Posted Date: June 1, 2011

Author:  Robin Minor, Chief Compliance Officer, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #5 - Procedures for Reporting New Educational Programs That Prepare Students for Gainful Employment in a Recognized Occupation

On April 20, 2011, the Department issued Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-10 which provided guidance on several of the regulatory requirements related to an institution’s educational programs that “lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation” (GE Programs). Final regulations related to new GE Programs were published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010 (75 FR 66665). These regulations are generally effective on July 1, 2011. GEN-11-10 included information on the new regulatory requirements related to the addition of a new GE Program by an institution. The purpose of this Electronic Announcement is to provide operational guidance on the implementation of those requirements.

The new regulations provide that an institution that intends to add a new GE Program to its list of Title IV-eligible programs must notify the Department of that intent at least 90 days prior to the first day of class of the proposed program.

Following are the specific timelines for reporting new GE Programs:

  • For new GE Programs where the first day of class will begin on or after July 1, 2011 and before October 1, 2011, notification must be provided no later than July 1, 2011. If the institution does not provide the required notification by July 1, 2011, it must wait for Departmental approval before disbursing funds to students enrolled in the new GE Program. The institution must also inform students that the program has not been approved by the Department to be eligible for federal student aid.

  • For new GE Programs where the first day of class will begin on or after October 1, 2011, institutions must provide notification to the Department at least 90 days prior to the first day of class. If the institution does not give notice at least 90 days before the first day of class, it must wait for Departmental approval before disbursing funds to students enrolled in the new GE Program and must inform students that the institution has not received the Department’s approval for the program to be eligible for federal student aid.

The required notification to the Department by an institution of a new GE Program must include sufficient information to demonstrate that the program meets the requirements of an eligible program, as provided in the regulations at 34 CFR 668.8. As required by the new regulations at 34 CFR 600.20(d)(2), the institution must provide the Department with information to support its determination of the need for the program. As specified in the new regulations at 34 CFR 600.20(d)(2), an institution must describe how the institution determined the need for the program and how the program was designed to meet local market needs, or for an online program, regional or national market needs. This description must contain any wage analysis the institution may have performed, including any consideration of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data related to the program. The institution must also describe how the program was reviewed or approved by, or developed in conjunction with, business advisory committees, program integrity boards, public or private oversight or regulatory agencies, and businesses that would likely employ graduates of the program. In addition, the institution must submit documentation that the program has been approved by its accrediting agency or is otherwise included in the institution's accreditation by its accrediting agency, or comparable documentation if the institution is a public postsecondary vocational institution approved by a recognized State agency for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education.

Attached to this Electronic Announcement are –

  • The text of 34 CFR 600.20(d)(2) for your reference,

  • The procedures for institutional notification to the Department of new GE Programs using Federal Student Aid’s (FSA's) Application for Approval to Participate in the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (E-App), and

  • Notice Format for Intent to Offer an Educational Program.

NOTE: Nothing in the new regulatory requirements, GEN-11-10, or this electronic announcement supersedes the requirement that a provisionally certified institution must wait for Departmental approval before disbursing Title IV funds to students enrolled in any new program nor does it modify the requirement that an institution that has been notified by the Department that it must wait for approval before disbursing Title IV funds to students enrolled in a new program.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this information, you may contact the School Participation Team (SPT) for your state. The telephone numbers for the SPTs can be found at www.eligcert.ed.gov .

Information and updates related to Gainful Employment will be posted on the Gainful Employment Information Page. This page can be accessed either by clicking on the words ”Information Page” in the Gainful Employment box on the right hand side of the IFAP home page or by going directly to http://ifap.ed.gov/GainfulEmploymentInfo/.

Attachments/Enclosures:

The text of 34 CFR 600.20(d)(2) for your reference in PDF Format, 43KB, 2 Pages

Procedures for institutional notification to the Department of new GE Programs using Federal Student Aid’s (FSA's) Application for Approval to Participate in the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (E-App) in PDF Format, 124KB, 2 Pages

Notice Format for Intent to Offer an Educational Program in PDF Format, 70KB, 2 Pages

   

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