8 CRR-NY 4-1.5NY-CRR

OFFICIAL COMPILATION OF CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
TITLE 8. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER I. RULES OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS
PART 4. REGENTS ACCREDITATION
SUBPART 4-1. VOLUNTARY INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION FOR TITLE IV PURPOSES
8 CRR-NY 4-1.5
8 CRR-NY 4-1.5
4-1.5 Procedures for accreditation.
(a) Comprehensive review procedures.
(1) Institutions that seek initial accreditation or renewal of accreditation shall be subject to the requirements of this subdivision.
(2) Application. Institutions seeking initial accreditation shall be required to apply for such accreditation on forms as may be prescribed by the commissioner. Institutions seeking renewal of accreditation shall submit a letter of intent seeking such renewal at least 18 months prior to the end date of the current accreditation period.
(3) Self-study. Institutions shall be required to conduct an in-depth self-study substantiating compliance with the standards for accreditation set forth in this Subpart and plans for improvements pertinent to such standards and shall submit such self-study to the department. The department shall review the self-study to determine whether the self-study is sufficient in depth and breadth to form a reasonable basis for a site review. The department may require the institution to submit additional information related to the self-study and/or submit additional self-study materials.
(4) Site visit. If the department determines that the self-study is sufficient in depth and breadth to form a reasonable basis for a site review, the department shall conduct a site visit to the institution to assess compliance with the standards for institutional accreditation prescribed in this Subpart.
(5) Public notice and opportunity for comment. The department shall publish in the New York State Register, or its successor publication, a notice that an institution is being considered for accreditation action and invite public written comment concerning the institution's qualifications for accreditation.
(6) Compliance report. The department shall prepare a compliance report and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the compliance report within 30 days of the date it was sent by the department.
(7) Department’s recommendation. The department shall prepare its recommendation and provide a copy to the institution. Such recommendation shall address whether the institution has met each of the standards set forth in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of this Subpart and shall include a copy of the compliance report and the institution’s response to such report.
(8) Advisory council.
(i) The department shall notify the institution by first class mail return receipt requested of the date, time and location of the advisory council meeting at which the council will review the department's recommendation with respect to accreditation action.
(ii) The institution may submit to the department by first class mail, express mail, or personal service a written response to the department’s recommendation at least 20 days before the scheduled advisory council meeting.
(iii) The advisory council shall review the department's recommendation with respect to accreditation action. The department shall transmit to the advisory council the written response by the institution pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, if any, and the record upon which the department made its recommendation, which shall include, but need not be limited to, the compliance report, the institution’s reponse to the compliance report and the department’s recommendation, the institution's self-study, the institution's application for accreditation and additional documentation submitted by the institution in support of the application. The advisory council shall invite staff of the department, the institution being reviewed, and at the council's discretion other interested parties to make oral presentations at the meeting. The advisory council shall base its determination upon the record before the department, as described in this subparagraph, and the testimony at the advisory council meeting. A record of the testimony before the advisory council related to the accreditation review shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record.
(iv) When it concludes its review, the advisory council shall prepare a recommendation on accreditation action to the commissioner and the Board of Regents, together with a report of the findings in support of that recommendation based upon the record and testimony considered by the advisory council. The department shall transmit a copy of the advisory council’s recommendation to the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested.
(v) In the event that neither the institution nor the deputy commissioner appeals the recommendation of the advisory council, as prescribed in paragraph (9) of this subdivision, the commissioner shall adopt said recommendation as the commissioner's recommendation to the Board of Regents.
(9) Appeal of advisory council recommendation.
(i) The institution and the deputy commissioner shall have the right to appeal to the commissioner the recommendation of the advisory council. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.
(ii) Within 10 days of the date that the institution receives notification of the recommendation of the advisory council, the institution shall notify the commissioner in writing, by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service, of their intention to appeal pursuant to clause (iii)(a) of this paragraph or the deputy commissioner shall notify the commissioner in writing by first class, express delivery, or personal service, of their intention to appeal pursuant to clause (iii)(b) of this paragraph.
(iii) Within 25 days of the date that the institution receives notification of the recommendation of the advisory council, the institution may commence an appeal pursuant to clause (a) of this subparagraph or the deputy commissioner may commence an appeal pursuant to clause (b) of this subparagraph.
