Federal Student Aid - IFAP
   
IFAP
SFA Information for Financial Aid Professionals
U.S. Department of Education
PublicationDate: 4/1/96


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Accrediting Agencies and Associations
Recognized for their Preaccreditation
Categories
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Under the terms of the Higher Education Act and other Federal
legislation providing funding assistance to postsecondary
education, an institution or program is eligible to apply for
participation in certain Federal Programs if, in addition to
meeting other statutory requirements, it is accredited by a
nationally recognized accrediting agency or association or if it
is an institution with respect to which the U.S. Secretary of
Education has determined that there is satisfactory assurance the
institution or program will meet the accreditation standards of
such an agency or association within a reasonable time. An
institution of program may establish satisfactory assurance of
accreditation by acquiring preaccreditation status with a
nationally recognized agency or association that has been
recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for the award of
such status. According to the Criteria for Nationally Recognized
Accrediting Agencies and Association, if an accrediting agency or
association has developed a preaccreditation status, it must
demonstrate that it applies criteria and follows procedures that
are appropriately related to those used to award accreditation
status.

The following is a list of accrediting agencies recognized for
their preaccreditation categories and the categories that are
recognized:


Regional Institutional Accrediting Association

NEW ENGLAND ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND
COLLEGES: Candidate for Accreditation

Regional Institutional Accrediting Commissions

MIDDLE STATES ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND
SCHOOLS--

Commission on Higher Education: Candidate for Accreditation
Commission on Secondary Schools: Candidate for Accreditation

NORTH CENTRAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND
SCHOOLS--
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education: Candidate for
Accreditation
Commission on Schools: Candidate for Accreditation

NORTHWEST ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES--
Commission on Colleges: Candidate for Accreditation

SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS--
Commission on Colleges: Candidate for Accreditation

WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES--
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges:
Candidate for Accreditation
Accrediting Commission for Schools: Candidate for Accreditation
Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities:
Candidate for Accreditation

National Institutional and Specialized Accrediting Bodies

ACCREDITING COUNCIL FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION
AND TRAINING--
Accrediting Commission: Preaccreditation Status

ACCREDITING COUNCIL FOR INDEPENDENT COLLEGES
AND SCHOOLS:
Recognized Candidate for Junior College Accreditation, Recognized
Candidate for Senior College Accreditation (applies to
institutions already holding accredited status)

AMERICAN ACADEMY FOR LIBERAL EDUCATION:
Candidate for Accreditation

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF BIBLE COLLEGES--
Commission on Accrediting: Candidate for Accreditation

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF NURSE ANESTHETISTS--
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational
Programs/Schools: Preaccreditation

AMERICAN COUNCIL ON PHARMACEUTICAL EDUCATION:
Candidate, Precandidate

AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION--
Commission on Dental Accreditation: Accreditation Eligible

AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION--
Division of Education Accreditation/Approval: Developmental
Accreditation

AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION--
Council on Optometric Education: Reasonable Assurance
Preliminary Approval (for professional degree
programs);
Candidacy Pending (for optometric residency programs in
facilities of Veterans' Administration)

AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION--
Bureau of Professional Education: Preaccreditation Status,
Provisional Accreditation

AMERICAN PHYSICAL THERAPY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION--
Commission on Accreditation in Education: Candidate for
Accreditation

AMERICAN PODIATRIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION--
Council on Podiatric Medical Education: Reasonable Assurance

AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION--
Council on Education: Reasonable Assurance of Accreditation

ASSOCIATION OF ADVANCED RABBINICAL AND
TALMUDIC SCHOOLS--
Accreditation Commission: Preaccreditation Status, Correspondent,
Candidate

ASSOCIATION FOR CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION,
INC.--
Accreditation Committee: Candidacy for Accredited Membership

ASSOCIATION OF THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED
SATES AND CANADA--
Commission on Accrediting: Candidate for Accredited Membership

COUNCIL ON EDUCATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH:
Preaccreditation

COUNCIL ON OCCUPATIONAL EDUCATION: Candidate for
Accreditation

COUNCIL ON NATUROPATHIC MEDICAL EDUCATION:
Candidate for Accreditation

LIAISON COMMITTEE ON MEDICAL EDUCATION: Reasonable
Assurance, Provisional Accreditation

TRANSNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN COLLEGES
AND SCHOOLS:
Candidate for Accreditation

AMERICAN ACADEMY FOR LIBERAL EDUCATION:
Candidate for Accreditation

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The Recognition Process
========================================

The recognition procedures for accrediting agencies are set forth
in subpart B of part 602. Other information related to an
agency's application for recognition is provided below.

