Federal Update: USDE Negotiated Rulemaking Session Meets in Washington, DC

At the February 19-22 session, the committee received reports from each of the subcommittees, responded to questions posed by USDE and addressed several proposed regulations, including:

  • Permitting accrediting organizations to waive certain criteria for institutions to encourage innovation.
  • Transfer of credit among institutions.
  • Limiting the number of states in which a regional accrediting organization could operate.
  • Establishing a definition of “regular and substantive interactions” in distance education, as well as definitions of phrases such as “monitoring reports” and “substantial compliance.”
  • Protecting religious mission at faith-based institutions.
  • Transparency of the accreditation process, including making accreditation reports public.

Change of allowable scope for regional accrediting organizations and transfer of credit issues generated significant debate among committee members. The committee continues its negotiations and has not reached a decision on any of the issues discussed.

It is important colleges and schools stay informed with the current activity of the committee meetings. How would these or other changes affect your accreditation organization?

There are two more sessions for this committee meetings.

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) held the second of four sessions of its negotiated rulemakingon accreditation and other topics on February 19-22, 2019 in Washington, DC. Negotiated rulemaking is the process used by USDE for stakeholder representatives to meet with USDE to negotiate the terms of a proposed administrative rule or regulatory change. The first session of the negotiated rulemaking met January 14-16, 2019, with the third session scheduled to meet March 25-28, 2019. A fourth session has been added, scheduled for April 1-3, 2019. All sessions are being held in Washington, DC.