(a) Appeal by the institution. The institution may commence an appeal of the recommendation of the advisory council by filing an appeal with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof upon the deputy commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service. The deputy commissioner shall transmit to the commissioner the record before the advisory council and its recommendation. The deputy commissioner may also file a written response with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of service of such appeal upon the deputy commissioner, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service upon the institution.
(b) Appeal by the deputy commissioner. The deputy commissioner may commence an appeal of the recommendation of the advisory council by filing an appeal with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service, with an affidavit proving the service upon the institution by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service of a copy thereof. The deputy commissioner shall transmit to the commissioner the record before the advisory council as described in paragraph (8) of this subdivision and the record of its deliberations and its recommendations. The institution may file a written response with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of service of such appeal upon the institution, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service upon the deputy commissioner.
(c) In the event that both the institution and the deputy commissioner commence an appeal to the commissioner within the time period prescribed in this section, such appeals shall be automatically consolidated and each party shall be permitted to file a written response with the commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of the mailing or the personal service of the other party's appeal upon the party, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service upon the other party.
(iv) The commissioner shall review any appeal, written responses filed, the record before the advisory council, and its recommendation. If the only remaining deficiency noted by the agency is the institution’s failure to meet any agency standard pertaining to finances, the commissioner shall also consider any new financial information submitted by the institution as part of its appeal if the information was unavailable to the institution until after the decision subject to the appeal was made and the financial information is significant as determined by the commissioner, and bears materially on the financial deficiencies identified by the agency. An institution may seek the review of new financial information only once and any determination on the new financial information does not provide a basis for appeal. The commissioner may affirm, reverse, remand or modify the recommendation of the advisory council. Such determination shall constitute a recommendation regarding accreditation action to the Board of Regents.
(10) Regents decision. The Board of Regents shall review all of the materials described in paragraph (8) or (9) of this subdivision, as applicable. At a regularly scheduled public meeting, the Board of Regents shall consider the recommendation of the commissioner and make the determination of accreditation action. If the Board of Regents determination includes an adverse accreditation action or probationary accreditation, the Board of Regents shall notify the institution of its right to a hearing before the institutional accreditation appeals board to appeal the determination of the Board of Regents only in limited circumstances where such determination is arbitrary or capricious or affected by an error of law or facts.
(11) Appeal of a determination of adverse accreditation action or probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board.
(i) An institution may appeal a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board in accordance with the requirements and procedures of this paragraph. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during such an appeal.
(ii) Within five days of the date of a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation, the institution shall notify the Board of Regents in writing, by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service, of its intention to appeal, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof upon the deputy commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service.
(iii) Within 20 days of the date of a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation, the institution may commence an appeal of such determination to the institutional accreditation appeals board by filing an appeal with the Board of Regents by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service, with an affidavit proving the service of a copy thereof upon the deputy commissioner by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service.
(iv) The Board of Regents shall transmit the appeal to the institutional appeals board within 20 days of receipt of such appeal.
(v) The Board of Regents may file a written response with the institutional accreditation appeals board by first class mail, express delivery, or personal service within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.
(vi) The institutional accreditation appeals board shall provide the institution, the commissioner and the Board of Regents, with at least 10 days’ written notice of the time and place of the appeal before the institutional accreditation appeals board.
(vii) Hearing procedures.
(a) Burden of proof. The institution shall have the burden of establishing the Board of Regents decision was arbitrary or capricious or affected by an error of law or facts.
(b) Conduct of hearing. The institution shall have the right to come before the institutional accreditation appeals board and present its arguments. The appellate presentation made to and the review by the institutional accreditation appeals board is not an adjudicatory proceeding and the technical rules of evidence do not apply. The parties are not permitted to conduct discovery, present or cross examine witnesses. The procedural determinations of the chair of the institutional appeals accreditation board shall be final. The chair may establish time limits on presentations by the parties. The decision of the institutional accreditation appeals board is limited to consideration of information in the written appeal submitted by the institution, written responses filed by the Board of Regents, and the entire record upon which the determination of the Board of Regents was based. The institutional accreditation appeals board may also consider any new financial information that was unavailable to the institution or program until after the decision subject to appeal was made if the financial information is significant and bears materially on the financial deficiencies identified by the Board of Regents and the only remaining deficiency cited by the Board of Regents in support of a final adverse action decision is the institution’s or program’s failure to meet an agency standard pertaining to finances.
