NACIQI Meets and Updates on Other Federal Issues

Publication Number 57 February 28, 2017


In This Issue:


dept of edOn February 22-24, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) met in Alexandria, Virginia. (Click here for the meeting agenda.) 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 accrediting organizations scheduled for review.

At its meeting, NACIQI recommended that recognition be renewed (for varying lengths of time) for the Missouri State Board of Nursing, the WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), the American Podiatric Medical Association, Council of Podiatric Medical Education (CPME), the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The Committee recommended that a request by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) for an expansion of scope be denied. Complete information on recommendations by the Committee will be available when the transcript of the meeting is released by USDE. NACIQI’s recommendations now go to a USDE senior department official for final approval.

New Leadership, Members for House and Senate Education Committees

us capitol bldgAs the 115th Congress began its work, new leadership was elected for the U.S. House of Representatives education committee and higher education subcommittee. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) was elected Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, replacing John Kline (R-Minnesota) who retired at the end of the last Congress. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) will continue as Ranking Member. Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky) was elected Chair of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, replacing Foxx, with Susan Davis (D-California) serving as Ranking Member. A full list of Committee and Subcommittee members can be found here.  

In the Senate, Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) will continue as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, with Patty Murray (D-Washington) continuing as Ranking Member. Click here for a full list of HELP Committee members.

Foxx, Warren Speak at 2017 CHEA Annual conference

virginia foxxRep. Virginia Foxx, Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, spoke on January 31, 2017 at the CHEA Annual Conference, outlining her vision for the work of the Committee for 2017. She announced that she would lead the Committee with the following principals in mind: 1) Empower students and families with information to help them with decisions, (2) Simplify student aid and 3) Focus on innovation, access and completion. Chair Foxx said that Higher Education Act reauthorization would be her top higher education priority.

warrenSenator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), a member of the Senate HELP Committee, also addressed the conference discussing her view that the college accreditation system is broken and that Congress, USDE and accreditors need to work together to improve accreditation. She challenged accreditors not to wait for legislation but to do what they can to improve accreditation on their own. She also noted that she plans to reintroduce accreditation reform legislation similar to the bill she introduced in 2016 with Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) (see Federal Update #56).

Court Denies Preliminary Injunction to Block USDE Recognition Decision

At a hearing by the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on February 21, 2017, Judge Reggie Walton denied a request for a preliminary injunction blocking the decision by USDE to deny recognition to the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). USDE withdrew recognition of ACICS in September 2016; then-Secretary of Education John King, Jr. finalized USDE’s decision on December 12, 2016. ACICS’s request for a temporary restraining order of USDE’s recognition decision was denied by a federal judge on December 20, 2016. ACICS has appealed USDE’s decision, but no court date has yet been set.