Continuous Accreditation Requirement for Educator Preparation Providers

NY-ADR

2/7/18 N.Y. St. Reg. EDU-06-18-00006-P
NEW YORK STATE REGISTER
VOLUME XL, ISSUE 6
February 07, 2018
RULE MAKING ACTIVITIES
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
PROPOSED RULE MAKING
NO HEARING(S) SCHEDULED
 
I.D No. EDU-06-18-00006-P
Continuous Accreditation Requirement for Educator Preparation Providers
PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE State Administrative Procedure Act, NOTICE is hereby given of the following proposed rule:
Proposed Action:
Repeal of Subpart 4-2; and amendment of section 52.21 of Title 8 NYCRR.
Statutory authority:
Education Law, sections 101, 207, 210, 215 and 305
Subject:
Continuous Accreditation Requirement for Educator Preparation Providers.
Purpose:
Allows certain institutions of higher education who seek registered educator preparation programs to be accredited by an accrediting association seeking recognition.
Text of proposed rule:
1. Subclause (2) clause (c) of subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, to read as follows:
(2) Programs shall be continuously accredited by either:
(i) an acceptable professional education accrediting association, meaning an organization [which is determined by the department to have equivalent standards to the standards set forth in this Part] that is approved by the department and is recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation; or
(ii) [the Regents, pursuant to a Regents accreditation process.] a professional education accrediting association acceptable to the Department that is seeking recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education. To pursue this option and have its programs be considered continuously accredited under this subclause, the institution shall provide the Department with satisfactory evidence, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner, that it intends to apply for accreditation with a professional education accrediting association that is seeking recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education, prior to the expiration date of its current accreditation period. The institution will then have five years from the date of such notification to successfully complete the accreditation process. If at any time during the accreditation process, the association determines that the institution’s program or programs cannot be accredited by such association and/or that the institution has not diligently pursued an application for accreditation, then the institution’s program or programs shall not be considered continuously accredited for purposes of this subclause.
2. Subclause (3) clause (c) of subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is repealed.
3. Clause (b) of subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (c) of section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, to read as follows:
(b) Programs shall be accredited by either:
(1) a professional education accrediting association [determined by the department to have equivalent standards to the standards set forth in this Part] that is approved by the Department and is recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation; or
(2) [the Regents pursuant to the Regents accreditation process] a professional education accrediting association acceptable to the Department that is seeking recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education. To pursue this option and have its programs be considered continuously accredited under this clause, the institution shall provide the Department with satisfactory evidence, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner, that it intends to apply for accreditation with a professional education accrediting association that is seeking recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education, prior to the expiration date of its current accreditation period. The institution will then have five years from the date of such notification to successfully complete the accreditation process. If at any time during the accreditation process, the association determines that the institution’s program or programs cannot be accredited by such association and/or that the institution has not diligently pursued an application for accreditation, then the institution’s program or programs shall not be considered continuously accredited for purposes of this clause.
4. Paragraph (5) of subdivision (d) of section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, to read as follows:
(5) Accreditation. School counseling programs registered for the first time on or after September 1, 2020 leading to initial and/or professional certification under this subdivision shall be accredited by an acceptable professional education accrediting association, meaning an organization that is approved by the Department and is recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation [which is determined by the department to have equivalent standards to the State’s registration standards], within seven years of the date of their initial registration, and shall be continuously accredited thereafter by an acceptable professional education accrediting association.
5. Subpart 4-2 of the Rules of the Board of Regents is repealed.
Text of proposed rule and any required statements and analyses may be obtained from:
Kirti Goswami, NYS Education Department, Office of Counsel, 89 Washington Avenue, Room 112, Albany, NY 12234, (518) 474-6400, email: legal@nysed.gov
Data, views or arguments may be submitted to:
Kelly Grace, NYS Education Department, Office of Higher Education, 89 Washington Avenue, Room 979 EBA, Albany, NY 12234, (518) 486-3633, email: regcomments@nysed.gov
Public comment will be received until:
45 days after publication of this notice.
Regulatory Impact Statement
1. STATUTORY AUTHORITY:
Education Law 101 (not subdivided) charges the Department with the general management and supervision of all public schools and all of the educational work of the state.
Education Law 207 (not subdivided) grants general rule-making authority to the Regents to carry into effect State educational laws and policies.
Education Law 215 authorizes the Commissioner to require reports from schools under State educational supervision.
