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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 19, 2019

Title 34Subtitle BChapter VIPart 602Subpart B → §602.24


Title 34: Education
PART 602—THE SECRETARY'S RECOGNITION OF ACCREDITING AGENCIES
Subpart B—The Criteria for Recognition


§602.24   Additional procedures certain institutional accreditors must have.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 58924, Nov. 1, 2019.

If the agency is an institutional accrediting agency and its accreditation or preaccreditation enables those institutions to obtain eligibility to participate in Title IV, HEA programs, the agency must demonstrate that it has established and uses all of the following procedures:

(a) Branch campus. (1) The agency must require the institution to notify the agency if it plans to establish a branch campus and to submit a business plan for the branch campus that describes—

(i) The educational program to be offered at the branch campus;

(ii) The projected revenues and expenditures and cash flow at the branch campus; and

(iii) The operation, management, and physical resources at the branch campus.

(2) The agency may extend accreditation to the branch campus only after it evaluates the business plan and takes whatever other actions it deems necessary to determine that the branch campus has sufficient educational, financial, operational, management, and physical resources to meet the agency's standards.

(3) The agency must undertake a site visit to the branch campus as soon as practicable, but no later than six months after the establishment of that campus.

(b) Change in ownership. The agency must undertake a site visit to an institution that has undergone a change of ownership that resulted in a change of control as soon as practicable, but no later than six months after the change of ownership.

(c) Teach-out plans and agreements. (1) The agency must require an institution it accredits or preaccredits to submit a teach-out plan to the agency for approval upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

(i) The Secretary notifies the agency that the Secretary has initiated an emergency action against an institution, in accordance with section 487(c)(1)(G) of the HEA, or an action to limit, suspend, or terminate an institution participating in any title IV, HEA program, in accordance with section 487(c)(1)(F) of the HEA, and that a teach-out plan is required.

(ii) The agency acts to withdraw, terminate, or suspend the accreditation or preaccreditation of the institution.

(iii) The institution notifies the agency that it intends to cease operations entirely or close a location that provides one hundred percent of at least one program.

(iv) A State licensing or authorizing agency notifies the agency that an institution's license or legal authorization to provide an educational program has been or will be revoked.

(2) The agency must evaluate the teach-out plan to ensure it provides for the equitable treatment of students under criteria established by the agency, specifies additional charges, if any, and provides for notification to the students of any additional charges.

(3) If the agency approves a teach-out plan that includes a program that is accredited by another recognized accrediting agency, it must notify that accrediting agency of its approval.

(4) The agency may require an institution it accredits or preaccredits to enter into a teach-out agreement as part of its teach-out plan.

(5) The agency must require an institution it accredits or preaccredits that enters into a teach-out agreement, either on its own or at the request of the agency, to submit that teach-out agreement for approval. The agency may approve the teach-out agreement only if the agreement is between institutions that are accredited or preaccredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, is consistent with applicable standards and regulations, and provides for the equitable treatment of students by ensuring that—

(i) The teach-out institution has the necessary experience, resources, and support services to—

(A) Provide an educational program that is of acceptable quality and reasonably similar in content, structure, and scheduling to that provided by the institution that is ceasing operations either entirely or at one of its locations; and

(B) Remain stable, carry out its mission, and meet all obligations to existing students; and

(ii) The teach-out institution demonstrates that it can provide students access to the program and services without requiring them to move or travel substantial distances and that it will provide students with information about additional charges, if any.

(d) Closed institution. If an institution the agency accredits or preaccredits closes without a teach-out plan or agreement, the agency must work with the Department and the appropriate State agency, to the extent feasible, to assist students in finding reasonable opportunities to complete their education without additional charges.

(e) Transfer of credit policies. The accrediting agency must confirm, as part of its review for initial accreditation or preaccreditation, or renewal of accreditation, that the institution has transfer of credit policies that—

(1) Are publicly disclosed in accordance with §668.43(a)(11); and

(2) Include a statement of the criteria established by the institution regarding the transfer of credit earned at another institution of higher education.

(f) Credit-hour policies. The accrediting agency, as part of its review of an institution for initial accreditation or preaccreditation or renewal of accreditation, must conduct an effective review and evaluation of the reliability and accuracy of the institution's assignment of credit hours.

(1) The accrediting agency meets this requirement if—

(i) It reviews the institution's—

(A) Policies and procedures for determining the credit hours, as defined in 34 CFR 600.2, that the institution awards for courses and programs; and

(B) The application of the institution's policies and procedures to its programs and coursework; and

(ii) Makes a reasonable determination of whether the institution's assignment of credit hours conforms to commonly accepted practice in higher education.

(2) In reviewing and evaluating an institution's policies and procedures for determining credit hour assignments, an accrediting agency may use sampling or other methods in the evaluation, sufficient to comply with paragraph (f)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(3) The accrediting agency must take such actions that it deems appropriate to address any deficiencies that it identifies at an institution as part of its reviews and evaluations under paragraph (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, as it does in relation to other deficiencies it may identify, subject to the requirements of this part.

(4) If, following the institutional review process under this paragraph (f), the agency finds systemic noncompliance with the agency's policies or significant noncompliance regarding one or more programs at the institution, the agency must promptly notify the Secretary.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0003)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099b)

[64 FR 56617, Oct. 20, 1999, as amended at 74 FR 55428, Oct. 27, 2009; 75 FR 66947, Oct. 29, 2010]

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