USDE Announces Negotiated Rulemaking for Accreditation and Innovation and Other Issues

Publication Number 69 October 16, 2018

In This Issue:

USDE ANNOUNCES NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING FOR ACCREDITATION AND INNOVATION AND OTHER ISSUES

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) announced a negotiated rulemaking on higher education accreditation and innovation and three subcommittees addressing distance learning and educational innovation, faith-based entities’ participation in Title IV programs and TEACH Grants. A main committee will focus on accreditation while three subcommittees address the additional issues. All decisions about consensus will be made by the committee itself, not the subcommittees. The October 15, 2018 Federal Register notice seeks nominations for negotiators to serve on the accreditation and innovation committee and three subcommittees and announces the dates each will meet.

The negotiated rulemaking committee will meet three times in 2019: on January 14-16, on February 19-22 and on March 25-28. Each of the three subcommittees also will meet three times, on January 17-18, February 12-13 and March 11-12. The meetings will be held in Washington, DC. Nominations must be received by November 15, 2018 and can be sent to USDE via email at negregnominations@ed.gov.

Topics to be addressed by the main committee will include:

  • Requirements for accreditors in their oversight of institutions
  • Criteria used by the Secretary to recognize accrediting organizations
  • Simplification of USDE’s recognition of accrediting organizations
  • Clarification of the responsibilities for each member of the “triad” (accreditors, states and USDE)
  • Clarifying the permissible arrangements between institutions and others providing an education program
  • The roles and responsibilities of all parties in the teach-out process

PUBLICATION OF NEW REGULATIONS FOR BORROWER DEFENSE AND GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DELAYED

USDE has said that final regulations for borrower defense to repayment will not be published by November 1, 2018. USDE received more than 38,000 comments on its proposed borrower defense rules and said that more time was needed to review the comments. Borrower defense regulations focus on the conditions under which students may obtain relief from relief from federal loans.

USDE also said that it will not publish final gainful employment regulations by November 1, meaning that current gainful employment regulations will remain in effect. These regulations address whether or not students who have borrowed federal money complete programs leading to earnings that enable the students to repay the loans.

The missed deadlines for publishing new borrower defense and gainful employment regulations means that the earliest date either could be implemented is now July 2020.

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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 friis@chea.org or at (202) 955-6126.

Copyright 2018, Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Terms of use.

 


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