The Application for Recognition

Accrediting agencies desiring to be recognized by the Secretary
of Education must apply for recognition and must demonstrate
their compliance with the Criteria for Secretarial Recognition
(34 CFR Part 602). An agency's application for recognition
generally consists of a statement of the agency's requested scope
of recognition, evidence of the agency's compliance with the
criteria for recognition set forth in part 602, and supporting
documentation.

There is no standard application form to be used by agencies
applying for recognition. Rather, an agency's application for
initial recognition or renewal of recognition consists of a
narrative statement, organized on a criterion-by-criterion basis,
showing how the agency complies with the Criteria for Secretarial
Recognition. For many recognition requirements, the narrative
statement need consist only of a simple statement of assurance
that the agency complies with a particular requirement. This
statement must, however, be accompanied by clearly referenced
supporting documentation demonstrating that the agency meets the
requirement. For example, 602.21(b)(5) of the regulations
requires an agency to have clear and effective controls against
conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest
by the agency's board members, commissioners, evaluation team
members, consultants, administrative staff, and other agency
representatives. The agency's narrative statement addressing
this issue might simply be a statement that the agency's policies
against conflicts of interest may be found in a particular policy
document. The agency would have to submit a copy of that
document and identify the pages on which the relevant policies
were located. The agency might also choose to include a copy of
the minutes of a meeting at which an agency representative
abstained from voting because of a conflict of interest to
demonstrate that it adheres to its written policies.

For other recognition requirements, because of their nature, the
simple assurance statement, with supporting documentation, is
insufficient to demonstrate compliance. In these cases, the
agency's narrative statement should provide sufficient
information to demonstrate that the agency's policies, standards,
procedures, and practices comply with the requirement. For
example, 602.23(b)(5) of the regulations requires that an agency
maintain a program of review designed to ensure that its criteria
and standards are valid and reliable indicators of the quality of
the education or training provided and are relevant to the
education or training needs of affected students. As this
requirement is fundamental to sound accreditation practices, the
agency's narrative statement would have to describe in depth the
processes the agency uses to review and update its criteria and
standards, the tests it uses to determine their validity and
reliability, as well as the results of those tests, and how it
determines they are relevant to the needs of affected students.
The agency would also have to provide relevant supporting
documentation, such as policy statements pertaining to its review
program for validating and updating its standards, surveys, and
the results of those surveys, to determine input to the review
process, etc.

The table at the end of this section identifies those recognition
requirements for which the simple assurance approach is
acceptable and those for which a more detailed narrative
statement is required. An agency may use the more detailed
narrative format to demonstrate compliance with any of the
recognition requirements for which the simple assurance approach
is acceptable, if it so desires.

If an agency's application for recognition does not make specific
reference to the following documents and does not include them as
supporting documentation for one or more of the recognition
requirements, the agency must include them as additional
supporting documentation:

1. The agency's accreditation standards and procedures

2. The agency's policies and procedures

3. The agency's most recent externally audited financial
statement

4. Published lists of accredited schools or programs

5. Self-study guidelines

6. Guidance materials for visiting team members

7. Sample completed self-study reports

8. Sample site visit reports.

9. Sample institution responses to site visit reports.

10. Sample minutes of decision meetings.

11. A list of all complaints received by the agency
against an accredited program during the six-month
period immediately preceding the agency's submission of
its application for recognition, together with a
summary of the issues involved in each complaint, the
agency's disposition of that complaint, and the current
status of the complaint, if it is not resolved by the
time the agency submits its application.

Note: it would be helpful if the samples provided by an agency
for items 7-10 above referred to the same institution(s) or
program(s).

Copies of the Application

An agency's application plus three copies should be submitted to
the Chief of the Accrediting Agency Evaluation Branch (AAEB) at
the address on the inside back cover of this brochure. Only the
original of bulkier exhibit items, such as self-study reports or
team reports, need be submitted with the petition; there is no
need for three copies of these items.

Time Frame for Submission of an Application

The Accrediting Agency Evaluation Branch accepts applications for
initial recognition at any time. To receive consideration at a
particular meeting of the National Advisory Committee on
Institutional Quality and Integrity, an agency seeking initial
recognition must submit its petition at least six months in
advance of that meeting. Consideration of the agency's petition
at the first Advisory Committee meeting that occurs after the
six-month time frame is not guaranteed, however, as AAEB staff
may need more to complete its independent evaluation of the
agency.

Agencies considering applying for initial recognition are
encouraged to contact AAEB as early as possible to discuss their
possible application and to afford AAEB staff the opportunity to
observe several agency site visits and decision meetings.

Agencies that have been granted recognition by the Secretary are
notified by the Secretary, each time recognition is granted or
renewed, of the expiration date of their recognition period.
They should plan to submit their application for renewal of
recognition approximately six months in advance of the spring or
fall meeting of the Advisory Committee meeting that precedes that
expiration date. AAEB usually notifies agencies a year in
advance of the Advisory Committee at which their renewal
application is to be considered and informs them of the date by
which their application is due to AAEB.

