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April 20, 2011
Dear COMTA Community Members,
This letter is intended to bring your attention to an area of the COMTA Policies & Procedures which was clarified in the November 2010 version. The Commission has a responsibility to monitor compliance with the accreditation standards. All areas of non-compliance must be resolved within a timeframe that is related to the length of the program offered at the school. The timelines for demonstrating compliance are part of our required policies for being recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Please review pages 7 and 8 of the COMTA Policies & Procedures, November 2010 version to see the clarified timelines related to resolving issues of compliance.
As excerpted from page 7 of the COMTA Policy & Procedure Manual: (To view manual as PDF, click here)
The time period for conditional accreditation will be in accordance with the overall timeline for meeting compliance as required by the U.S. Secretary of Education recognition requirements noted here: The timeline is based on the length of the program in question, or the longest program offered by the institution.
If the program is less than one year in length, the period shall not exceed twelve (12) months. If the program is longer than one year but less than two years, the period shall not exceed eighteen (18) months. The maximum length of time for programs of two years or longer shall not exceed two years (24 months).
All statuses which recognize accreditation with some areas needing improvement for full compliance (conditional accreditation, probation, or deferral of re-accreditation) shall contribute to the timeline together. The time period begins when the institution or program is notified by the Commission that there is an area of non-compliance. If compliance is not demonstrated in the allotted time frame, the Commission will take immediate action.
In the past, the Commission had removed statuses such as Show Cause or Conditional from grants of accreditation when the institution or program had demonstrated a plan for improvement in the area of noncompliance. Effective with the November 2010 approval of the Policies & Procedures, the Commission has been retaining improvement statuses until the areas of non-compliance are resolved.
If you have been recently notified of a status which requires improvement and need help understanding the timeline, please contact the COMTA staff at (202) 895-1518 or by email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.