When the Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Education
(USDE) voted against the re-recognition of the Straight
Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA), they based
their decision on two areas of non-compliance:
(b) failure to demonstrate "acceptance throughout the United States by licensing bodies..."
(c) failure to demonstrate "acceptance throughout the United States by recognized agencies."
602.19(b) failure to take "into account actions by other recognized agencies in granting initial accreditation or pre-accreditation."
The second area of non-compliance refers to the accreditation of Southern California College of Chiropractic (formerly Pasadena College of Chiropractic) by SCASA, during a time when SCCC (then Pasadena) was involved in serious accreditation problems with the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).
Testifying at the hearing against the re-recognition of SCASA were (among others) Bruce A. Reyes, D.C., chairman of the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners and Joel Primes, the California attorney general's (AG's) representative to the the California board. The Advisory Committee took particular interest that not only was Dr. Reyes testifying, but also Mr. Primes. It is apparently not often that a member of a state AG's office testifies in these types of hearings.
Dr. Reyes and Mr. Primes were able to give the Advisory Committee a very clear picture of the problems that have been almost constant with SCCC -- problems which the California board has in the past, and is apparently continuing, to investigate. Problems of not only a financial nature, but also issues which endangered the quality of the education which the students received.
According to both Mr. Primes and Dr. Reyes, many of these problems were compounded by a severe lack of communication on SCASA's part with the California board. Not being able to reach SCASA representatives by phone, nor having those phone calls returned were only part of the problems stated.
Both Mr. Primes and Dr. Reyes listed a very substantial number of situations that caused much concern by the California Board. At one point, Dr. Reyes very plainly stated: "SCASA policies, actions and decisions are causing problems for the chiropractic profession in California."
The testimonies of Dr. Reyes and Mr. Primes emphasized the responsibilities of an accrediting agency and the seriousness of situations that can arise. While James Healey, D.C., the president of SCASA and other SCASA representatives made every attempt to argue and defend SCASA's actions relating to SCCC, it was very clear when the Advisory Committee members voted, that this definitely represented an area of non-compliance.
The initial recommendation by the Advisory Committee staff was for no re-recognition based on 602.14, failure to show nationwide acceptance. But during discussion, the Advisory Committee members added that SCASA had failed to take into account the actions of other recognized agencies (CCE) in their actions on accreditation.
This part of the hearing and the results thereof perfectly delineates the critical relationship between a state board and a national accrediting agency. It was quite clear that a system of checks and balances should exist between the two agencies. Obviously, when the responsibilities of one are not upheld, there are far-reaching problems created that can affect faculty and students.