Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

selected by the board or chief executive officer of any related, associated, or affiliated trade association or membership organization;

(2) among the membership of the board of the accrediting agency or association there shall be one public member (who is not a member of any related trade or membership organization) for each six members of the board, with a minimum of one such public member, and guidelines are established for such members to avoid conflicts of interest;

(3) dues to the accrediting agency or association are paid separately from any dues paid to any related, associated, or affiliated trade association or membership organization; and

(4) the budget of the accrediting agency or association is developed and determined by the accrediting agency or association without review or resort to consultation with any other entity or organization.

(c) OPERATING PROCEDURES REQUIRED.-No accrediting agency or association may be recognized by the Secretary as a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training offered by an institution seeking to participate in the programs authorized under this title, unless the agency or association

(1) performs, at regularly established intervals, on-site inspections and reviews of institutions of higher education (which may include unannounced site visits) with particular focus on educational quality and program effectiveness, and ensures that accreditation team members are well-trained and knowledgeable with respect to their responsibilities;

(2) requires that any institution of higher education subject to its jurisdiction which plans to establish a branch campus submit a business plan, including projected revenues and expenditures, prior to opening the branch campus;

(3) agrees to conduct, as soon as practicable, but within a period of not more than 6 months of the establishment of a new branch campus or a change of ownership of an institution of higher education, an on-site visit of that branch campus or of the institution after a change of ownership;

(4) requires that teach-out agreements among institutions are subject to approval by the accrediting agency or association consistent with standards promulgated by such agency or association;

(5) maintains and makes publicly available written materials regarding standards and procedures for accreditation, appeal procedures, and the accreditation status of each institution subject to its jurisdiction; and

(6) discloses publicly whenever an institution of higher education subject to its jurisdiction is being considered for accreditation or reaccreditation.

(d) LENGTH OF RECOGNITION.-No accrediting agency or association may be recognized by the Secretary for the purpose of this Act for a period of more than 5 years.

(e) INITIAL ARBITRATION RULE.-The Secretary may not recognize the accreditation of any institution of higher education unless the institution of higher education agrees to submit any dispute in

volving the final denial, withdrawal, or termination of accreditation to initial arbitration prior to any other legal action.

(f) JURISDICTION.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any civil action brought by an institution of higher education seek ing accreditation from, or accredited by, an accrediting agency or association recognized by the Secretary for the purpose of this title and involving the denial, withdrawal, or termination of accreditation of the institution of higher education, shall be brought in the appropriate United States district court.

(g) LIMITATION ON SCOPE OF CRITERIA.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to permit the Secretary to establish criteria for accrediting agencies or associations that are not required by this section. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit or limit any accrediting agency or association from adopting additional standards not provided for in this section.

(h) CHANGE OF ACCREDITING AGENCY.—The Secretary shall not recognize the accreditation of any otherwise eligible institution of higher education if the institution of higher education is in the process of changing its accrediting agency or association, unless the eligible institution submits to the Secretary all materials relating to the prior accreditation, including materials demonstrating reasonable cause for changing the accrediting

agency or association. (i) DUAL ACCREDITATION RULE.-The Secretary shall not recognize the accreditation of any otherwise eligible institution of higher education if the institution of higher education is accredited, as an institution, by more than one accrediting agency or association, unless the institution submits to each such agency and association and to the Secretary the reasons for accreditation by more than one such agency or association and demonstrates to the Secretary reasonable cause for its accreditation by more than one agency or association. If the institution is accredited, as an institution, by more than one accrediting agency or association, the institution shall designate which agency's accreditation shall be utilized in determining the institution's eligibility for programs under this Act.

() IMPACT OF LOSS OF ACCREDITATION.-An institution may not be certified or recertified as an institution of higher education under section 102 and subpart 3 of this part or participate in any of the other programs authorized by this Act if such institution

(1) is not currently accredited by any agency or association recognized by the Secretary;

(2) has had its accreditation withdrawn, revoked, or otherwise terminated for cause during the preceding 24 months, unless such withdrawal, revocation, or termination has been rescinded by the same accrediting agency; or

(3) has withdrawn from accreditation voluntarily under a show cause or suspension order during the preceding 24 months, unless such order has been rescinded by the same accrediting agency. (k) RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION RULE.—Notwithstanding subsection

TUTION (i), the Secretary shall allow an institution that has had its accreditation withdrawn, revoked, or otherwise terminated, or has voluntarily withdrawn from an accreditation agency, to remain certified as an institution of higher education under section 102 and subpart 3 of this part for a period sufficient to allow such institution to obtain alternative accreditation, if the Secretary determines that the reason for the withdrawal, revocation, or termination

(1) is related to the religious mission or affiliation of the institution; and

(2) is not related to the accreditation criteria provided for in this section.

(1) LIMITATION, SUSPENSION, OR TERMINATION OF RECOGNITION.(1) If the Secretary determines that an accrediting agency or association has failed to apply effectively the criteria in this section, or is otherwise not in compliance with the requirements of this section, the Secretary shall

(A) after notice and opportunity for a hearing, limit, suspend, or terminate the recognition of the agency or association; or

(B) require the agency or association to take appropriate action to bring the agency or association into compliance with such requirements within a timeframe specified by the Secretary, except that

(i) such timeframe shall not exceed 12 months unless the Secretary extends such period for good cause; and

(ii) if the agency or association fails to bring the agency or association into compliance within such timeframe, the Secretary shall, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, limit, suspend, or terminate the recognition of the

agency or association. (2) The Secretary may determine that an accrediting agency or association has failed to apply effectively the standards provided in this section if an institution of higher education seeks and receives accreditation from the accrediting agency or association during any period in which the institution is the subject of any interim action by another accrediting agency or association, described in paragraph (2)A)(i), (2)(B), or (2)(C) of subsection (a) of this section, leading to the suspension, revocation, or termination of accreditation or the institution has been notified of the threatened loss of accreditation, and the due process procedures required by such suspension, revocation, termination, or threatened loss have not been completed.

