Following a public call for comment from May 22, 2020 through June 22, 2020, the Commission voted to adopt final changes to Part Two, Processes and Procedures, DEAC Accreditation Handbook. The Commission focused its attention on changes that would ensure transparent and clear communication about DEAC's accreditation process to institutions, other quality assurance bodies, government entities, students and the public. The Commission is also responsible for ensuring that DEAC's accreditation procedures align with final regulations governing the recognition of accrediting agencies for postsecondary education. Accordingly, several changes were approved by the Commission to become effective on July 1, 2020.
Key changes within the Processes and Procedures include:
- extending the maximum time period to demonstrate compliance with DEAC accreditation standards from 12 months to two years;
- initiating immediate adverse action, without prior notice, if an institution's violation of DEAC standards or policies warrant such immediate action;
- requiring institutions to notify current and prospective students of an adverse action or show cause order within seven business days;
- implementing a streamlined process for certain substantive changes by delegating review and approval to DEAC staff;
- clarifying procedures for notifying the US Secretary of Education, state regulators, and the public of accreditation actions and other decisions;
- implementing refinements to the appeal process and binding arbitration; and
- establishing new requirements for institutions engaging in a teach-out planning and agreements.
In addition to implementing the aforementioned list of changes that were identified within the May 22, 2020 Call for Comment, the Commission took the opportunity to clarify and reinforce the description of its procedures for determining eligibility for accreditation, readiness assessment, the accreditation process, and substantive change review procedures.
DEAC presented a webinar on June 15, 2020 that provided an overview of the proposed changes. The webinar is available on-demand by clicking here.
\We welcome you to contact the DEAC staff with any questions regarding these changes.