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Part 602 - Secretary's Recognition of Accrediting Agencies
The procedures and criteria for recognizing accrediting agencies are contained in Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The following procedures and criteria that went into effect July 1, 2010 were published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2009.
Guidelines have been developed to assist in the preparation and review of petitions and compliance reports. PDF (469K)
Dear Colleague Letter: Guidance to Institutions and Accrediting Agencies Regarding a Credit Hour as Defined in the Final Regulations Published on October 29, 2010 (March 18, 2011) | PDF (includes enclosures)
602.1 Why does the Secretary recognize accrediting agencies?
602.2 How do I know which agencies the Secretary recognizes?
602.3 What definitions apply to this part?
Basic Eligibility Requirements
602.10 Link to Federal programs.
602.11 Geographic scope of accrediting activities.
602.12 Accrediting experience.
602.13 Acceptance of the agency by others.
Organizational and Administrative Requirements
602.14 Purpose and organization.
602.15 Administrative and fiscal responsibilities.
Required Standards and Their Application
602.16 Accreditation and preaccreditation standards.
602.17 Application of standards in reaching an accrediting decision.
602.18 Ensuring consistency in decision-making.
602.19 Monitoring and reevaluation of accredited institutions and programs.
602.20 Enforcement of standards.
602.21 Review of standards.
Required Operating Policies and Procedures
602.22 Substantive change.
602.23 Operating procedures all agencies must have.
602.24 Additional procedures certain institutional accreditors must have.
602.25 Due process.
602.26 Notification of accrediting decisions.
602.27 Other information an agency must provide the Department.
602.28 Regard for decisions of States and other accrediting agencies.
Application and Review by Department Staff
602.30 Activities covered by recognition procedures.
602.31 Agency submissions to the Department.
602.32 Procedures for Department review of applications for recognition or for change in scope, compliance reports, and increases in enrollment.
602.33 Procedures for review of agencies during the period of recognition.
Review by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity
602.34 Advisory Committee meetings.
602.35 Responding to the Advisory Committee’s recommendation.
Review and Decision by the Senior Department Official
602.36 Senior Department official's decision
Appeal Rights and Procedures
602.37 Appealing the senior Department official’s decision to the Secretary.
602.38 Contesting the Secretary's final decision to deny, limit, suspend, or terminate an agency's recognition.
602.50 What information does the Department share with a recognized agency about its accredited institutions and programs?
Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099b, unless otherwise noted.