IN THE MATTER OF INTERNATIONAL Docket No. 93-124-ST
ACADEMY OF HAIR DESIGN AND
TECHNOLOGY, Student Financial
Respondent. Assistance Proceeding
Byrd, Esq., Office of the General Counsel for the Office of
Student Financial Assistance Programs, United States Department of
Before: Judge Richard F. O'Hair
The Academy filed a request for hearing on October 1, 1993. A
briefing schedule was
issued to the parties, who have filed briefs and exhibits.See footnote 1
On July 22, 1994, this proceeding was reassigned to the undersigned.
Commission for Trade and Technical Schools of the Career College Association (ACTTS/CCA) withdrawing the institution's accredited status as of April 6, 1993. Therefore, a brief discussion
of the events that led up to the termination notice is necessary. These events do not appear to be
On October 14, 1992, a team of inspectors from ACTTS/CCA
issued a Team Report for
the Academy that identified various problems found at the institution. Ex. R-4. The Academy
was given the opportunity to file detailed responses to the Team Report, along with supporting
documentation, by November 16, 1992, which it did. Ex. R-5. Nonetheless, on February 3,
1993, ACTTS/CCA sent a letter to the Academy stating that it had voted to deny the school
renewal of accreditation and to remove the Academy from ACTTS/CCA's list of accredited
schools. Ex. R-6. By letter of March 10, 1993, the Academy appealed ACTTS/CCA's decision
to the Appeals Panel of ACTTS/CCA. Ex. R-7. On April 6, 1993, the Appeals Panel notified
Academy that it had denied the school's appeal of ACTTS/CCA's decision to deny the school
renewal of accreditation and to remove the school from ACTTS/CCA's list of accredited schools.
Ex. R-8. That very same day, ACTTS/CCA notified the Department that the Academy had been
removed from the accredited list of ACTTS/CCA. ED Ex. B. The institution moved for
reconsideration of this decision on May 21, 1993. Ex. R-9. After another meeting,
sent a letter to the Academy, dated June 25, 1993, stating that it had denied the Academy's
request for reconsideration and was upholding its original decision to deny the Academy renewal
of accreditation. Ex. R-10. On August 18, 1993, the Department imposed an emergency action
against the Academy, thereby barring the Academy's further participation in the Title IV, HEA
student financial assistance programs. ED Ex. A. On September 16, 1993, SFAP issued the
notice of intent to terminate eligibility that is at issue in this proceeding. Ex. R-11; ED Ex.
The Academy concedes that accreditation is a requirement for
participation in Title IV
programs. Resp. Initial Br. at 8; §§ 600.5(a)(6), 600.2 (1993)See footnote 2
; 20 U.S.C. §§ 1085, 1088, and 1141 (1988). The Academy further admits that
ACTTS/CCA denied the school renewal of
accreditation and removed the school from ACTTS/CCA's list of accredited schools. Resp.
Br. at 3-5, 22-24; Resp. Reply Br. at 11-12. Finally, the Academy acknowledges that the
ACTTS/CCA is recognized by the Department as an independent accrediting agency. Resp.
Initial Br. at 8-9; see also SFAP Initial Br. at 5 n.3. Nonetheless, the Academy argues
that I should consider the reasonableness of ACTTS/CCA's withdrawal of accreditation from the
school. Additionally, the Academy makes many assertions concerning the quality of its
educational program and the effect that termination would have upon its students and the
However, § 600.41(g)(1) (1993)See footnote 3
states as follows:
(g)(1) In any proceeding under this section to terminate the
eligibility of an institution,
location, or educational program on the ground that the institution, location, or
educational program no longer meets applicable requirements in this part with regard to
accreditation or legal authorization, the sole issue that may be considered is whether the
institution lacks the requisite accreditation or legal authorization. The hearing official has
no authority to consider challenges to the propriety of the action of the accrediting agency
or governmental agency in revoking, terminating, or modifying that accreditation or legal
This language is very clear. The hearing official cannot consider
challenges to the
propriety of the decision by ACTTS/CCA to deny the Academy accreditation and to remove it
from its list of accredited schools. Nor does the regulation require any independent fact-finding
by the Department. Additionally, as SFAP notes at pages 4-7 of its reply brief, the loss of
accreditation by an institution is different from termination by an institution's guaranty agency.
Accreditation by an institution's accrediting agency is an institutional eligibility requirement, and
proceedings relating to the loss of such accreditation are governed by § 600.41(g)(1). In
disqualification actions by a guaranty agency and the Department's limited review in response
governed by §682.713 (1993), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1082(h)(3) and 1078(b)(1)(T)
the Academy's citation to In the Matter of RS Men's Hair Styling, Inc., Dkt. No.
91-42-ST, U.S. Dep't of Educ. (Nov. 17, 1992), aff'd (Decision of the Secretary, Feb. 9,
1993) and In Re Michigan Paraprofessional Training Institute, Dkt. No. 90-7-ST, U.S.
Dep't of Educ. (Feb. 22, 1991), aff'd (Decision of the Secretary, Aug. 29, 1991) is
inapposite because these decisions relate to disqualification actions under 20 U.S.C. §
1082(h)(3). The current proceeding is a
termination action imposed by the Department in response to the withdrawal of the Academy's
accreditation and, as such, it is governed by 34 C.F.R. § 600.41(g)(1).
Since the Academy admits that it is no longer accredited by
ACTTS/CCA and, thus, no
longer meets applicable requirements with regard to accreditation, pursuant to §
termination is warranted.
Technology to participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized by Title IV of
the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, is warranted.
Judge Richard F. O'Hair
Issued: August 4, 1994
S E R V I C E
A copy of the attached initial decision was sent by CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT
REQUESTED to the following:
E. Pete Summerfield, Esq.
Summerfield, Willen, Silverberg & Limsky, P.A.
10019 Reisterstown Road, Suite 301
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Karla Y. Byrd, Esq.
Office of the General Counsel
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
FOB-6, Room 4083
Washington, D.C. 20202-2110