34 CFR § 602.3 - What definitions apply to this part?
(b) The following definitions apply to this part:
Accrediting agency or agency means a legal entity, or that part of a legal entity, that conducts accrediting activities through voluntary, non-Federal peer review and makes decisions concerning the accreditation or preaccreditation status of institutions, programs, or both.
Act means the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
Adverse accrediting action or adverse action means the denial, withdrawal, suspension, revocation, or termination of accreditation or preaccreditation, or any comparable accrediting action an agency may take against an institution or program.
Advisory Committee means the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.
Compliance report means a written report that the Department requires an agency to file when the agency is found to be out of compliance to demonstrate that the agency has corrected deficiencies specified in the decision letter from the senior Department official or the Secretary. Compliance reports must be reviewed by Department staff and the Advisory Committee and approved by the senior Department official or, in the event of an appeal, by the Secretary.
Distance education means education that uses one or more of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this definition to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies may include -
(1) The internet;
(2) One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;
(3) Audio conferencing; or
(4) Video cassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition.
Final accrediting action means a final determination by an accrediting agency regarding the accreditation or preaccreditation status of an institution or program. A final accrediting action is a decision made by the agency, at the conclusion of any appeals process available to the institution or program under the agency's due process policies and procedures.
Institutional accrediting agency means an agency that accredits institutions of higher education.
Monitoring report means a report that an agency is required to submit to Department staff when it is found to be substantially compliant. The report contains documentation to demonstrate that -
(i) The agency is implementing its current or corrected policies; or
(ii) The agency, which is compliant in practice, has updated its policies to align with those compliant practices.
Program means a postsecondary educational program offered by an institution of higher education that leads to an academic or professional degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential.
Programmatic accrediting agency means an agency that accredits specific educational programs, including those that prepare students in specific academic disciplines or for entry into a profession, occupation, or vocation.
Recognition means an unappealed determination by the senior Department official under § 602.36, or a determination by the Secretary on appeal under § 602.37, that an accrediting agency complies with the criteria for recognition listed in subpart B of this part and that the agency is effective in its application of those criteria. A grant of recognition to an agency as a reliable authority regarding the quality of education or training offered by institutions or programs it accredits remains in effect for the term granted except upon a determination made in accordance with subpart C of this part that the agency no longer complies with the subpart B criteria or that it has become ineffective in its application of those criteria.
Representative of the public means a person who is not -
(1) An employee, member of the governing board, owner, or shareholder of, or consultant to, an institution or program that either is accredited or preaccredited by the agency or has applied for accreditation or preaccreditation;
(2) A member of any trade association or membership organization related to, affiliated with, or associated with the agency; or
(3) A spouse, parent, child, or sibling of an individual identified in paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition.
Scope of recognition or scope means the range of accrediting activities for which the Secretary recognizes an agency. The Secretary may place a limitation on the scope of an agency's recognition for title IV, HEA purposes. The Secretary's designation of scope defines the recognition granted according to -
(i) Types of degrees and certificates covered;
(ii) Types of institutions and programs covered;
(iii) Types of preaccreditation status covered, if any; and
(iv) Coverage of accrediting activities related to distance education or correspondence courses.
Senior Department official means the official in the U.S. Department of Education designated by the Secretary who has, in the judgment of the Secretary, appropriate seniority and relevant subject matter knowledge to make independent decisions on accrediting agency recognition.
Substantial compliance means the agency demonstrated to the Department that it has the necessary policies, practices, and standards in place and generally adheres with fidelity to those policies, practices, and standards; or the agency has policies, practices, and standards in place that need minor modifications to reflect its generally compliant practice.