Middle States Accreditation-Relevant Federal Regulations
This document is focused on the Commission’s verification of institutional compliance in four areas:
1. Student identity verification in distance and correspondence education
The Commission must verify that institutions have effective procedures in place to ensure that the students who register in a distance or correspondence education course are the same students who participate in and complete the course, and receive the academic credit (34 CFR 602.17(g)).
2. Transfer of credit
In accordance with 34 CFR 602.24(e), the Commission must confirm that an “institution has transfer of credit policies that: (1) Are publicly disclosed in accordance with section 668.43(a)(11); and (2) include a statement of criteria established by the institution regarding the transfer of credit earned at another institution of higher education.”
Section 668.43(a)(11) states:
(a) Institutional information that the institution must make readily available to enrolled and prospective students under this subpart includes, but is not limited to-
(11) A description of the transfer of credit policies established by the institution which must include a statement of the institution’s current transfer of credit policies that includes, at a minimum—
(i) Any established criteria the institution uses regarding the transfer of credit earned at another institution; and
(ii) A list of institutions with which the institution has established an articulation agreement.
3. Title IV Cohort default rate
In accordance with 34 CFR 602.16(a)(1)(x), the Commission must verify that the institution’s three-year cohort default rate is within the federal limit.Financial Aid Default Rates
4. Assignment of credit hours
In accordance with 34 CFR 602.24(f), the Commission “must conduct an effective review and evaluation of the reliability and accuracy of the institution’s assignment of credit hours.” The Commission must review the institution’s policies and procedures for determining the credit hours awarded as well as the application of the institution’s policies and procedures to its programs and coursework. The Commission must make a “reasonable determination of whether the institution’s assignment of credit hours conforms to commonly accepted practice in higher education.”