NAICU Washington Update

Education Department Announces Next Steps for Rulemaking Panel

October 16, 2018

The Department of Education is moving forward in soliciting nominations for its recently announced negotiated rulemaking committee to revise regulations related to the Title IV student financial aid programs. The Department is planning to establish a single negotiated rulemaking committee on accreditation and innovation, as well as three subcommittees that will focus on distance learning and educational innovation, TEACH grants, and faith-based institutions. The Department is also seeking nominations for negotiators to serve on these subcommittees.

The upcoming negotiated rulemaking sessions are expected to consider revisions to numerous regulations governing the Title IV programs. According to the Department, the accreditation and innovation committee will focus on:
  • Requirements for accrediting agencies;
  • Recognition criteria;
  • Simplification of the Department’s recognition and review process;
  • Clarification of the responsibilities of the program integrity triad;
  • Protection of institutional mission;
  • Barriers to faith-based institutions’ eligibility for Title IV programs;
  • Requirements related to providing a portion of an education program;
  • The teach-out process;
  • Equitable treatment of distance education programs;
  • Expansion of distance education and competency-based education;
  • State authorization; and
  • TEACH grant requirements.
The distance learning and educational innovation subcommittee is expected to address state authorization of distance education and other state authorization issues, the definition of “regular and substantive interaction;” the definition of “credit hour;” program length barriers to innovation and to student completion, graduation, or employment; and direct assessment programs and competency-based education.

The TEACH grants subcommittee will focus on simplifying and clarifying requirements to prevent inadvertent grant-to loan conversions.  Finally, the faith-based institutions subcommittee will consider the eligibility of such institutions to participate in the Title IV programs, as well as requirements for accrediting agencies to honor institutional mission.

NAICU will continue its active engagement in negotiated rulemaking by making nominations for this panel on behalf of the private, nonprofit sector.  The accreditation and innovation committee is scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C. on January 14-16, February 19-22, and March 25-28, 2019, while the subcommittees are scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C. on January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, 2019.

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