope of recognition: The accreditation and pre-
accreditation (Accreditation Candidate) throughout the United States of 
education programs in audiology and speech-language pathology leading 
to the first professional or clinical degree at the master's or 
doctoral level, and the accreditation of these programs offered via 
distance education.)
    4. Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (Current and requested 
scope of recognition: The accreditation and pre-accreditation 
throughout the United States of graduate-level, four-year naturopathic 
medical education programs leading to the Doctor of Naturopathic 
Medicine (N.M.D.) or Doctor of Naturopathy (N.D.)
    5. Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, 
Commission on Accreditation (Current and requested scope of 
recognition: The accreditation of Montessori teacher education 
institutions and programs throughout the United States.)
    6. National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences 
(Current and requested scope of recognition: The accreditation 
throughout the United States of postsecondary schools and departments 
of cosmetology arts and sciences and massage therapy.)
    Interim Reports (An interim report is a follow-up report on an 
accrediting agency's compliance with specific criteria for 
    1. Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Accreditation 
    2. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on 
    3. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting 
Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

State Agency Recognized for the Approval of Public Postsecondary 
Vocational Education

Interim Reports

    1. Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools.
    2. Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Education.

State Agencies Recognized for the Approval of Nurse Education

Petitions for Renewal of Recognition

    1. Montana State Board of Nursing.
    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 at the U.S. 
Department of Education, Room 7126, 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 16, 2008. They will 
be available again after the Spring 2008 Advisory Committee meeting. An 
appointment must be made in advance of such inspection.

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:
    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:

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

    Dated: February 14, 2008.
Diane Auer Jones,
Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. E8-4011 Filed 2-29-08; 8:45 am]