U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs ( 1955 / 2016)
    (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 institutions and programs of nurse anesthesia at the post master`s certificate, master`s, or doctoral degree levels in the United States, and its territories, including programs offering distance education.
  4. Requested Scope of Recognition: Same as above.
  5. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 05/22/2018
  6. Staff Recommendation: Renew the agency's recognition for five years.
  7. Issues or Problems: None

Executive Summary


The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA)accredits institutions and programs that prepare nurses to become practicing nurse anesthetists. The agency currently accredits 120 programs located in 38 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, which include 2 single purpose freestanding institutions

The agency’s accredited hospital-based programs and institutions participate in Title IV, HEA programs and therefore the agency must meet the Secretary’s separate and independent requirements or seek a waiver. Accredited programs also use the agency’s recognition to participate in non-HEA programs that include the Department of Health and Human Services grants in advanced nurse education and eligibility to participate in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and in the U.S. Department of Defense programs.

There have been no third party comments or complaints submitted about the agency.

Recognition History

The COA is both a programmatic and institutional accrediting agency. Nurse anesthesia programs have been accredited since 1952. At that time, accrediting activities were conducted by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

The AANA was first recognized as a national accrediting agency in 1955. The accrediting activities of AANA were transferred in 1975 to a new semiautonomous Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. It was this organization that was reviewed for recognition in 1976 as the agency that accredits nurse anesthesia programs. The COA became an autonomous body in 1978.

The agency’s most recent full review for recognition was in the spring of 2007, at which time the agency’s recognition was renewed for a period of five years and it was granted an expansion of its scope of recognition to include distance education and to modify its scope to include (territories). At the same time the NACIQI requested that the agency provide an interim report, by May 31, 2008, addressing the COA’s need to provide evidence of the Council’s adoption of its revised annual report policies and procedures for monitoring its programs’ compliance with its student achievement standards. While the COA was scheduled to appear before the NACIQI in the fall of 2008, due to the passage of HEOA, the NACIQI did not meet. In January 2010, as a result of new regulations effective July 1, 2010, the agency was requested to update its interim report and to also address the new regulatory requirements of 602.19. At the NACIQI's December 2010 meeting the agency presented its interim report and the NACIQI accepted the report. The agency's petition for continued recognition is the subject of this report.

The COA appeared before the NACIQI at its December 2013 meeting with its petition for continued recognition. The NACIQI recommended to the Secretary that he continue the agency's recognition and require the agency to come into compliance. Following the compliance report that occurred in 2015, the agency's recognition was reviewed. The current review is the next scheduled review for rerecognition of the agency.


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


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