(c) Record of hearing. All testimony given must be recorded verbatim. The chair of the institutional accreditation appeals board may use whatever means he or she deems appropriate, including, but not limited to the use of stenographic transcriptions or recording devices.
(viii) The institutional accreditation appeals board shall hold a due process hearing, wherein the institution shall have the right to come before the institutional accreditation appeals board and present its arguments. The appeals board shall review any appeal papers, written responses filed, and the entire record upon which the Regents determination was based, which may include but not be limited to: the record before the advisory council, the record of the advisory council's deliberations and its findings and recommendations, any appeal papers and written responses filed for an appeal of the findings and recommendations of the advisory council, the commissioner's recommendation to the Board of Regents regarding accreditation action, and the Regents determination. By majority vote, the institutional accreditation appeals board shall affirm, reverse, remand or amend the Board of Regents’ determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation and notify the institution in writing of its decision and of its findings within 30 days of its decision. In a decision that is remanded to the Board of Regents for further consideration, the institutional accreditation appeals board shall identify specific issues that the Board of Regents must address. In a decision that is remanded to the Board of Regents, the Board of Regents shall act in a manner consistent with the appeals board’s decisions or instructions.
(ix) While a properly filed appeal is pending, the Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation shall be held in abeyance until the institutional accreditation appeals board makes a determination on the matter and acts to affirm, amend, reverse, or remand such determination.
(b) Compliance review procedures.
(1) The department may institute a compliance review at any time during the institution's accreditation period to determine whether the institution is in compliance with standards prescribed in this Subpart, including but not limited to the standards prescribed in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of this Subpart. Such review may be initiated at the discretion of the department for good cause, which may be based on one or more complaints against the institution relating to such standards; or an adverse action or a placement on probation by another nationally recognized accrediting agency; or financial or compliance audits or program reviews conducted by the U.S. Secretary of Education relating to the institution's HEA title IV program responsibilities; or other information obtained by the department that the institution may not be in compliance with standards prescribed in this Subpart, among other reasons.
(2) The department shall notify the institution as to the commencement of the compliance review. Such notification shall include but shall not be limited to a specification of the standard or standards at issue, together with the department's reasons for finding them at issue and shall require the institution to respond in writing.
(3) The department shall review the institution's response and determine whether there is good cause to commence further review. In the event that the department determines that there is no good cause to commence further review, the department shall notify the institution of this determination and that accreditation shall continue to its term. In the event that the department determines that there is good cause to commence further review, the department shall conduct an evaluation to determine compliance with the standards prescribed in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of the Subpart, which may include a site visit. The department may require the institution to provide the department with information related to compliance with such standards, including but not limited to evidence that the institution is meeting the standard(s) or has taken immediate corrective action to meet the standard(s).
(4) Compliance report. The department shall prepare a compliance report and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the compliance report within 30 days of the date it was sent by the department.
(5) Department recommendation. The department shall prepare a recommendation and provide a copy to the institution. Such report shall address whether the institution has met each of the standards at issue and shall include any comments by the institution concerning the compliance report. In the event that the institution has met the standard(s) at issue, the department shall notify the institution in writing of this determination and that accreditation shall continue to its term. In the event that the department determines that the institution has not met one or more standards at issue, the department shall notify the institution and shall transmit a copy of its recommendation with respect to accreditation action to the institution and to the advisory council.
(6) Advisory council.
The same procedures prescribed in paragraph (a)(8) of this section shall be applicable.
(7) In the event that neither the institution nor the deputy commissioner appeals the recommendation of the advisory council, as prescribed in paragraph (8) of this subdivision, the commissioner shall adopt said findings and recommendation as the commissioner's recommendation to the Board of Regents.
(8) Appeal of advisory council recommendation. The procedures prescribed in paragraph (a)(9) of this section shall be applicable.
(9) Regents decision. The procedures prescribed in paragraph (a)(10) of this section shall be applicable.
(10) An institution may appeal a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board in accordance with the requirements and procedures of paragraph (a)(11) of this section. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.
(c) Procedures for institutions on probationary accreditation.
