April 5, 2013

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AACP Advocacy Updates and Alerts

April 5, 2013 

Sequester impact: The impact of the across‐the‐board funding reductions authorized in the Budget Control Act of 2011, referred to as the sequester, is starting to be felt across the nation. Two recent articles, published by Bloomberg News and the Huffington Post, describe the negative consequences of the sequester on research. To continue our support for reinstating the lost program funding and a balanced approach to deficit reduction, AACP continues to seek your input on how the sequester is impacting your activities at the local level. Please send a short description that includes the amount of the funding lost and the outcomes of that loss to Will Lang.

Dept. of Ed confuses institutions: The U.S. Department of Education in October 29, 2010 edition of the Federal Register published a final rule regarding changes to the program integrity provisions of the Higher Education Act. The final rule addressed a number of program integrity issues including the requirement of state authorization of distance education programs, credit hour definition and, recognition of accrediting agencies. Recently, in an article published in Inside Higher Education it is revealed that the Department is interpreting the "state authorization" rule in a manner that potential puts some institutions at risk for Title IV student financial assistance program eligibility. The Department has informed these institutions that their accreditation status does not deem them state approved (600.9 (a)(1)(i)(B)). The text of the rule states:

Sec. 600.9 State authorization.

(a)(1) An institution described under Sec. 600.4, 600.5, and 600.6 is legally authorized by a State if the State has a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws, and the institution meets the provisions of paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii), or (b) of this section.

(i)(A) The institution is established by name as an educational institution by a State through a charter, statute, constitutional provision, or other action issued by an appropriate State agency or State entity and is authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading to a degree or certificate.

(B) The institution complies with any applicable State approval or licensure [[Page 66947]] requirements, except that the State may exempt the institution from any State approval or licensure requirements based on the institution's accreditation by one or more accrediting agencies recognized by the Secretary or based upon the institution being in operation for at least 20 years.

(ii) If an institution is established by a State on the basis of an authorization to conduct business in the State or to operate as a nonprofit charitable organization, but not established by name as an educational institution under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the institution–

(A) By name, must be approved or licensed by the State to offer programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading to a degree or certificate; and

(B) May not be exempt from the State's approval or licensure requirements based on accreditation, years in operation, or other comparable exemption.

(2) The Secretary considers an institution to meet the provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section if the institution is authorized by name to offer educational programs beyond secondary education by--

(i) The Federal Government; or

(ii) As defined in 25 U.S.C. 1802(2), an Indian tribe, provided that the institution is located on tribal lands and the tribal government has a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning an institution and enforces applicable tribal requirements or laws.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, an institution is considered to be legally authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education if it is exempt from State authorization as a religious institution under the State constitution or by State law.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a religious institution is an institution that--

(i) Is owned, controlled, operated, and maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation; and

(ii) Awards only religious degrees or certificates including, but not limited to, a certificate of Talmudic studies, an associate of Biblical studies, a bachelor of religious studies, a master of divinity, or a doctor of divinity.

(c) If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)

It is recommended that your review this state authorization process thoroughly with the appropriate individuals within your institution to determine your compliance with the rule as written. IF your institution finds that your compliance is called into question by the Department please share that information with Will Lang. This issue is being discussed among other health professions education organizations and other institutions with specialty accreditation. As a further note, the interpretation of this rule should not determine the ability of your institution to deliver experiential learning outside the state in which your institution is located. IF your institution is concerned with the possible interpretation of this rule to challenge interstate experiential learning by the Department please share that information with Will Lang.

AHRQ grants announced: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released the following funding announcements:

  1. AHRQ Patient‐Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01).

NIH LRP application changes: As part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) retrospective review initiative, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces changes to the application process for its loan repayment programs (LRP). In the February 22, 2012 edition of the Federal Register, NIH published a notice of proposed rule‐making that described the changes proposed for the LRPs and requested public comment on those proposed changes. The notice in the April 5, 2013 edition of the Federal Register is the final rule implementing those changes. The changes are effective May 6, 2013.

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Founded in 1900, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is a national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education and educators. Comprising all accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy including more than 6,400 faculty, 57,000 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,700 individuals pursuing graduate study, AACP is committed to excellence in pharmacy education.

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