38 CFR § 21.4253 - Accredited courses.

§ 21.4253 Accredited courses.

(a)General. A course may be approved as an accredited course if it meets one of the following requirements:

(1) The course has been accredited and approved by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association. “Candidate for accreditation” status is not a basis for approval of a course as accredited.

(2) Credit for such course is approved by the Statedepartment of education for credit toward a high school diploma.

(3) The course is conducted under the Act of February 23, 1917 (20 U.S.C. 11et seq.).

(4) The course is accepted by the Statedepartment of education for credit for a teacher's certificate or teacher's degree.

(5) The course is approved by the State as meeting the requirement of regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under sections 1819(f)(2)(A)(i) and 1919(f)(2)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.1395i-3(f)(2)(A)(i) and 1396r(f)(2)(A)(i)).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3675(a))

(b)Course objective. Any curriculum offered by an educational institution which is a member of one of the nationally recognized accrediting agencies or associations and which leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate will be accepted as an accredited course when approved as such by the State approving agency. Any curriculum accredited by one of the specialized nationally recognized accrediting agencies or associations and which leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate will also be accepted as an accredited course when approved as such by the State approving agency. Approval of the individual subjects, required or elective, which are designated as a part of a degree curriculum will not be necessary. Such approval may include noncredit subjects that are prescribed as a required part of the curriculum. The course objective may be educational (high school diploma or a standard college degree) or it may be vocational or professional (an occupation).

(c)Accrediting agencies. A nationally recognized accrediting agency or association is one that appears on the list published by the Secretary of Education as required by 38 U.S.C. 3675(a). The State approving agencies may use the accreditation of these accrediting agencies or associations for approval of the course specifically accredited and approved by the agency or association.

(d)School qualification. A school desiring to enroll veterans or eligible persons in accredited courses will make application for approval of such courses to the State approving agency. The State approving agency may approve the application of the school when the school and its accredited courses are found to have met the following criteria and additional reasonable criteria established by the State approving agency:

(1) The institution (other than an elementary or secondary school) has submitted to the State approving agency copies of its catalog or bulletin which are certified as true and correct in content and policy by an authorized representative, and the publication shall:

(i)State with specificity the requirements of the institution with respect to graduation;

(ii) Include institution policy and regulations relative to standards of progress required of the student by the institution (this policy will define the grading system of the institution, the minimum grades considered satisfactory, conditions for interruption for unsatisfactory grades or progress, a description of the probationary period, if any, allowed by the institution, conditions of reentrance for those students dismissed for unsatisfactory progress, and a statement regarding progress records kept by the institution and furnished the student);

(iii) Include institution policy and regulations relating to student conduct and conditions for dismissal for unsatisfactory conduct; and

(iv) Include any attendance standards of the institution if the institution has and enforces such standards.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3675(a), 3676(b))

(2) Adequate records are kept by the school to show the progress of each veteran or eligible person. The records must be sufficient to show continued pursuit at the rate for which enrolled and the progress being made. They must include final grade in each subject for each term, quarter, or semester; record of withdrawal from any subject to include the last date of attendance for a resident course; and record of reenrollment in subjects from which there was a withdrawal; and may include such records as attendance for resident courses, periodic grades and examination results.

(3) The school maintains a written record of previous education and training of the veteran or eligible person which clearly indicates that appropriate credit has been given by the school for previous education and training, with the training period shortened proportionately. The record must be cumulative in that the results of each enrollment period (term, quarter or semester) must be included so that it shows each subject undertaken and the final result, i.e., passed, failed, incomplete or withdrawn.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3675(b))

(4) The school enforces a policy relative to standards of conduct and progress required of the student. The school policy relative to standards of progress must be specific enough to determine the point in time when educational benefits should be discontinued, pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 3474 when the veteran or eligible person ceases to make satisfactory progress. The policy must include the grade or grade point average that will be maintained if the student is to graduate. For example, a 4-year college may require a 1.5 grade point average the first year, a 1.75 average at mid-year the second year, and a cumulative average of 2.0 thereafter on the basis of 4.0 for an A.

(5) If the school has a standard of attendance, it maintains records of attendance for veterans and eligible persons enrolled in resident courses which are adequate to show the student meets the school's standard of attendance.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3474, 3675)

(6) The accredited courses, the curriculum of which they form a part, and the instruction connected with those courses are consistent in quality, content, and length with similar courses in public educational institutions and other private educational institutions in the State with recognized accepted standards.

(7) There is in the educational institution offering the course adequate space, equipment, instructional material, and instructor personnel to provide training of good quality.

(8) The educational and experience qualifications of directors, and administrators of the educational institution offering the courses, and instructors teaching the courses for which approval is sought, are adequate.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3675(b), 3676(c)(1), (2), (3))

(e)College level. Under the provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, any course at college level approved by the State approving agency as an accredited course will be accepted by the Department of Veterans Affairs as an accredited course when all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The college or university is accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting agency listed by the Secretary of Education or the course is accredited at the college level by a specialized accrediting agency or association recognized by the Secretary of Education; and

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3675)

(2) The course has entrance requirements of not less than the requirements applicable to the college level program of the school; and

(3) Credit for the course is awarded in terms of standard semester or quarter hours or by recognition at completion by the granting of a standard college degree.

(f)Courses not leading to a standard college degree. Any course in a school approved by the State approving agency will be accepted as an accredited course when all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The course or the school offering such course is accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency; and

(2) The course offers training in the field for which the accrediting agency is recognized and at a level for which it is recognized; and

(3) The course leads to a high school diploma or a vocational objective.

(Paperwork requirements in § 21.4253(d)(1) were approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2900-0568)
[31 FR 6774, May 6, 1966, as amended at 38 FR 14938, June 7, 1973; 40 FR 33825, Aug. 12, 1975; 43 FR 35302, Aug. 9, 1978; 48 FR 37992, Aug. 22, 1983; 50 FR 43135, Oct. 24, 1985; 60 FR 32272, June 21, 1995; 61 FR 6783, Feb. 22, 1996; 62 FR 35424, July 1, 1997; 65 FR 81742, Dec. 27, 2000; 73 FR 1077, Jan. 7, 2008]