Number 19, November 1, 2011


On October 28, 2011, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) released a discussion draft on policy considerations for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The report will be considered at the committee's December 14-16, 2011 meeting in Alexandria, Virginia.

In 2010, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan requested that NACIQI develop recommendations regarding the current system of recognition, accreditation and student eligibility. NACIQI included discussions of accreditation policy at its meetings on February 3-4, 2011 and June 8-10, 2011.

The draft report contains a broad range of observations and options to be considered, reprising the conversation to date among NACIQI, accreditors, higher education institutional leaders, policymakers and the public. The report outlines several directions that NACIQI policy recommendations might take, including options related to maintaining the link between accreditation and the federal government, modifying this link or removing the link.

Written comments by stakeholders and the public on the NACIQI draft report must be received by USDE by November 25, 2011. Requests to make oral comments at the NACIQI meeting must be received by November 18, 2011. More information is contained in USDE's November 1, 2011 Federal Register notice.


USDE recently announced that it will establish two negotiated rulemaking committees on issues that affect higher education institutions and accrediting organizations.

On October 26, 2011, USDE published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a negotiated rulemaking committee to prepare proposed regulations addressing teacher preparation programs and TEACH grant programs. The committee will meet three times during January-April 2012, in Washington, DC.

The committee will address topics that include the requirements for institutional and program report cards of the quality of teacher preparation; standards to ensure reliability, validity and accuracy of the data submitted in report cards; the criteria used by states to assess the performance of teacher preparation programs; and the definition of "high quality teacher preparation program" and "high quality professional development services" for thepurpose of establishing eligibility of an institution to participate in TEACH grant programs.

USDE is seeking nominations for negotiators who represent key stakeholder constituencies including higher education institutions and accrediting organizations. The notice includes information on submitting nominations to USDE.

On October 28, 2011, USDE published a Federal Register notice announcing that a negotiated rulemaking committee will be established to prepare proposed regulations governing federal student loans authorized under Title IV of the HEA. The committee - which will meet three times in Washington, DC during January-March 2012 - will address three student loan programs: the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, the Federal Family Education Loan Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program.

In the Federal Register notice, USDE seeks nominations for negotiators from organizations or groups representing constituencies whose interests are "significantly affected" by the discussion topic. Among the constituencies identified by USDE are higher education institutions and regional, national and specialized accrediting organizations. The notice contains information on submitting nominations to USDE.


On November 29, 2011, USDE's Committee on Measures of Student Success will meet by teleconference. The Federal Register notice announcing the meeting notes that USDE established the committee to advise the Secretary of Education in assisting two-year degree-granting higher education institutions in meeting completion and graduation rate disclosure requirements contained in the HEA.

The committee is charged with developing recommendations regarding the accurate calculation and reporting of completion or graduation rates of entering certificate or degree-seeking, full-time undergraduate students by two-year degree-granting institutions. The committee may also recommend additional or alternative measures of student success that are comparable alternatives to completion or graduation rates. The committee's recommendations are to be provided to the Secretary no later than April 2012.

Members of the public may attend and listen to the meeting in person at USDE's offices at 1990 K Street in Washington, DC. There will be no opportunity for public comment during the meeting.


The Federal Update informs CHEA members and interested parties on federal policy developments related to self-regulation and peer review. Please direct any inquiries or comments to Jan Friis, CHEA Vice President for Government Affairs, at or at (202) 955-6126.

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