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REORGANIZATION OF THE INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION AND OVERSIGHT SERVICE

PublicationDate: 11/26/96
Summary: REORGANIZATION OF THE INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION AND OVERSIGHT SERVICE
Author: IPOS - Institutional Participation and Oversight Service


Posted November 26, 1996


REORGANIZATION OF THE INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION
AND OVERSIGHT SERVICE

The Institutional Participation and Oversight Service has been restructured
into a team-based case management organization. What does this mean? It
means all the different aspects of monitoring schools (recertification,
audit resolution, financial analysis, program reviews) are being
consolidated into several teams, with each team being responsible for an
assigned portfolio of schools.

This restructuring will make it possible for schools to contact one team,
that will handle all aspects of monitoring, as well as provide assistance on
specific compliance questions and issues. The Service will be able to
process actions more quickly, by having all information on a school
available in one place. This will provide better service to schools, as well
as providing more efficient and effective oversight of the student financial
aid programs.

For your reference, we are providing a detailed description of the
organizational role and activities of the Institutional Participation and
Oversight Service (see below).

DESCRIPTION OF THE INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION
AND OVERSIGHT SERVICE

The Institutional Participation and Oversight Service is one of six services
within Student Financial Assistance Programs (SFAP) that are responsible for
administering Title IV student financial assistance programs.

The Institutional Participation and Oversight Service administers the
process by which institutions are determined to be eligible to participate
in the federal student financial assistance programs and certifies them for
participation. This requires determining whether institutions meet
regulatory requirements for administrative capacity and financial
responsibility. As part of this process, the Service develops and implements
procedures by which the Secretary evaluates and recognizes accrediting
agencies and associations as reliable authorities to determine the quality
of education and training offered by educational institutions.

The Service also develops and implements policies and procedures for
monitoring institutions participating in the Federal student financial
assistance programs to ensure compliance with federal legislation,
regulations, and policies. The Service conducts on-site reviews of
participating educational institutions. When there is evidence of failure to
comply with program requirements, the Service is responsible for initiating
fine, limitation, suspension, termination, and emergency actions against
schools, as well as initiating suspension and debarment actions against
individuals and corporations to preclude their involvement in any federal
activities.

The Service also develops, implements, and refines alternative oversight
programs that emphasize prevention, improvement, and flexibility with
accountability, such as the Quality Assurance (QA) Program. It also develops
alternative approaches to meet legislative goals, such as the QA Program and
the Experimental Sites initiative.

In addition, the Service is responsible for developing and implementing
activities related to resolving issues that arise when schools close,
declare bankruptcy, or are otherwise in financial or administrative
jeopardy. The Service also implements and coordinates the activities of the
Secretary's default reduction initiative.

The Director of the Institutional Participation and Oversight Service (IPOS)
reports directly to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Student Financial
Assistance. IPOS has nine divisions:

* Case Management Division - Northeast;
* Case Management Division - Southeast;
* Case Management Division - Northwest;
* Case Management Division - Southwest;
* Accreditation and Eligibility Determination Division;
* Data Management and Analysis Division;
* Administrative Actions and Appeals Division;
* Performance Improvement and Procedures Division; and
* Default Management Division.

In addition, the Immediate Office of the Director includes the Accreditation
Liaison Officer, who is responsible for liaison activities, on behalf of the
Office of Postsecondary Education, with the National Advisory Committee on
Institutional Quality and Integrity and the National Committee on Foreign
Medical Education and Accreditation.

* CASE MANAGEMENT DIVISION - NORTHEAST
* CASE MANAGEMENT DIVISION - SOUTHEAST
* CASE MANAGEMENT DIVISION - NORTHWEST
* CASE MANAGEMENT DIVISION - SOUTHWEST

The four Case Management Divisions perform similar functions, with each
responsible for a separate section of the country. Ten Area Case Directors
and their immediate staffs direct and implement case management team
functions: audit resolution, program review, financial statement analysis,
and recertification. (These functions previously were performed by the
Institutional Monitoring Division and the Institutional Participation
Division, respectively.)

Each Area Case Director also develops and maintains effective relationships
with representatives of widely diverse groups in the financial aid
community, to ensure that ED priorities and functions address community
needs in correctly administering the student financial aid programs.

The Office of the Area Case Director also includes one or more Institutional
Improvement Specialists responsible for implementing the compliance
improvement function for each team. This assistance function includes
planning and providing any specialized training for postsecondary
educational institutions and state and regional associations on IPOS-related
policy or procedures.

The Case Management Division - Northeast also has responsibility for all
functions related to certification and monitoring of foreign schools.
phone 202 205-3772 for information on foreign schools

Each Division, using a team approach, provides integrated oversight and
management improvement services to institutions receiving Title IV funds,
with priority given to those institutions identified as high-risk.

