ITEM 110-105-R0301  ATTACHMENT                                                                            March 22-23, 2001

 

TO:                 Board of Regents

 

FROM:           Richard A. Crofts

                        Commissioner of Higher Education

 

RE:                 New Policy on Recognition of Accrediting Agencies

 

DATE:            March 22-23, 2001

 

 

 

The legislature has, in three different MCA sections, made the applicability of the statute to postsecondary schools outside the University System dependent on whether or not the school is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board of Regents.  At present the Regents have no policy that lists such recognized accrediting agencies.  The new policy corrects that omission.  The three statutes are all reproduced at the end of the next paragraph.

 

For the first two statutes the policy recognizes the 6 regional accrediting agencies generally acknowledged as the standard accrediting bodies for academic institutions.  This is because these statutes on their face contemplate that the schools in question should either grant a baccalaureate degree (see 15-30-163 MCA) or grant a “degree or such similar literary honors as are usually granted by universities or colleges” (see 20-25-107 MCA).  The third statute (37-29-203 MCA) deals only with the eligibility to apply for a denturitry license.  For this statute the proposed policy recognizes not only the 6 regional academic accrediting agencies but also those accepted and approved by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  I am led to believe that at present CHEA does not recognize any accrediting agency for denturitry schools.  Nevertheless, the adoption of this policy by the Regents would indicate to the denturists the avenue they must go down to get recognition as contemplated by the statute and would, in my opinion, fulfill the legislative charge given to the Regents.

 

The three current statutes that speak of accrediting agencies “recognized” by the Regents are the following:

 

 

 15-30-163  Credit for contributions to university system or private college foundations.

 

   (1)  An individual, corporation, partnership, or small business corporation, as defined in 15-31-201, is allowed a tax credit against taxes imposed by 15-30-103 or 15-31-101 in an amount equal to 10% of the aggregate amount of charitable contributions made by the taxpayer during the year to any of the general endowment funds of the Montana university system foundations or a general endowment fund of a Montana private college or its foundation. The maximum credit that a taxpayer may claim in a year under this section is $ 500.

 

The credit allowed under this section may not exceed the taxpayer's income tax liability.

 

   (2)  There is no carryback or carryforward of the credit permitted under this section, and the credit must be applied in the year the donation is made, as determined by the taxpayer's  accounting method.

 

   (3) (a)  For the purposes of this section, "foundation" means a nonprofit organization that is created exclusively for the benefit of any unit of the Montana university system or a Montana private college and that is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

   (b)  For the purposes of this section, "Montana private college" means a nonprofit private educational institution:

 

   (i)  whose main campus and primary operations are within the state; and

 

   (ii)  that offers baccalaureate degree level education and is accredited for that purpose by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the board of regents of higher education.

 

 

 20-25-107  Regulation of award of degrees -- penalty.

 

   (1)  No person, corporation, association, or institution shall issue any degree or such similar literary honors as are usually granted by universities or colleges without the prior approval of the regents of the adequacy of the course of study.

 

   (2)  This section does not apply to any educational institution accredited by an educational accrediting association whose accrediting is found by the regents to be generally recognized by state and other universities in the United States.

 

(3)             Violation of this section is a misdemeanor.

 

 

37-29-303  Application for license.

 

   Upon application and payment of the appropriate fee, the board shall issue a license to practice denturitry to any applicant who meets the following criteria and scores a passing grade on the examination for licensure:

 

   (1)  documentation that the applicant has completed formal training of not less than 2 years at an educational institution accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the Montana state board of regents, the curriculum of which includes courses in head and oral anatomy and physiology, oral pathology, microbiology, partial denture construction and design, clinical dental technology, radiology, dental laboratory technology, asepsis, clinical jurisprudence, and medical emergencies, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and

 

   (2)  documentation that the applicant:

 

   (a)  has completed 1 year of internship under the direct supervision of a licensed denturist; or

 

   (b)  has 3 years of experience as a denturist under licensure in another state or Canada.