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(GEN-97-05) Information concerning the restructuring of the Institutional Participation and Oversight Service

DCLPublicationDate: 6/1/97
DCLID: GEN-97-5
AwardYear:
Summary: Information concerning the restructuring of the Institutional Participation and Oversight Service


June, 1997

GEN-97-5


SUMMARY: Information concerning the restructuring of
the Institutional Participation and Oversight Service


Dear Colleague:

The Institutional Participation and Oversight Service (IPOS) is one
of six Services within Student Financial Assistance Programs of
the U. S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary
Education. The purpose of this letter is to describe the Service and,
in particular, focus on the restructuring of the Service which
became effective November, 1996. Phone numbers and contacts
to which you may have referred in the past, as well as those
numbers and contact provided to you by the Department in prior
mailings or resource materials, may have changed as a result of
this restructuring. Further, information and resources you and
your staff may have used in the past may have also changed.

The full text of the reorganization of IPOS has been available on the
Student Financial Aid Bulletin Board Service (BBS), as well as the
Department of Education's World Wide Web Home Page. Also, it
was described in an article of the December 12, 1996 Newsletter of
the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.


PRIOR STRUCTURE

The Institutional Participation and Oversight Service (IPOS) is
charged with the responsibility to monitor the eligibility of
postsecondary institutions to participate in the Title IV Federal
Student Financial Assistance programs. Through IPOS, the
Department of Education certifies institutions for participation in the
Title IV student aid programs by reviewing their administrative and
financial capabilities to assure compliance with the operational and
fiscal requirements of Title IV law.

In the past you may have known the various divisions of IPOS as
the INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION DIVISION (IPD) which
handled matters related to new and recertified institutional
eligibility and financial analyses of institutions for the financial
responsibility portion of the statutory requirements, the
INSTITUTIONAL MONITORING DIVISION (IMD) which
handled audit resolution and the REGIONAL OPERATIONS
DIVISION (ROD) which was responsible for training activities and
program reviews of institutions within the 10 regions of the
Department. In addition there were the ACCREDITING AND
STATE LIAISON DIVISION AND THE COMPLIANCE AND
ENFORCEMENT DIVISION.

REORGANIZATION: IPD + IMD + ROD = CASE
MANAGEMENT DIVISIONS

In order to improve coordination and efficiency in the Department's
monitoring activities as well as provide more cohesive service to
institutions, most of the activities which had been handled by the
INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION, INSTITUTIONAL
MONITORING AND REGIONAL OPERATIONS DIVISIONS
have been consolidated into four CASE MANAGEMENT
DIVISIONS, whereby staffs in each of the Department's ten regions
and in Washington are assigned a portfolio of schools to monitor
and assist. Processes such as recertification (the renewal of already-
participating institutions), audit resolution, annual financial analysis
and program reviews have been consolidated into a case
management approach and are handled by staff teams within an
assigned region in four Quadrants (Northeast, Southeast, Northwest,
Southwest). Thus, in dealing with matters related to audit, program
review, financial analysis and recertification, schools will be
directed to one regional team which will provide integrated oversight
services, including specialized training and institutional
improvement opportunities, as resources permit. Within the four
Quadrants or Case Management Divisions, there are ten teams, one
for each of the Department's regions.

INITIAL PARTICIPATION, MERGERS AND CHANGES OF
OWNERSHIP

An exception to the region-based case team management process
involves initial participation of schools and changes of ownership or
control of institutions. These functions, once performed by the
Institutional Participation Division (IPD) will now be performed by a
specialized branch of the new Accrediting and Eligibility
Determination Division called the Initial Participation Branch.
Applications from schools seeking first-time eligibility, changes of
ownership or mergers of institutions will be reviewed by the Initial
Participation Branch (IPB).


OTHER DIVISIONS

In addition to the four Case Management Divisions (Northeast,
Southeast, Northwest and Southwest), there are now five additional
divisions located in Washington, DC which are described in more
detail in the enclosed information. These are:


1. Accreditation and Eligibility Determination Division
2. Data Management and Analysis Division
3. Administrative Actions and Appeals Division
4. Default Management Division
5. Performance Improvement and Procedures Division

Nine divisions, the five enumerated above and the four Case
Management Divisions make up the restructured IPOS.


WHY THIS REORGANIZATION WAS MADE

By increasing the integration and coordination of what used to be
individual functional processes, the Department will be able to have
a more thorough understanding of an institution's overall compliance
with regulatory requirements and will be able to process actions and
provide service more quickly by having most information about the
compliance activity related to an institution available in one place.
The restructuring of IPOS is intended to respond to concerns that the
separate functional units of IPOS, each of which had responsibility
for individual aspects of institutional monitoring, may have at times
created an environment which was fragmented and confusing to
institutions. Because no one unit had all the data and information
about a particular school, it was difficult to provide cohesive
monitoring and technical assistance.

A detailed description of the new IPOS structure is enclosed for your
reference. Please be sure to replace any phone numbers which you
may have used in the past with the phone numbers and contacts
enclosed.

We are optimistic that this reorganization will result in an IPOS that
will provide better service to institutions while enhancing efficiency
and effective oversight of the student financial aid programs. For
additional information, please visit our Web site at
www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/Professionals/sfaorg/ipos.html.

Sincerely,


Marianne R. Phelps
Director, Institutional Participation
and Oversight Service


Attachment

Last Modified: 05/31/1997