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U.S. Department of Education

Staff Report
to the
Senior Department Official
on
Recognition Compliance Issues

RECOMMENDATION PAGE

1.
Agency:   Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies
 
2.
Action Item:   Petition for Initial Recognition
 
3.
Current Scope of Recognition:   As an initial applicant, the agency does not have a current scope of recognition.
 
4.
Requested Scope of Recognition:   The accreditation of postsecondary institutions of Jewish Studies within the United States exclusively offering educational programs leading to a certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree or their equivalent credential in Jewish Studies or Classical Torah Studies.

(The agency does not accredit any institution or program that offers credit for distance education or correspondence education at this time, therefore they are not part of the agency’s requested scope.)
 
5.
Date of Advisory Committee Meeting:   December, 2015
 
6.
Staff Recommendation:   Grant initial recognition for a period of five years for the accreditation of postsecondary institutions of Jewish Studies within the United States exclusively offering educational programs leading to a certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree or their equivalent credential in Jewish Studies or Classical Torah Studies.
 
7.
Issues or Problems:   None.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 
 

PART I: GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGENCY

 
The Association of Institutions for Jewish Studies (AIJS) is requesting initial recognition as a national institutional accreditor. The agency was first incorporated in 2000 to provide accreditation services. Several conferences and meetings were held with its target community for the development and adoption of accreditation standards. As a result, the agency’s current overall framework was adopted in 2007 for providing accreditation to institutions.

The agency currently accredits four institutions. One institution is in Monsey, New York and was accredited in March 2015 (after the current petition was submitted). Two institutions are located in Brooklyn, New York and both were accredited in May 2013. The earliest institution accredited by AIJS is in Baltimore, Maryland and it was accredited in November 2009.

Recognition of the agency would enable at least one of its institutions to use AIJS accreditation to establish eligibility to receive Federal student assistance funding under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (Title IV). Consequently, the agency must meet the Secretary’s separate and independent requirements.

 
 
Recognition History
 
The agency is being reviewed for initial recognition. In conjunction with the current review of the agency's petition and supporting documentation, Department staff observed an on-site evaluation in November 2014 conducted by the agency at Mechon L’Hoyroa in Monsey, New York. In addition, Department staff conducted a file review, and observed an agency decision-making meeting at the agency’s offices in Lakewood, NJ in March 2015.

(Note: Department staff observed an agency decision-making meeting in Lakewood, NJ in August 2010 and an on-site visit in Brooklyn, NY in January 2012 in conjunction with an earlier examination of AIJS. Both of those observations took place before AIJS submitted its current petition for recognition, which documents the agency’s substantially revised procedures and written materials. Therefore, those earlier activities are not formally referenced in the current staff analysis.)

The Department received no written complaints and no third-party comments in connection with the agency’s petition for initial recognition.


PART II: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

 
The agency meets the requirements of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition.
 
 

PART III: THIRD PARTY COMMENTS

 
The Department did not receive any written third-party comments regarding this agency.