(1) Probationary accreditation shall be for the period of time prescribed for corrective action in accordance with the requirements of section 4-1.3(d) of this Subpart. The department shall review an institution on probationary accreditation employing the procedures prescribed in this subdivision.
(2) The department shall require the institution to demonstrate compliance with the standards that the institution needs to address through corrective action. The department shall conduct a review of such compliance, which may include a site visit.
(3) Public notice and opportunity for comment. The department shall publish in the New York State Register, or its successor publication, a notice that an institution is being considered for accreditation action and invite public written comment concerning the institution's qualifications for accreditation.
(4) Probationary review report. The department shall prepare a probationary review report assessing compliance and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the probationary review report within 30 days of the date it was transmitted by the department.
(5) Department recommendation. The department shall prepare a recommendation with respect to accreditation status and provide a copy to the institution. Such report shall address whether the institution has met the standards at issue and shall include any comments by the institution concerning the probationary review report.
(6) Advisory council.
(i) The department shall notify the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested of the date, time and location of the advisory council meeting at which the council will review the department's recommendation with respect to accreditation action.
(ii) The institution may submit to the department by first class mail, express mail, or personal service a written submission at least 20 days before the scheduled advisory council meeting.
(iii) The advisory council shall review the department's recommendation with respect to accreditation action. The department shall transmit to the advisory council the written submission by the institution pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, if any, and the record upon which the department made its recommendation, which shall include but need not be limited to, the probationary report and any other documentation upon which the department’s recommendation was based. The advisory council shall invite staff of the department, the institution being reviewed and at the council's discretion other interested parties to make oral presentations at the meeting. A record of the testimony before the advisory council related to the accreditation review shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record.
(iv) Based upon the record and testimony before the advisory council, the advisory council shall prepare a recommendation on accreditation action to the commissioner and the Board of Regents, together with a report of the findings in support of that recommendation. The department shall transmit a copy of this recommendation to the institution by first class mail, return receipt requested.
(7) In the event that neither the institution nor the deputy commissioner appeals the recommendation of the advisory council, as prescribed in paragraph (8) of this subdivision, the commissioner shall adopt said recommendation as the commissioner's recommendation to the Board of Regents.
(8) Appeal of advisory council recommendation. The procedures prescribed in paragraph (a)(9) of this section shall be applicable.
(9) Regents decision. The procedures prescribed in paragraph (a)(10) of this section shall be applicable.
(10) An institution may appeal a Regents determination of adverse accreditation action or granting probationary accreditation to the institutional accreditation appeals board in accordance with the requirements and procedures of paragraph (a)(11) of this section. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.
(d) Procedures for a change in scope of accreditation.
(1) For purposes of this subdivision, substantive change shall mean:
(i) any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution;
(ii) any change in the legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution;
(iii) the addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure from the existing offerings of educational programs, or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the department last evaluated the institution for accreditation;
(iv) the addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution's current accreditation;
(v) a change from clock hours to credit hours;
(vi) a substantial increase in the number of clock hours or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program;
(vii) the establishment of an additional location or branch campus, as such terms are defined in section 4-1.2 of this Subpart;
(viii) if the accreditation granted to the institution enables the institution to seek eligibility to participate in title IV, HEA programs, the entering into a contractual agreement with an entity not certified to participate in title IV, HEA programs, that offers more than 25 percent of one or more of the institution's program of study;
(ix) the establishment of an additional location at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program;
(x) the acquisition of any other institution or any program or location of another institution; or
(xi) the addition of a permanent location at a site at which the institution is conducting a teach-out for students of another institution that has ceased operating before all students have completed their program of study.
(2) An accredited institution that has experienced a substantive change, as defined in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, shall be required to apply to the department for a change in the scope of its accreditation in a format prescribed by the department.
(3) The commissioner and Board of Regents shall have the authority to make the determination concerning approval or disapproval of the institution's application for a change in the scope of accreditation, based on a substantive change and shall provide the institution with written notification indicating the approval and inclusion of the substantive change in the institution’s grant of accreditation. The effective date of any substantive change shall be the date of the commissioner and Board of Regents determination of an approved substantive change, which shall not be retroactive.
(4) General review requirements.
