A Partnership for Quality
Founded in 1974, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) has been continuously recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable authority on educational quality since 1978. ACCET strives to identify, evaluate, and enhance the delivery of continuing education and training through an independent peer-evaluation process. With a global reach, ACCET’s expansive scope is designed to support a diverse array of non-traditional post-secondary educational providers, including:
ACCET is closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and providing our member institutions additional guidance as it becomes available. This ACCET updated guidance (dated December 14, 2020) is to notify ACCET institutions of: (1) extensions to the time-period for temporary flexibilities due to COVID-19, and (2) additional temporary flexibilities approved by the ACCET Commission at its December 2020 meeting. It is important to note the following:
Temporary flexibilities approved by the ACCET Commission are identified below, including additional temporary flexibilities approved at the December 2020 Commission meeting, as highlighted in italics.
Temporary Flexibilities: ACCET guidance provides certain flexibilities for institutions that are working to help students complete the term in which they are currently enrolled and identifies options available to institutions so that they can continue to serve students for the “duration of the national COVID-19 emergency” to be reassessed by the ACCET Commission at its April 2021 meeting, including:
Temporary Distance Education: The temporary flexibilities authorized to ACCET institutions during the COVID-19 threat are finite. Currently, institutions are permitted (without program approval) to temporarily offer distance learning (IDL) to new students through “the duration of the national COVID-19 emergency” to be reassessed by the ACCET Commission at its April 2021 meeting, with the following exception. The Student Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP) does not permit the enrollment of new F and M students in distance education.
Externships: Institutions will be permitted the temporary flexibility (beginning March 5, 2020) of offering students whose scheduled internship/externship is disrupted due to the national COVID-19 emergency each student’s choice to either:
Labs: Institutions will be permitted the temporary flexibility (beginning March 5, 2020) of offering students, whose scheduled labs are disrupted due to the national COVID-19 emergency, each student’s choice to either:
Verification of High School (or Equivalent) Completion Status: Where an institution is unable to obtain documentation of an applicant’s high school completion or equivalency, an institution will be permitted the temporary flexibility to accept a signed and dated attestation from an applicant. The applicant must attest to his or her high school completion including the approximate date of completion in lieu of the applicant’s official high school diploma, official transcript, or high school equivalency certificate during the national COVID-19 emergency period. Note that this temporary flexibility is not permissible if prohibited by any applicable state and/or other approval or certifying authorities.
Leaves of Absence (LOA): Institutions will be permitted the following temporary flexibilities during the national COVID-19 emergency period (beginning March 27, 2020) relative to leaves of absence, including:
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Institutions will be permitted the following temporary flexibilities during the national COVID-19 emergency period (beginning March 27, 2020) relative to satisfactory academic progress (SAP):
Completion and Placement Statistics:
Completion Flexibility for Calendar Year 2020: For the Calendar Year 2020, the Commission will consider completion waivers for students who are unable to complete their program due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allowable circumstances, include, but are not limited to:
COVID-19 waivers must be documented including the student’s signature, date, and notification of a specific reason. Waivers that bring the percentage above 10% will result in adjusted waiver and completion rates and will be reviewed by the Commission.
Placement Flexibility for Calendar 2020: For the Calendar Year 2020, the Commission will consider placement waivers for students who are waiving placement assistance due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allowable circumstances include, but are not limited to:
COVID-19 Waivers must be documented, including the student’s signature, date, and notification of a specific reason. Waivers that bring the percentage above 15% will result in adjusted waiver and completion rates and will be reviewed by the Commission.
Depending on the duration and severity of COVID-19, the Commission may decide, in future, to review its completion and placement policy such as completion/placement waivers and/or benchmarks.
April 2021 Review Cycle:
ACCET will continue to provide information to ACCET institutions as warranted. Institutions are also advised to frequently check the websites of the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and other authorities for updated information including: