U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: Puerto Rico State Agency for the Approval of Public Postsecondary Vocational, Technical Institutions and Programs ( 1983 / 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. Scope of Recognition: State agency for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education.
  4. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 05/22/2018
  5. Staff Recommendation: Defer the agency's recognition for one year and for such additional six month increments as the agency continues to demonstrate to the Staff that due to the continuing impact of Hurricane Maria it remains unable to submit complete documentation which has been fully translated into English.
  6. 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.

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide a full set of multiple examples of documentation of a completed semi-annual report. Without all of the information in the semi-annual report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(a)(1)(iii)]

    -- The agency must provide a site visit report that provides a roster of the members, to demonstrate its composition of members. [§603.24(a)(2)(iii)(A)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide documentation of all of the statuses granted by the agency. Without all of the information, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(a)(3)(i)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide the entire team report. Without all of the information in the report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(a)(3)(ii)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide the entire team leader report in English. Without all of the information in the team report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(a)(3)(ii)(B)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide a full set of multiple examples of documentation of a completed semi-annual report. Without all of the information in the semi-annual report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(b)(1)(iv)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide documentation (in English) of its examples for innovation and experimental learning. Without all of the information, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(b)(1)(v)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide an entire team report. Without all of the information in the report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section.
    [§603.24(b)(1)(vi)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide details about its substantive change policy. Without all of the information about the policy and how it has been requested, reviewed, and approved by the agency, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(b)(1)(xi)]

    -- The agency must provide additional documentation demonstrating how it confers regularly with counterpart agencies that have similar responsibilities methods and techniques. [§603.24(b)(1)(xii)]

    -- The agency must provide an agenda that demonstrates that all of the parties in this section have been included in the onsite visit team's review. [§603.24(b)(2)(i)]

    -- The agency must demonstrate that it has provided a written report of strengths, areas of improvement, and/or areas of noncompliance to the institution. [§603.24(b)(2)(ii)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide a full set of multiple examples of documentation of a completed semi-annual report. Without all of the information in the semi-annual report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(c)(1)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide a full set of multiple examples of documentation of a completed semi-annual report. Without all of the information in the semi-annual report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(c)(2)]

    -- Due to the extenuating circumstances that Puerto Rico has faced, the agency was unable to provide a full set of multiple examples of documentation of a completed semi-annual report. Without all of the information in the semi-annual report, Department staff is unable to verify the information needed for this section. [§603.24(c)(4)]

    -- The agency must provide complete information about how its ethical standards are reviewed to ensure compliance. [§603.24(d)(1)]

Executive Summary

PART I: GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGENCY

The Puerto Rico State Agency for the Approval of Public Postsecondary Vocational, Technical Institutions and Programs (PRSAA) is the state agency in Puerto Rico for accrediting public postsecondary vocational education programs and institutions in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The agency approves institutions and programs in public postsecondary institutions that are legally authorized to offer postsecondary programs that have been operating for a minimum of two years. These institutions and programs award both Associate Degrees and Certificates, and admit as regular students only individuals with a high school diploma or its equivalent or who are above the compulsory school age to attend high school, which in Puerto Rico is 16 years of age.

According to the Accreditation Group's records, the Department has received no 3rd party comments or complaints about the agency during the current recognition cycle.


Recognition History

The PRSAA was granted authority to approve public postsecondary vocational technical education institutions and programs in Puerto Rico in 1982 by Puerto Rico's Secretary of Education. The agency was granted initial recognition as a state approval agency by the U.S. Secretary of Education in 1983 and has received continued recognition since that time.

The agency's most recent petition for continued recognition was reviewed at the Spring 2014 NACIQI meeting. Following that meeting, the agency was required to submit a compliance report at the 2016 Meeting. In October 2016, the SDO issued a letter to continue the agency's recognition. The current review of the agency is for the regular scheduled review for renewal of the agency's 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.