(a) A postsecondary vocational institution is a public or private nonprofit educational institution that—
(1) Is in a State;
(2) Admits as regular students only persons who—
(i) Have a high school diploma;
(ii) Have the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma; or
(iii) Are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is physically located;
(3) Is legally authorized to provide an educational program beyond secondary education in the State in which the institution is physically located in accordance with § 600.9;
(i) Provides an eligible program of training, as defined in 34 CFR 668.8, to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; and
(ii) May provide a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities, as provided in 34 CFR part 668, subpart O;
(i) Accredited or preaccredited; or
(ii) Approved by a State agency listed in the Federal Register in accordance with 34 CFR part 603, if the institution is a public postsecondary vocational educational institution that seeks to participate only in Federal assistance programs; and
(6) Has been in existence for at least two years.
(1) The Secretary considers an institution to have been in existence for two years only if—
(i) The institution has been legally authorized to provide, and has provided, a continuous education or training program to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application; and
(ii) The education or training program it provides on the date of its eligibility application is substantially the same in length and subject matter as the program it provided during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application.
(i) The Secretary considers an institution to have provided a continuous education or training program during the 24 months preceding the date of its eligibility application even if the institution did not provide that program during normal vacation periods, or periods when the institution temporarily closed due to a natural disaster that affected the institution or the institution's students.
(ii) The Secretary considers an institution to have satisfied the provisions of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section if the institution substantially changed the subject matter of the educational program it provided during that 24-month period because of new technology or the requirements of other Federal agencies.
(3) In determining whether an applicant institution satisfies the requirement contained in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Secretary—
(i) Counts any period during which the applicant institution qualified as an eligible institution of higher education;
(ii) Counts any period during which the applicant institution was part of another eligible institution of higher education, provided that the applicant institution continues to be part of an eligible institution of higher education;
(iii) Counts any period during which the applicant institution has been certified as a branch campus; and
(iv) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, does not count any period during which the applicant institution was a part of another eligible proprietary institution of higher education or postsecondary vocational institution.
(c) An institution is physically located in a State or other instructional site if it has a campus or instructional site in that State.
(d) The Secretary does not recognize the accreditation or preaccreditation of an institution unless the institution agrees to submit any dispute involving the final denial, withdrawal, or termination of accreditation to initial arbitration before initiating any other legal action.