(m) LIMITATION ON THE SECRETARY'S AUTHORITY.The Secretary may only recognize accrediting agencies or associations which accredit institutions of higher education for the purpose of enabling such institutions to establish eligibility to participate in the programs under this Act or which accredit institutions of higher education or higher education programs for the purpose of enabling them to establish eligibility to participate in other programs administered by the Department of Education or other Federal agencies.

(n) INDEPENDENT EVALUATION.—(1) The Secretary shall conduct a comprehensive review and evaluation of the performance of all accrediting agencies or associations which seek recognition by the Secretary in order to determine whether such accrediting agencies or associations meet the criteria established by this section. The Secretary shall conduct an independent evaluation of the information provided by such agency or association. Such evaluation shall include

(A) the solicitation of third-party information concerning the performance of the accrediting agency or association; and

(B) site visits, including unannounced site visits as appropriate, at accrediting agencies and associations, and, at the Secretary's discretion, at representative member institutions.

(2) The Secretary shall place a priority for review of accrediting agencies or associations on those agencies or associations that accredit institutions of higher education that participate most extensively in the programs authorized by this title and on those agencies or associations which have been the subject of the most complaints or legal actions.

(3) The Secretary shall consider all available relevant information concerning the compliance of the accrediting agency or association with the criteria provided for in this section, including any complaints or legal actions against such agency or association. In cases where deficiencies in the performance of an accreditation agency or association with respect to the requirements of this section are noted, the Secretary shall take these deficiencies into account in the recognition process. The Secretary shall not, under any circumstances, base decisions on the recognition or denial of recognition of accreditation agencies or associations on criteria other than those contained in this section. When the Secretary decides to recognize an accrediting agency or association, the Secretary shall determine the agency or association's scope of recognition. If the agency or association reviews institutions offering distance education courses or programs and the Secretary determines that the agency or association meets the requirements of this section, then the agency shall be recognized and the scope of recognition shall include accreditation of institutions offering distance education courses or programs.

(4) The Secretary shall maintain sufficient documentation to support the conclusions reached in the recognition process, and, if the Secretary does not recognize any accreditation agency or association, shall make publicly available the reason for denying recognition, including reference to the specific criteria under this section which have not been fulfilled.

(0) REGULATIONS.—The Secretary shall by regulation provide procedures for the recognition of accrediting agencies or associations and for the appeal of the Secretary's decisions.

Subpart 3—Eligibility and Certification

Procedures

SEC. 498. (20 U.S.C. 1099c) ELIGIBILITY AND CERTIFICATION PROCE

DURES. (a) GENERAL REQUIREMENT.–For purposes of qualifying institutions of higher education for participation in programs under this title, the Secretary shall determine the legal authority to operate within a State, the accreditation status, and the administrative capability and financial responsibility of an institution of higher education in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(b) SINGLE APPLICATION FORM.—The Secretary shall prepare and prescribe a single application form which

54-0353 99 - 15

(1) requires sufficient information and documentation to determine that the requirements of eligibility, accreditation, financial responsibility, and administrative capability of the institution of higher education are met;

(2) requires a specific description of the relationship between a main campus of an institution of higher education and all of its branches, including a description of the student aid processing that is performed by the main campus and that which is performed at its branches; (3) requires

(A) a description of the third party servicers of an institution of higher education; and

(B) the institution to maintain a copy of any contract with a financial aid service provider or loan servicer, and provide a copy of any such contract to the Secretary upon request;

(4) requires such other information as the Secretary determines will ensure compliance with the requirements of this title with respect to eligibility, accreditation, administrative capability and financial responsibility; and

(5) provides, at the option of the institution, for participation in one or more of the programs under part B or D.

(c) FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY STANDARDS.—(1) The Secretary shall determine whether an institution has the financial responsibility required by this title on the basis of whether the institution is able

(A) to provide the services described in its official publications and statements;

(B) to provide the administrative resources necessary to comply with the requirements of this title; and

(C) to meet all of its financial obligations, including (but not limited to) refunds of institutional charges and repayments to the Secretary for liabilities and debts incurred in programs administered by the Secretary.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if an institution fails to meet criteria prescribed by the Secretary regarding ratios that demonstrate financial responsibility, then the institution shall provide the Secretary with satisfactory evidence of its financial responsibility in accordance with paragraph (3). Such criteria shall take into account any differences in generally accepted accounting principles, and the financial statements required thereunder, that are applicable to for profit 1, public, and nonprofit institutions. The Secretary shall take into account an institution's total financial circumstances in making a determination of its ability to meet the standards herein required.

(3) The Secretary shall determine an institution to be financially responsible, notwithstanding the institution's failure to meet the criteria under paragraphs (1) and (2), if

(A) such institution submits to the Secretary third-party financial guarantees that the Secretary determines are reasonable, such as performance bonds or letters of credit payable to the Secretary, which third-party financial guarantees shall

So in law. Probably should be “for-profit”.

« ForrigeFortsett »