U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: Accrediting Commission Of Career Schools and Colleges ( 1967 / 2011)
    (The dates provided are the date of initial listing as a recognized agency and the date of the agency’s last grant of recognition.)
  2. Action Item: Petition for Continued Recognition
  3. Current Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of postsecondary, non-degree-granting institutions and degree-granting institutions in the United States, including those granting associate, baccalaureate and master's degrees, that are predominantly organized to educate students for occupational, trade and technical careers, and including institutions that offer programs via distance education.
  4. Requested Scope of Recognition: Same as above.
  5. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 06/23/2016
  6. Staff Recommendation: Continue the agency's recognition as a nationally recognized accrediting agency at this time, and require the agency to come into compliance within 12 months with the criteria listed below , and submit a compliance report due 30 days thereafter that demonstrates the agency's compliance.
  7. Issues or Problems: It does not appear that the agency meets the following sections of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition. These issues are summarized below and discussed in detail under the Summary of Findings section.

    -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must amend its definition to better comport to the Secretary’s public member definition. [§602.15(a)(5)]

Executive Summary

PART I: GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGENCY

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is an institutional accrediting agency that accredits 685 institutions located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

The agency’s accredited schools offer certificates, academic associate degrees, occupational associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees and masters degrees and distance education programs, predominantly in occupational, trade and technical career areas.

Most of agency’s accredited schools participate in the Department’s Federal Student Aid program. As the Title IV gatekeeper for its accredited institutions, it must meet the separate and independent requirements of the Secretary’s Criteria.


Recognition History

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges was previously known as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Prior to that, it was called the Accrediting Commission for Trade and Technical Schools of the Career College Association and, prior to that time, the Accrediting Commission of the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools (NATTS).

NATTS was originally recognized in 1967 by the then-Commissioner of Education for its accreditation of trade and technical schools. Its scope of recognition was expanded in 1972 to include barber schools and again in 1978 to include all resident course offerings of private schools primarily engaged in trade or technical education.

In 1991, NATTS and the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools (AICS) became part of the Career College Association (CCA). Although the two associations merged into one organization, their accrediting commissions remained separate, even though they both functioned under the CCA umbrella, and each commission continued to accredit the same schools that it accredited under its former organization. After the merger, NATTS became known as the Accrediting Commission for Trade and Technical Schools of the Career College Association. In 1993, in order to conform to new Department regulations, the agency became separate from and independent of the CCA and was renamed the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT and subsequently dropped the "T".

When the agency was last reviewed in 2004, the agency requested an expansion of its scope of recognition to include institutions that offer programs via distance education. In 2005 the Secretary granted the expansion of scope, found the agency to be fully compliant with the criteria for recognition, and granted the agency continued recognition for a period of five years. In 2006, the agency was granted an expansion of its scope for recognition to include the accreditation of masters degree programs. ACCSC last appeared before the NACIQI in the spring of 2011 when the NACIQI recommend to renew the agency's recognition for a period of five years. The agency petition to the Secretary for continued recognition is the subject of this report. The Department did not receive any written third-party comments regarding this agency.

ACCSC had five complaints filed with the Department during the period since its last recognition. In each instance the Department found the agency in compliance with all of its standards and procedures.






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.