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Dynamic Chiropractic – November 7, 1990, Vol. 08, Issue 23

"SCASA Is Worthy of Federal Renewal"

By James W. Healey, DC

SCASA received initial recognition from the U.S. Secretary of Education on August 30, 1988, for a period of two years. This initial federal recognition authorized SCASA to operate as a national specialized accrediting agency which accredits or preaccredits colleges, institutions, or programs consistent with SCASA's standards of straight chiropractic which lead to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

At that time, two such colleges had sought status with SCASA and two jurisdictions had approved it as an accrediting agency for purposes of deciding licensure eligibility for graduates. SCASA has seen much growth and progress since then.

Now SCASA is in a renewal year with the U.S. Department of Education. I believe it is in this matter that SCASA's progress will be highly significant. The process of renewal of recognition is something that all federally recognized accrediting agencies must periodically go through. The time between renewals may vary according to the decision of the Secretary of Education in granting recognition. It should be noted, though, that the period of recognition is not rigidly determined by the calendar and recognition does not automatically expire on its anniversary date. It is extended until such time as the secretary issues a decision on renewal. In SCASA's present case, this means that SCASA remains a federally recognized agency beyond August 30, 1990, regardless of whatever rumors may have been started, until its renewal is considered.

The process of renewal requires submission of a petition and documentation demonstrating compliance with federal criteria. SCASA's petition, submitted earlier this year, is currently being reviewed by the Department of Education staff. This work may take months as the staff prepares it analysis and passes its work on to the secretary's National Advisory Committee. The National Advisory Committee will hold a hearing on the petition at the time of this writing scheduled for November, and would then make a recommendation to the secretary. The secretary would then review the recommendation and the pertinent materials along with the petition and issue a decision on renewal. A decision on SCASA might be made near year's end or early in 1991.

We believe there will be some opposition to SCASA's renewal but also tremendous support. Officials of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and others have consistently and falsely claimed improprieties with the process of SCASA's federal recognition. There was, of course, nothing improper in SCASA's approval. The same procedures were used with SCASA as with CCE and all other accrediting agencies. We have seen continued attacks made without demonstrated or documented merit on this.

As I have said, SCASA has shown growth and progress over these past two years. I believe our petition is strengthened as a result. SCASA has completed a validation study of its educational standard and has conducted ongoing review of its policies and procedures. The result is an agency which I believe to be more capable and effective in serving the educational needs of its growing membership and sponsorship and of the straight chiropractic community.

SCASA has been one of the most observed agencies recently in the world of education, hosting observers from the Department of Education at site visitations to colleges and at its Commission on Accreditation meetings. I feel that the observers' reports from these have been quite positive.

SCASA has gone from being approved in only 2 states to 16, with continuing efforts for approval in all states, and from having 2 member colleges to 3. The base of support and acceptance has grown.

I will not offer a prediction or presume to know what the secretary will decide in SCASA's renewal, but I do know that the work and support of many individuals has produced a fine accrediting agency in SCASA that I believe to be worthy of continued federal recognition.

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