Education Law 305(1) authorizes the Commissioner to enforce laws relating to the State educational system and execute Regents educational policies. Section 305(2) provides the Commissioner with general supervision over schools and authority to advise and guide school district officers in their duties and the general management of their schools.
2. LEGISLATIVE OBJECTIVES:
The purpose of the proposed amendment to Subpart 4-2 of the Rules of the Board of regents and section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is to allow institutions that are currently accredited in accordance with Section 52.21 of the Regulations to apply for accreditation through an accrediting association that is seeking recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE) but that has not yet achieved recognition status, and still meet the “continuous accreditation requirement” in 52.21. This will allow institutions to have more than a single accreditation option.
3. NEEDS AND BENEFITS:
Currently, Section 52.21 of the Regulations requires all institutions of higher education with registered educator preparation programs (e.g., teacher, educational leader) to be accredited by an acceptable professional education accrediting association. When this regulation was first adopted by the Board of Regents in 1999, there were two options for educator preparation programs that were recognized by either the CHEA or the USDE: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). In addition, a process for accreditation was developed by the Board of Regents and implemented in 2002, but was discontinued by the Board in 2010 due to budget and staffing shortages.
In 2013, NCATE and TEAC consolidated to form the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), leaving a single national accreditor for educator preparation providers. Since this time, many NYS educator preparation providers (EPPs) have expressed a desire to have more than a single accreditation option.
At this time, the Department is aware of an organization that is in the process of seeking CHEA approval to become a recognized accreditor of EPPs. This organization is working with higher education faculty and state education agencies from multiple states on the development of its standards, processes and policies for accreditation so that it can apply to become an accreditor recognized by CHEA. The Department would like to ensure that EPPs have the opportunity to explore alternative accreditation options if and when they become available. However, EPPs have raised concerns that, given the typical timeframe for a professional education accrediting association to achieve recognition by USDE or CHEA, they could be unable to pursue accreditation with this new accrediting association and simultaneously meet the Department’s requirement of continuous accreditation or initial accreditation.
Proposed Amendment
The proposed amendment will allow institutions that are currently accredited by NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP to apply for accreditation through an accrediting association that is seeking recognition from the CHEA or USDE, but has not yet achieved recognition status, and still meet the “continuous accreditation requirement” set forth in Section 52.21 of the Commissioner’s Regulations for teacher and educational leader preparation, and school counselor programs. Institutions that choose to seek accreditation through an accrediting association seeking USDE or CHEA recognition will be required to notify the Department prior to the expiration of their current accreditation period to demonstrate their commitment to pursuing accreditation through such accreditor.
In addition, institutions must complete the accreditation process with the accrediting association seeking CHEA or USDE recognition within five years of the date of notification to the Department to ensure that all of their registered educator preparation programs meet the accreditation requirement. In the event that an accrediting association seeking CHEA or USDE recognition is denied such recognition, institutions that can document that they were actually in the process of pursuing accreditation with such association will be held harmless and the Department would work with the institution on a timeline for earning accreditation through CAEP.
The proposed amendment also makes technical amendments to eliminate all references to RATE (the discontinued Regents accreditation process) in Section 52.21 of the Regulations and repeals Subpart 4-2 of the Rules of the Board of Regents which describes the RATE process because this process was discontinued in September 2010.
4. COSTS:
a. Costs to State government: The amendment does not impose any costs on State government, including the State Education Department.
b. Costs to local government: The amendment does not impose any costs on local government.
c. Costs to private regulated parties: The amendment does not impose any costs on private regulated parties.
d. Costs to regulating agency for implementation and continued administration: See above.
5. LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANDATES:
The proposed amendment does not impose any additional program, service, duty or responsibility upon any local government.
6. PAPERWORK:
The proposed amendment does not impose any additional paperwork requirements.
7. DUPLICATION:
The proposed amendment does not duplicate existing State or Federal requirements.
8. ALTERNATIVES:
No alternatives were considered.
9. FEDERAL STANDARDS:
There are no applicable Federal standards.
10. COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE:
It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be adopted as a permanent rule by the Board of Regents at its May 2018 meeting. If adopted at the May 2018 meeting, the proposed amendment will become effective on May 23, 2018.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The purpose of the proposed amendment to Subpart 4-2 of the Rules of the Board of regents and section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is to allow institutions that are currently accredited in accordance with Section 52.21 of the Regulations to apply for accreditation through an accrediting association that is seeking recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE) but that has not yet achieved recognition status, and still meet the “continuous accreditation requirement” in 52.21. This will allow institutions to have more than a single accreditation option.
