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In early 2019, the Trump Administration convened a series of negotiated rulemaking sessions to reassess higher education standards and reevaluate the role of postsecondary accreditation. C-RAC members have been intimately involved in the negotiated rulemaking process, providing ongoing comments and insight to the U.S. Department of Education, testifying at hearings on proposed policy changes, and serving as negotiators the main rulemaking committee.

The timeline below highlights key moments in the negotiated rulemaking and provides links to additional resources and relevant information. Check back often for news and updates. 
Rulemaking Timeline

May 2020: C-RAC members submit a letter to the Department of Education related to a proposed rule on distance education that resulted from the 2019 negotiated rulemaking. Read the letter here.

October 2019: The Department of Education released final regulations based on the NPRM. Read C-RAC's initial statement here.

July 2019: The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions submit a comment letter in response to the Department's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). 


June 2019: The U.S. Department of Education releases the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, offering stakeholders 30 days to comment on the proposed regulations that were developed through the negotiated rulemaking sessions. Read the NPRM here


January – April 2019: Negotiated rulemaking sessions are held in Washington, D.C.  The negotiated rulemaking concludes on April 3 with a consensus vote. Read C-RAC’s statement.


January 2019: The U.S. Department of Education announces the negotiators who will participate in the rulemaking sessions. Dr. Gellman-Danley is chosen to serve on the Accreditation and Innovation Committee, and Dr. Elizabeth Sibolski, vice chair of C-RAC and president of the Middle States Commission, is named as an alternate. Learn more.

December 2018: The U.S. Department of Education releases two “Rethinking Higher Education” white papers outlining regulatory priorities and policy proposals for the upcoming negotiated rulemaking. Read C-RAC’s statement of response.

September 2018: C-RAC releases formal comments on several U.S. Department of Education proposals that will be discussed as part of the negotiated rulemaking. Read the press release and comment letter.


Additionally, two C-RAC members (Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley, chair of C-RAC and president of the Higher Learning Commission, and Jamienne S. Studley, president of the WASC Senior College and University Commission) offer testimony on issues that will be discussed in the U.S. Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking at hearings in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. Read the testimony and learn more


July 2018: Trump Administration announces plans for a negotiated rulemaking session. Read C-RAC’s statement on the announcement here.

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