NACIQI Meets in Alexandria, Virginia
NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY AND INTEGRITY MEETS IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) met in Alexandria, Virginia on July 30-31, 2019. NACIQI is the advisory body that provides recommendations to the Secretary of Education on recognition of accrediting organizations. Recognition by USDE affirms that the standards and processes of accrediting organizations and state accreditation approval agencies demonstrate compliance with USDE's criteria. In advance of the meeting, USDE issued staff reports for all of the organizations scheduled for review.
- Expansion of scope for the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
- Renewal of recognition for five years for the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Council on Education for Public Health
- Renewal of recognition for five years and an expansion of scope for the WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
- Renewal of recognition for three years for the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, the Council on Chiropractic Education, the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, based on compliance reports
- Continuation of the renewal of recognition for 12 months for the National Association of Schools of Dance Commission on Accreditation, the National Association of Schools of Music Commission on Accreditation and the National Association of Schools of Theater Commission on Accreditation, to be followed by submission of a compliance report
- Initial recognition for two years for the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation
At the meeting, NACIQI also established a new subcommittee to review oversight by accrediting organizations of political influence and governance of institutions.
The Committee was briefed by Diane Auer Jones, USDE’s Principal Deputy Under Secretary, on proposed regulations regarding accreditation, innovation and other issues (see Federal Update #78). USDE is working to publish a final rule before November 1, 2019 so that the regulations will be effective July 1, 2020. She also briefed the Committee on USDE’s revised Accreditation Handbook, issued in June,2019 for voluntary use by accrediting organizations in 2019 and 2020. Newly confirmed USDE Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Robert King introduced himself and noted the importance of the Committee’s work. Additionally, NACIQI was briefed on the work of its Subcommittee on Substantive Change, such as institutions converting from for-profit to nonprofit status.
LEGISLATION TO PROMOTE ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATIONS AND SHARE LIABILITY FOR STUDENT LOAN DEFAULTS INTRODUCED IN SENATE
On July 16, 2019, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), introduced bills titled Break the Higher Education Monopoly Act of 2019 (S. 2123) and the Skin in the Game Act (S. 2124). Both bills have been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
S. 2123 amends the Federal Pell Grant program to allow job training and apprenticeship programs to be eligible for Pell Grants. The bill directs the USDE Secretary to devise an alternative certification program that would not require accreditation, state authorization, minimum instructional hours or minimum classroom time for educational programs to be Pell-eligible. S. 2124 would require colleges and universities to pay off 50 percent of student loans that are in default and are associated with their institution. The bill would prohibit institutions from raising tuition or creating other fees to cover the loan repayments.