House of Representatives to Vote on Bill to Repeal Credit Hour and State Authorization Regulations

Publication Number 23 February 23, 2012

House of Representatives to Vote on Bill to Repeal Credit Hour and State Authorization Regulations

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote next week (February 27-March 2, 2012) on a bill to repeal regulations that establish a federal definition of credit hour and create new requirements for state authorization.

The bill – H.R. 2117 – was introduced on June 2, 2011 by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. Currently, the bill has 69 Republican and Democrat cosponsors. On June 15, 2011, the full House Education and the Workforce Committee passed H.R. 2117 by a bipartisan vote of 27 to 11.

In 2011, higher education associations, including CHEA, and accrediting organizations asked Congress to block implementation of the new credit hour and state authorization regulations (see Federal Update #16).   

Because of the importance of repealing these credit hour and state authorization regulations, CHEA urges its member colleges and universities, as well as recognized accrediting organizations, to call their representatives and ask them to support H.R. 2117 when the bill is considered next week.

Members of Congress need to hear from higher education institutions and accrediting organizations that:

  • The federal definition of a credit hour replaces faculty leadership on academic decisions about curriculum with federal government decision making.
  • The credit hour definition means that many higher education institutions and programs must meet a federal standard in an academic area as a condition of accreditation.
  • The state authorization regulations reflect a significant federal intrusion into prerogatives reserved for the states.
  • These new requirements do not add educational value for students but increase the costs for institutions.
  • H.R. 2117, as the bill notes, will prevent government overreach into academic affairs.

Please contact your representatives as soon as possible and let them know that passing H.R. 2117 will eliminate unnecessary new burdens on colleges, universities and accrediting organizations.