Contact phone numbers for general information:

Team Phone number States Covered

Case Management Division Northeast

Boston Team 617 223-9338 CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
New York Team 212 264-4022 NJ, NY, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
Philadelphia Team 215 596-0247 DE, MD, PA, VA, WV, Wash DC

Case Management Division Southeast

Atlanta Team 404 331-0556 AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN
Kansas City Team 816 880-4053 IA, KS, MO, NE

Case Management Division Southwest

Dallas Team 214 767-3811 AR, LA, NM, OK, TX
San Francisco Team 415 437-8276 AZ, CA, HI, NV, Am Samoa, Guam, States of
Micronesia, Palau, Marshall Is, N. Marianas

Case Management Division Northwest

Chicago Team 312 886-8767 IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI
Seattle Team 206 287-1770 AK, ID,OR, WA
Denver Team 303 844-3677 CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY

ACCREDITATION AND ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION DIVISION

The Accreditation and Eligibility Determination Division has the following
general responsibilities:

* Develops and implements criteria appropriate for the recognition of
State approval agencies and national and regional institutional and
specialized accrediting associations and agencies as reliable
authorities concerning the quality of education and training offered by
the postsecondary institutions or programs within their respective
scopes of operation.

* Evaluates all petitions for initial recognition, renewal of
recognition, and expanded scope of recognition by accrediting bodies
and State approval agencies, including reports of Department experts,
outside consultants, experts in the field, and third parties regarding
the work of such bodies.

* Evaluates the standards and processes used by foreign countries to
accredit/approve medical schools.

* Evaluates applications from Federal agencies and institutions for
degree-granting authority.

* Works cooperatively with officials of the State Departments of
Education and licensing agencies to strengthen and advance the role of
the States in granting authorization/ licensure to postsecondary
educational institutions to offer programs of instruction.

* Coordinates all ED-wide activities related to closed, bankrupt, or
financially troubled schools in order to protect the interests of the
Federal government and students.

* Evaluates applications submitted by institutions seeking initial
certification to participate in the Title IV, HEA programs and
applications from those schools who have a change in ownership and/or
control, to include mergers.

phone 202 708-7417

The Division is divided into the following Branches:

* Accrediting Agency Evaluation Branch
* State Liaison and Closed School Branch
* Initial Participation Branch

Accrediting Agency Evaluation Branch

The Accrediting Agency Evaluation Branch (AAEB) administers the process
whereby accrediting agencies and State approval agencies for public
postsecondary vocational education and nurse education obtain initial and
continued recognition by the Secretary of Education as reliable authorities
as to the quality of education and training offered by postsecondary
institutions and programs.

State Liaison and Closed School Branch

The State Liaison and Closed School Branch coordinates all ED-wide
activities related to closed, bankrupt, or financially troubled schools to
protect the interests of the Federal government and students. The State
Liaison and Closed School Branch works cooperatively with officials of the
State Departments of Education, higher education coordinating boards, and
State licensing agencies to promote effective gatekeeping and proper
stewardship of Title IV funds.

Closed School Hotline 800 256-7346

Students or Guaranty Agencies may call to obtain a copy of a fact sheet
explaining how to obtain assistance if a school has closed its doors and
stopped providing any instructional programs.

Initial Participation Branch

The Initial Participation Branch analyzes and makes determinations on
applications from schools seeking initial certification for Title IV funding
and applications from those schools who have a change in ownership and/or
control, to include mergers.

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT AND PROCEDURES DIVISION

The Performance Improvement and Procedures Division develops and coordinates
operational procedures for case management. The Division also ensures
consistent and uniform treatment for all institutions participating in the
student financial assistance programs through on-going review and evaluation
of appropriate operational procedures and practices within IPOS. Designs,
develops, and implements applications of performance-based management models
in the Federal student financial assistance programs. Designs, implements,
and manages alternative oversight programs, with an emphasis on prevention,
improvement, and flexibility.
phone 202 708-8197

Procedures Branch

Compiles, analyzes, develops, disseminates, maintains, and revises IPOS
operational practices and procedures related to case management activities.
phone 202 260-5742

Performance and Accountability Improvement Branch

The Performance and Accountability Improvement Branch is responsible for
conducting the Quality Assurance Program and the Experimental Sites Program,
and for the design and development of expanded applications of
performance-based management models in the Federal student financial
assistance programs.
phone 202 260-4788

DATA MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS DIVISION

The Data Management and Analysis Division has lead responsibility for
coordinating the data and information needs of IPOS, operating a document
receipt and control center, and conducting risk analysis to target high-risk
institutions for oversight.
phone 202 708-8208

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS AND APPEALS DIVISION

The Administrative Actions and Appeals Division administers the Secretary's
authority to fine, limit, suspend, terminate and take emergency actions
against postsecondary educational institutions which participate in the
student financial assistance programs. The Division also coordinates appeals
by institutions or third-party servicers from final audit and final program
review determinations. In addition, the Division initiates debarment and
suspension actions against individuals and corporations who have seriously
violated Title IV, HEA program regulations or lack business integrity. The
Division provides advice and technical assistance to guaranty agencies and
the case management teams on administrative actions and other litigation
involving the student aid programs.
phone 202 401-3433

DEFAULT MANAGEMENT DIVISION

The Default Management Division implements and coordinates all activities
related to producing default rates for institutions of postsecondary
education and resolving default rate appeals.

Institutions may call for general information about default rates or to
inquire about their own rate or appeal.
Default Management Hotline phone 202 708-9396

Last Modified: 08/16/1999