Number 28, December 14, 2012
NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY AND INTEGRITY (NACIQI) HOLDS MEETING FOR RECOGNITION REVIEWS
The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) held a public meeting on December 11-12, 2012 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. NACIQI is the advisory body that provides recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Education on the recognition of accrediting organizations.
Accrediting organizations scheduled for review during the two-day meeting were:
Petitions for Renewal of Recognition of Accrediting Organizations
Staff reports are available on the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Website. Of the 13 non-governmental accrediting organizations before the committee, six were presenting petitions for renewal of recognition and seven were presenting compliance reports for renewal of recognition. The committee followed staff recommendations in most cases. A summary of the committee's deliberations will likely be posted to the NACIQI Website later this winter.
CARNEGIE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES STUDY OF CREDIT HOUR
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has launched a study of the Carnegie Unit – used as a time-based measurement of student learning since 1906 – to examine whether a revised unit, based on competency rather than time, could improve teaching and learning in high schools, colleges, and universities. The study will seek ideas and suggestions from a range of stakeholders and will culminate in a report analyzing the value of the Carnegie Unit in today's educational context and examining potential consequences of creating a new unit of learning. Announced on December 4, 2012, the study is funded by a $460,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE 2012 ELECTIONS
With the reelection of President Obama, the regulatory pace experienced by higher education from 2008 to 2012 is likely to continue for the next four years. A new Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education – replacing Eduardo Ochoa, who left USDE in July, 2012 – has yet to be named.
The Senate will be composed of 53 Democrats (with 2 Independents working with them) and 45 Republicans. Because of the increase in the number of Senate Democrats, some committees may have additional Democrats. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee lost only one member (Democrat Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico), who will need to be replaced. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is likely to remain as HELP Committee Chair, meaning the Committee’s focus on college cost, for-profit education, student financial aid and accreditation will likely continue. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) is slated to become the senior Republican on the HELP Committee (replacing Michael Enzi of Wyoming).
The House will be composed of 234 Republicans to 201 Democrats. This means that Republican will remain in control of the House but – with a higher percentage of Democrats than in the past Congress – additional Democrats may be added to the Committee on Education and the Workforce. Two Republicans and five Democrats from the current Committee are not returning. Other current Committee members may move to other assignments, meaning that there are likely to be a larger number of freshman members of Congress on the Committee in 2013.
John Kline (R-Minnesota) and George Miller (D-California) will continue as Committee Chair and Senior Democrat, respectively. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) is likely to continue as Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, with Ruben Hinojosa of Texas continuing as Senior Democrat. Several members have noted that student achievement will continue as a focus for the Committee and the Subcommittee.
CHEA IS CONTINUING TO FOLLOW ...
CHEA is continuing to follow USDE and Congressional activities of importance to accreditation. USDE is expected to soon publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) addressing teacher preparation issues, including the TEACH Grant Program and assessment and reporting requirements for teacher education programs. Previously, USDE requested comments on Report Cards on State Teacher Credentialing and Preparation, specifically on the reporting requirements included in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. USDE also is expected to announce late in 2012 or early in 2013 an agenda and meeting dates for a USDE negotiated rulemaking on federal student aid programs, to develop proposed regulations designed to prevent fraud within the context of technologies such as those used in distance education.
The House Higher Education Subcommittee held hearings in the summer of 2012 on college costs and federal higher education data reporting requirements, in advance of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act expected to begin in 2013 or thereafter. The Senate HELP Committee also held a hearing on college costs during the summer of 2012. Additionally, legislation requiring that non-immigrant foreign students must attend an institution accredited by a USDE-recognized accrediting organizations in order to be granted a student visa was passed by the full House of Representatives, with similar legislation introduced in the Senate. While no Senate action on this legislation is expected this year, both bills are likely to be reintroduced when Congress reconvenes in 2013.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 955-6126.