The amendment does not impose any new recordkeeping or other compliance requirements, and will not have an adverse economic impact, on local governments or small businesses. Because it is evident from the nature of the proposed amendment that it does not affect small businesses or local governments, no further steps were needed to ascertain that fact and one were taken. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis for small businesses and local governments is not required and one has not been prepared.
Rural Area Flexibility Analysis
1. TYPES AND ESTIMATED NUMBER OF RURAL AREAS:
This proposed amendment applies to all institutions of higher education in New York State with education preparation programs registered by the Department, including those located in the 44 rural counties with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants and the 71 towns and urban counties with a population density of 150 square miles or less.
2. REPORTING, RECORDKEEPING, AND OTHER COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS; AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:
Currently, Section 52.21 of the Regulations requires all institutions of higher education with registered educator preparation programs (e.g., teacher, educational leader) to be accredited by an acceptable professional education accrediting association. When this regulation was first adopted by the Board of Regents in 1999, there were two options for educator preparation programs that were recognized by either the CHEA or the USDE: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). In addition, a process for accreditation was developed by the Board of Regents and implemented in 2002, but was discontinued by the Board in 2010 due to budget and staffing shortages.
In 2013, NCATE and TEAC consolidated to form the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), leaving a single national accreditor for educator preparation providers. Since this time, many NYS educator preparation providers (EPPs) have expressed a desire to have more than a single accreditation option.
At this time, the Department is aware of an organization that is in the process of seeking CHEA approval to become a recognized accreditor of EPPs. This organization is working with higher education faculty and state education agencies from multiple states on the development of its standards, processes and policies for accreditation so that it can apply to become an accreditor recognized by CHEA. The Department would like to ensure that EPPs have the opportunity to explore alternative accreditation options if and when they become available. However, EPPs have raised concerns that, given the typical timeframe for a professional education accrediting association to achieve recognition by USDE or CHEA, they could be unable to pursue accreditation with this new accrediting association and simultaneously meet the Department’s requirement of continuous accreditation or initial accreditation.
Proposed Amendment
The proposed amendment will allow institutions that are currently accredited by NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP to apply for accreditation through an accrediting association that is seeking recognition from the CHEA or USDE, but has not yet achieved recognition status, and still meet the “continuous accreditation requirement” set forth in Section 52.21 of the Commissioner’s Regulations for teacher and educational leader preparation, and school counselor programs. Institutions that choose to seek accreditation through an accrediting association seeking USDE or CHEA recognition will be required to notify the Department prior to the expiration of their current accreditation period to demonstrate their commitment to pursuing accreditation through such accreditor.
In addition, institutions must complete the accreditation process with the accrediting association seeking CHEA or USDE recognition within five years of the date of notification to the Department to ensure that all of their registered educator preparation programs meet the accreditation requirement. In the event that an accrediting association seeking CHEA or USDE recognition is denied such recognition, institutions that can document that they were actually in the process of pursuing accreditation with such association will be held harmless and the Department would work with the institution on a timeline for earning accreditation through CAEP.
The proposed amendment also makes technical amendments to eliminate all references to RATE (the discontinued Regents accreditation process) in Section 52.21 of the Regulations and repeals Subpart 4-2 of the Rules of the Board of Regents which describes the RATE process because this process was discontinued in September 2010.
3. COSTS:
The proposed amendment does not impose any costs on institutions of higher education.
4. MINIMIZING ADVERSE IMPACT:
The proposed amendments create no adverse impact.
5. RURAL AREA PARTICIPATION:
Copies of the proposed amendments have been provided to Rural Advisory Committee for review and comment.
Job Impact Statement
The purpose of the proposed amendment to Subpart 4-2 of the Rules of the Board of regents and section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is to allow institutions that are currently accredited in accordance with Section 52.21 of the Regulations to apply for accreditation through an accrediting association that is seeking recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE) but that has not yet achieved recognition status, and still meet the “continuous accreditation requirement” in 52.21. This will allow institutions to have more than a single accreditation option.
Because it is evident from the nature of the proposed amendments that they will have no impact on the number of jobs or employment opportunities in New York State, no further steps were needed to ascertain that fact and none were taken.
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