Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/06/2020          

Accreditation Reform Act of 2020

Date Version PDF TXT
02/06/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5768 

To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to protect students and tax-
payers by modernizing evaluation and increasing transparency in the 
accreditation system, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 6, 2020 
Mrs. TRAHAN (for herself, Ms. DEAN, and Mrs. HAYES) introduced the 

following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor 

A BILL 
To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to protect 

students and taxpayers by modernizing evaluation and 
increasing transparency in the accreditation system, and 
for other purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Accreditation Reform 4

Act of 2020’’. 5

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2 

•HR 5768 IH

SEC. 2. NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON INSTITU-1

TIONAL QUALITY AND INTEGRITY. 2

Paragraph (1) of section 114(c) of the Higher Edu-3

cation Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1011c(c)) is amended to 4

read as follows: 5

‘‘(1) advise the Secretary with respect to— 6

‘‘(A) the establishment and enforcement of 7

the standards of accrediting agencies or asso-8

ciations under subpart 2 of part H of title IV 9

and how such standards relate to programs 10

under such title; 11

‘‘(B) participation in Federal recognition 12

reviews (including on-site inspections and re-13

views of institutions of higher education and 14

unannounced site visits) of accrediting agencies 15

or associations, including through document re-16

quests that are considered part of the petitions 17

for recognition of such accrediting agencies or 18

associations under section 496; and 19

‘‘(C) whether to recognize an accrediting 20

agency or association under section 496;’’. 21

SEC. 3. INDEPENDENT EVALUATION OF ACCREDITATION 22

SYSTEM. 23

Section 496 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 24

U.S.C. 1099b) is amended— 25

(1) in subsection (n)(1)— 26

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3 

•HR 5768 IH

(A) in the matter before subparagraph (A), 1

by inserting ‘‘and data and evidence compiled 2

by the Department of Education’’ before the 3

second period; 4

(B) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) 5

and (B) as subparagraphs (B) and (C), respec-6

tively; 7

(C) by inserting before subparagraph (B), 8

as redesignated by subparagraph (B), the fol-9

lowing: 10

‘‘(A) prior to the solicitation of third-party 11

information concerning the performance of the 12

accrediting agency or association under sub-13

paragraph (B), the public comments received by 14

the Secretary pursuant to subsection (r)(1) with 15

respect to the petition of the accrediting agency 16

or association to be recognized under this sec-17

tion;’’; 18

(D) in subparagraph (C), as redesignated 19

by subparagraph (B), by striking the period at 20

the end and inserting a semicolon; and 21

(E) by adding at the end the following: 22

‘‘(D) any data the Department of Edu-23

cation has previously collected with respect to 24

the performance of the institutions of higher 25

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4 

•HR 5768 IH

education that the accrediting agency or asso-1

ciation accredits, including— 2

‘‘(i) any action taken by the accred-3

iting agency or association to limit an in-4

stitution of higher education, such as re-5

strictions on enrollment or other sub-6

stantive changes; 7

‘‘(ii) any action taken by an accred-8

iting agency or association to address the 9

retention, course completion, or graduation 10

rates of an institution of higher education; 11

‘‘(iii) student achievement data at 12

such institutions of higher education; 13

‘‘(iv) findings under completed pro-14

gram and audit reviews of such institutions 15

of higher education; and 16

‘‘(v) a record of such institutions of 17

higher education that fail to meet the fi-18

nancial responsibility requirements under 19

section 486(d)(2)(C)(i); 20

‘‘(E) a summary record of other actions 21

(including initial and reaffirmations of accredi-22

tation, substantive changes, monitoring, warn-23

ing, probation, show cause, or limits placed on 24

an institution of higher education accredited by 25

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5 

•HR 5768 IH

the accrediting agency or association, such as 1

limits on enrollment) taken by the accrediting 2

agency or association and an explanation for 3

such actions; and 4

‘‘(F) conducted at least once annually, an 5

enhanced review of the standards of any accred-6

iting agency or association that accredited an 7

institution of higher education— 8

‘‘(i) which was the subject of an inves-9

tigation, settlement, or adverse judgement 10

