American Board of Funeral Service Education 02/07/2018 11/10/2017 Final Review Compliance Report

U.S. Department of Education

Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Offical

on

Recognition Compliance Issues


Recommendation Page



  1. American Board of Funeral Service Education
  2. Compliance Report
  3. Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of institutions and programs within the United States awarding diplomas, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees in funeral service or mortuary science, including the accreditation of distance learning courses and programs offered by these programs and institutions.
  4. Same as above.
  5. February 07, 2018
  6. Renew the agency's recognition for three years
  7. None

Executive Summary



Part I: General Information About The Agency

The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), Committee on Accreditation (COA), is a national specialized accrediting agency. Its current scope of recognition is the accreditation of institutions and programs awarding diplomas, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees in funeral service or mortuary science. ABFSE is, therefore, both an institutional and programmatic accreditor. ABFSE currently accredits approximately 58 programs in 38 states and the District of Columbia. ABFSE also accredits 11 single purpose institutions, two of which also have regional accreditation. However, it serves as the Title IV gatekeeper, of eight institutions enabling them to establish eligibility to participate in the Title IV student financial aid programs. As such, it must meet the separate and independent requirements as set forth in the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition or seek a waiver. The agency has not had any complaints submitted to the Department since its last review.

Recognition History

At the NACIQI’s May 2007 meeting the agency petitioned for continued recognition and an expansion of its scope of recognition to include distance education. At that meeting the NACIQI recommended that the Secretary defer a decision on continued recognition for a period of one year, but did not make a specific recommendation regarding the agency's request for an expansion of its scope of recognition. The agency accepted the NACIQI’s recommendation to defer its recognition for a year. However, it appealed and requested the Secretary to grant its request to expand its current scope of recognition to include distance education courses and programs. In November 2007, the Secretary granted the agency’s appeal to have distance education included in its current scope of recognition and required the agency to submit an interim report by March 2008. addressing the following issues: At the NACIQI's June 2008 meeting the agency presented its interim report and supporting documentation. Both the Department and the NACIQI recommended that the agency's recognition be renewed for a period of four years. The Secretary had not made a final decision prior to passage of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which contained a number of provisions related to accrediting agency recognition that were effective upon enactment. Subsequently, new regulations were developed, effective July 1, 2010. As a consequence, the agency was required to submit an updated petition for review by staff and NACIQI. At its December 2012 meeting the NACIQI recommended to continue the agency's recognition and require it to come back in three years for it's renewal petition. At the NACIQI's December 2015 meeting the agency presented it petition for continued recognition at which time the NACIQI recommend that to continue the agency's current recognition and require the agency to come into compliance within 12 months to demonstrates compliance. The Department's review of that compliance report is the subject of this analysis.


Part II: Summary Of Findings

602.15(a)(6) Conflict of Interest

(6) Clear and effective controls against conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest, by the agency's--
(i) Board members;

(ii) Commissioners;

(iii) Evaluation team members;

(iv) Consultants;

(v) Administrative staff; and

(vi) Other agency representatives; and


ASL_MVC_v1.Models.TblAslstep2Analyst??.Remarks




602.20(a) Enforcement Timelines

(a) If the agency's review of an institution or program under any standard indicates that the institution or program is not in compliance with that standard, the agency must--

(1) Immediately initiate adverse action against the institution or program; or

(2) Require the institution or program to take appropriate action to bring itself into compliance with the agency's standards within a time period that must not exceed--

(i) Twelve months, if the program, or the longest program offered by the institution, is less than one year in length;

(ii) Eighteen months, if the program, or the longest program offered by the institution, is at least one year, but less than two years, in length; or

(iii) Two years, if the program, or the longest program offered by the institution, is at least two years in length.


ASL_MVC_v1.Models.TblAslstep2Analyst??.Remarks


Analyst Remarks to Response:

ABFSE's Commission on Accreditation (COA) provided documentation demonstrating the application of its revised policies regarding the evaluation of national licensing examination pass rates which occurred in April 2017 (Exhibit 1). The agency also provided decision letters to institutions demonstrating the application of the requirements of this section (Exhibit 2 and 3). The COA also posted this information on its web-site.



602.20(b) Enforcement Action

(b) If the institution or program does not bring itself into compliance within the specified period, the agency must take immediate adverse action unless the agency, for good cause, extends the period for achieving compliance.


ASL_MVC_v1.Models.TblAslstep2Analyst??.Remarks


Analyst Remarks to Response:

ABFSE's Commission on Accreditation (COA) provided documentation demonstrating the application of its revised policies regarding the language for Enforcement Actions (Exhibit 5). The agency also provided the decision letter to the institution. The agency notes that the information is also posted on its web-site .



602.24(f)(2) Credit Hour Review

(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 evaluation, sufficient to comply with paragraph (f)(1)(i)(B) of this section.


ASL_MVC_v1.Models.TblAslstep2Analyst??.Remarks


Analyst Remarks to Response:

ABFSE's Commission on Accreditation (COA) provided documentation demonstrating the application of its review and evaluation of the Dallas Institute of Funeral Services that is based on the Department's definition of credit hours (Exhibit 6).



Part III: Third Party Comments


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