Hearing Before the Advisory Committee

When AAEB staff completes its evaluation of an agency's
application for recognition, the designated Department official
places the agency's application on the agenda of the National
Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. The
designated Department official also provides the Advisory
Committee with the accrediting agency's application and sup-
porting documentation, the designated Department official's
analysis of the application, all information relied upon by the
designated Department official in developing the analysis, any
response by the agency to the analysis or third-party comment,
any Department concurrence with or rebuttal to the agency's
response, and any third-party information the Secretary receives
regarding the agency.

The Advisory Committee meets at least twice a year to review
petitions from accrediting agencies. The usual times for the
committee meetings are spring (May-June) and fall (November).
Although each member of the Advisory Committee receives every
Department staff analysis of an application for recognition and
all the other materials mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the
Executive Director of the Advisory Committee usually assigns two
or more Committee members to serve as principal readers for each
application. The Advisory Committee may, at its discretion,
choose to divide into subcommittees to consider particular
applications for recognition.

An agency that applies for recognition is invited to make an oral
presentation before the Advisory Committee. The Advisory
Committee also hears oral presentations from Department staff and
from third parties who request to be heard.

The Advisory Committee conducts its business in public, and a
transcript of the proceedings is made.

Expansion of Scope

An application for expansion of an agency's of scope of
recognition may be included as an integral part of an application
for renewal of recognition or it may be submitted separately. If
expansion of scope is sought prior to the agency's next regularly
scheduled review, agency personnel should consult with AAEB staff
concerning the application format.

Table: Recognition Requirements

+ Simple + Full + No Info
Regulatory Provision + Assurance* + Narrative* + Required
___________________________________________________
602.1(a) X
602.1(b)(1) X
602.1(b)(2)-(4) X
602.2 X
602.3(a)(1) X
602.3(a)(2)-(4) X
602.3(b)-(c) X
602.3(d) X
602.4(a)-(g) X
602.5 X
602.10 - 602.16 X
602.20(a)-(c) X
602.21(a) X
602.21(b)(1),(2),(3),(6) X
602.21(b)(4),(5),(7) X
602.22(a) X
602.22(b)(1)-(3) X
602.23(a) X
602.23(b)(1)-(4) X
602.23(b)(5) and (6) X
602.24(a) X
602.24(b)(1)-(5) X
602.25(a) X
602.25(b)(1)-(2) X
602.25(c) X
602.26(a) X
602.26(b)(1)-(12) X
602.26(c)(1)-(4) X
602.26(d) X
602.26(e) X
602.27(a) X
602.27(b)-(h) X
602.28(a) X
602.28(b)(1)-(6) X
602.29(a)-(c) X
602.29(d) X
602.30(a) X
602.30(b) X
___________________________________________________
* supporting documentation required

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INDEX OF ACCREDITING AGENCIES
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Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc . . . . . . . 43
Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Accreditation Review Committee for the Surgical Technologist . . 39
Accreditation Review Committee on Education for
Physician Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and
Colleges of Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Accrediting Commission on Education for Health
Services Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training . . . . . .41
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools . ... . . . 40
Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and
Mass Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
American Academy for Liberal Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy . . . . . . . . . 45
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
American Bar Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
American Board of Funeral Service Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
American College of Nurse-Midwives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
American Council on Pharmaceutical Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
American Dental Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
American Dietetic Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
American Occupational Therapy Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
American Optometric Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
American Osteopathic Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
American Physical Therapy Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
American Podiatric Medical Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
American Psychological Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
American Society of Cytopathology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
American Veterinary Medical Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools . . . . . 51
Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs . . . . . . .40
Association of Theological Schools in the United States
and Canada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health
Education Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Commission on Opticianry Accreditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Council on Chiropractic Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Council on Education for Public Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Council on Occupational Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Distance Education and Training Council. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Foundation for Interior Design Education Research. . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education . . . . . ..38
Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic
Medical Sonography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Joint Review Committee on Education in Electroneurodiagnostic . .37
Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. . 51
Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs for the
EMT-Paramedic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear
Medicine Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Liaison Committee on Medical Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Higher Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Commission on Secondary Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education . . . . . . . . 46
National Accreditation Commission for Schools and Colleges
of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences . . . . 44
National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts
and Sciences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 41
National Architectural Accrediting Board, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
National Association of Schools of Art and Design . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
National Association of Schools of Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
National Association of Schools of Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
National Association of Schools of Theater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. . .. . . . . . . 52
National Environmental Health Science and
Protection Accreditation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
National League for Nursing, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
New England Association of Schools and Colleges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
New York State Board of Regents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Commission on Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
Commission on Colleges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Colleges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. . . . . .40
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. . . .35
Accrediting Commission for Schools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities. . . .35