by a Federal or State authority for a viola-11

tion pertaining to fraud or abuse, deceptive 12

practices, or material harm to students en-13

rolled or previously enrolled at such insti-14

tution of higher education; or 15

‘‘(ii) that closed without a teach-out 16

agreement.’’; 17

(2) in subsection (o), by inserting ‘‘(including 18

limitations on accrediting agencies or associations)’’ 19

before ‘‘and for the appeal’’; and 20

(3) by adding at the end the following: 21

‘‘(r) TRANSPARENCY REQUIREMENTS.— 22

‘‘(1) NOTICE AND COMMENT.—The Secretary 23

shall, with respect to each petition made by an ac-24

crediting agency or association to receive recognition 25

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6 

•HR 5768 IH

under this section, make publicly available on the 1

website of the Department of Education for pur-2

poses of public notice and comment, the following: 3

‘‘(A) Such petition. 4

‘‘(B) With respect to each institution of 5

higher education accredited by the accrediting 6

agency or association that made such petition, 7

a record of student complaints received by, or 8

available to, such accrediting agency or associa-9

tion. 10

‘‘(C) A record of investigations, lawsuits, 11

settlements, or adverse judgments by a Federal 12

or State authority for a violation relating to 13

fraud or abuse, deceptive practices, or material 14

harm to students enrolled or previously enrolled 15

at each institution of higher education accred-16

ited by such accrediting agency or association. 17

‘‘(D) Any negative action against an insti-18

tution of higher education accredited by such 19

accrediting agency or association. 20

‘‘(E) Any documents of such accrediting 21

agency or association requested by the Sec-22

retary for purposes of review by the National 23

Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality 24

and Integrity under section 114. 25

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7 

•HR 5768 IH

‘‘(F) Such other information as the Sec-1

retary determines appropriate. 2

‘‘(2) ACCREDITING AGENCY OR ASSOCIATION 3

DOCUMENTS.—The Secretary shall establish and 4

maintain on the website of the Department of Edu-5

cation the following: 6

‘‘(A) All final documents produced in an 7

accrediting agency or association review of in-8

stitutions of higher education accredited by 9

such accrediting agency or association, includ-10

ing on-site inspection and unannounced site 11

visit reports, substantive change reviews and 12

decisions, decision letters, and all other final 13

documents that the Secretary determines appro-14

priate. 15

‘‘(B) All final documents produced by the 16

Secretary in determining whether an accrediting 17

agency or association is recognized under this 18

section, including— 19

‘‘(i) a summary of any deficiencies 20

found with respect to such an accrediting 21

agency or association; and 22

‘‘(ii) the rationale for recognition or 23

denial of such an accrediting agency or as-24

sociation. 25

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8 

•HR 5768 IH

‘‘(C) Aggregate outcome data for institu-1

tions of higher education accredited by each ac-2

crediting agency or association.’’. 3

Æ 

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Picture Name From Date Type
Lori Trahan D-MA 02/06/2020 Sponsor
Bennie Thompson D-MS 03/04/2020 Cosponsor
Sheila Lee D-TX 02/25/2020 Cosponsor
Jahana Hayes D-CT 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Raul Grijalva D-AZ 03/04/2020 Cosponsor
Madeleine Dean D-PA 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Date Branch Action
02/06/2020 President Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.Action By: House of Representatives
02/06/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki






Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Congress


Department of Education
1099b) is amended— (1)in subsection (n)(1)— (A)in the matter before subparagraph (A), by inserting and data and evidence compiled by the Department of Education before the second period; (B)by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) as subparagraphs (B) and (C), respectively; (C)by inserting before subparagraph (B), as redesignated by subparagraph (B), the following: (A)prior to the solicitation of third-party information concerning the performance of the accrediting agency or associat

House of Representatives
House of Representatives 2020-02-06 text/xml EN Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, this file is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain

Labor
Hayes) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and LaborA BILLTo amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to protect students and taxpayers by modernizing evaluation and increasing transparency in the accreditation system, and for other purposes


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type