(i) The institution shall document to the department that the proposed substantive change does not adversely affect its capacity to meet the standards set forth in sections 4-1.3 and 4-1.4 of this Subpart.
(ii) The institution shall document that all necessary State approval actions, including but not limited to program registrations, master plan amendments, and charter actions, have been completed favorably.
(iii) The department may conduct a site visit in connection with the review of any proposed substantive change.
(5) Special review requirements. In addition to meeting the general review requirements prescribed in paragraph (4) of this subdivision, the special review requirements prescribed in this paragraph shall apply to substantive changes concerning changes of ownership that effect a change in control of the institution, branch campuses, and additional locations.
(i) Branch campuses.
(a) For instances in which the institution seeks to extend its scope of accreditation to a branch campus, as defined in section 4-1.2 of this Subpart, the institution shall submit a business plan for the branch campus, prior to such establishment. The business plan shall include, but need not be limited to, the educational program or programs to be offered, the projected revenues and expenditures and cash flow, and the operations, management and physical resources at the branch campus.
(b) The department shall conduct a site visit to the branch campus within six months of its establishment.
(c) The commissioner may extend accreditation to the branch campus only after the department evaluates the business plan and determines that the branch has sufficient educational, financial, operational, management and physical resources to meet the standards prescribed in section 4-1.4 of this Subpart.
(ii) Additional locations.
(a) For instances in which the institution seeks to extend the scope of accreditation to additional locations, as defined in section 4-1.2 of this Subpart, the institution shall submit an application for the extension of the scope of accreditation to include such locations prior to their establishment. The department shall conduct a review, which shall include but not be limited to, determining whether the institution has the fiscal and administrative capacity to operate the additional location.
(b) Site visits.
(1) Such review shall include a site visit within six months of establishment of the additional location, if the institution: has a total of three or fewer additional locations; or has not demonstrated to the department's satisfaction that it has a proven record of effective educational oversight of additional location; or has been placed on probationary accreditation or is subject to some limitation by the department on its accreditation.
(2) The department shall conduct a site visit of additional locations when the department has evidence that a location or locations has experienced rapid enrollment growth or that the institution has experience rapid growth in the number of additional locations.
(3) The department shall visit all locations as part of a site visit for accreditation or renewal of accreditation.
(4) The purpose of the site visits prescribed in this clause shall be to verify that an additional location has the personnel, facilities and resources the institution stated that it had in its application for approval of the additional location.
(iii) Change in ownership effecting change in control. For instances in which the substantive change is caused by a change in ownership, which effects a change in control of the institution, the department shall conduct a site visit within six months of the change in ownership.
(6) Substantive change report. The department shall prepare a report on the substantive change assessing compliance and provide a copy to the institution. The institution shall be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the report within 30 days of the date it was transmitted by the department.
(7) Department recommendation. The department shall send to the institution the determination by the deputy commissioner concerning the change in the scope of accreditation, together with the substantive change report. Such determination and report shall address whether the institution has met the standards set forth in this Subpart, and any comments by the institution concerning the substantive change report.
(8) Procedures on denial of change in scope of accreditation. Determinations to deny a change in the scope of accreditation may be appealed with the following procedures:
(i) Within 15 days of receiving notice of the determination to deny a change in the scope of accreditation, the institution shall notify the Board of Regents in writing by first class mail, express mail, or personal service, of its intention to appeal.
(ii) Within 60 days of receiving notice of the determination to deny a change in the scope of accreditation, the institution shall submit its appeal to the Board of Regents by first class mail, express mail, or personal service. The appeal shall take the form of a written statement that presents the institution's position on the determination and the substantive change report and all evidence and information which the institution believes is pertinent to the case. The appeal shall include a statement and explanation of the specific grounds of the appeal. The institution shall have the right to be represented by counsel during the appeal.
(iii) Upon appeal by the institution, the Board of Regents shall submit to the institutional accreditation appeals board the documentation supporting the Board of Regents’ decision to deny the change in the scope of accreditation, including but not limited to the institution's application, additional documentation submitted by the institution in support of its application, the substantive change report and any other documentation upon which the Board of Regents’ decision was based.
(iv) Within 60 days of receiving the institution's statement of appeal, the institutional accreditation appeals board shall issue a determination on the appeal.
8 CRR-NY 4-1.5
Current through November 30, 2019
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