Responses Last Confirmed:

Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation

Agency Contact

Menia Dykes
601-432-6372
mdykes@mississippi.edu

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Michael Watson
601-359-1350
Topic

1: Important Agency Information to Note

a.
Provide any important information about your agency.

No response provided

Topic

2: Types of Educational Providers Authorized

a.
Indicate the types of institutions that your agency authorizes. Please provide a short explanation of any ambiguity in the comment section below.

_____    Public, in-state degree granting institutions
__x__    Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
__x__    Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
__x__    Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
__x__    Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
__x__    Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_____    Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
_____    Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_____    Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_____    Non-degree, for-profit institutions
__x__    Religious institutions
_____    Tribally-controlled institutions
_____    Federal Institutions
_____    Municipal institutions

b.
Does your agency authorize specific academic programs offered by institutions, only institutions themselves, or both?

____ Institution   _____ Program   ___X__ Both

c.
Clarifying comments:

Applies to academic degree-granting institutions that offer one or more postsecondary degees or  instruction and are domiciled, incorporated, or otherwise located in Mississippi.  Postsecondary academic degrees include, but are not limited to, associate, bachelor, masters and doctorate degrees.

Some programs may require approval from another state agency before MCCA will consider institution/program approval, i.e., nursing, education

Topic

3: Accreditation

a.
Is accreditation required for an institution to be authorized in your state?

Yes

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions?

Accreditation Required for:

__x__  Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
__x__  Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
__x__  Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
__x__  Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
__x__  Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_____  Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
_____  Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_____  Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_____  Non-degree, for-profit institutions
__x__  Religious institutions
_____  Tribally-controlled institutions
_____  Federal Institutions
_____  Municipal institutions

c.
Clarifying comments:

MCCA recognizes  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges,  Association for Biblical Higher Education accrediting commission,  Association of Theological Schools accrediting commission; Middle States Commission on Higher Education; New England Commission of Higher Education; Higher Learning Commission;  Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges; WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Topic

4: Exemptions

a.
Are certain institutions or programs exempt by law or policy from your state authorization requirements?

Yes

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions? Which types of programs?

Career/occupational schools and colleges subject to regulation under Section 75-60-1 et seq. (Miss. Code Ann. § 37-101-241(7))

c.
Web link for exemptions.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

5: Authorization of Distance Education

a.
Does your agency require purely online programs offered by out-of-state institutions to be authorized without regard to physical presence?

Not currently

b.
If not, does your agency determine whether an institution must be authorized based on a physical presence (“operating”) standard?

Yes

c.
Does your agency require correspondence study programs to be authorized without regard to physical presence?

No

d.
Clarifying comments:

If domiciled, incorporated, or otherwise located in the state, MCCA approval required.  Examples of triggers for otherwise located include, but are not limited to:

  1.  The institution maintains a telephone number with a Mississippi area code;
  2. The institution maintains a postal address (either physical or PO Box) with a Mississippi zip code;
  3. The institution maintains an internet URL that originates in Mississippi or utilizes an ISP that is based in Mississippi
  4. The institution advertises that a future institution will be domiciled, incorporated, or otherwise located in Mississippi
Topic

6: Physical Presence Policy

a.
If your agency uses a physical presence standard, how does your agency define physical presence?

If domiciled, incorporated, or otherwise located in the state, MCCA approval required.  Examples of triggers for otherwise located include, but are not limited to

  1.  The institution maintains a telephone number with a Mississippi area code;
  2. The institution maintains a postal address (either physical or PO Box) with a Mississippi zip code;
  3. The institution maintains an internet URL that originates in Mississippi or utilizes an ISP that is based in Mississippi
  4. The institution advertises that a future institution will be domiciled, incorporated, or otherwise located in Mississippi
b.
Web link for physical presence definition.
c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

7: Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

a.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about SARA participating Institutions.

Follow SARA policy

b.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

Refer to Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration if involves a SARA participating career/occupational school; and follow SARA policy.

c.
Web link for student complaints – SARA participating institutions.
d.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name: Menia Dykes
  • Title: MCCA Exe Sec/IHL Dir of Accred
  • Agency: Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
  • Address: 3825 Ridgewood Road
  • Email: mdykes@mississippi.edu
  • Phone: 601-432-6372
  • URL: http://www.mississippi.edu/mcca/sara.asp
e.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

8: Student Complaints - Non-SARA Participating Institutions

a.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about out-of-state postsecondary institutions or programs?

If complaint relates to an out-of-state institution not authorized by MCCA, direct complaint to the authorizing/licensing agency in the institution’s home state or to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division

b.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

Complaints about career/occupational schools in the State will be referred to the Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration. Otherwise, if within the jurisdiction of MCCA, MCCA will facilitate an investigation. Depending upon the nature of the complaint, the matter may be referred to the MS AG’s Consumer Protection Division.

c.
Does this complaint process extend to institutions not authorized by the agency that may enroll residents of the state (such as explicitly distance education programs with no physical presence or exempt institutions)?

If complaint relates to an out-of-state institution not authorized by MCCA, direct complaint to the authorizing/licensing agency in the institution’s home state or to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division

d.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name: Menia Dykes
  • Title: MCCA Exe Sec/IHL Dir of Accred
  • Agency: Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
  • Address: 3825 Ridgewood Road
  • Email: mdykes@mississippi.edu
  • Phone: 601-432-6372
  • URL: http://www.mississippi.edu/mcca

 

f.
Clarifying comments:

MCCA, CPSCR, and the AG are the primary/central contacts for complaints.

Topic

9: Surety Bonds

a.
Does your state require a Surety Bond for authorized out-of-state institutions?

Not currently.

b.
Web link for surety bonds.

No response provided

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

10: Tuition Refund Policy

a.
Does your state have a Tuition Refund Policy Requirement?

Institutions required to have a tuition refund policy that is fair and applied equitably.

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions?

All institutions authorized by MCCA.

c.
Web link for tuition refund policy.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

11: Student Tuition Recovery Fund

a.
Does your state have a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (or similar fund for school closure)?

No

b.
If yes, for what types of institutions?

No response provided

c.
Web link for student tuition recovery fund.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

12: Reporting

a.
What kinds of information or data must an institution report to your agency as a condition for continued out-of-state authorization?

Progress and/or status reports, accreditation documentation, and other reports annually or as requested by the Commission, which could include reports on enrollment and graduation and financial reports.

b.
How frequently do institutions report data?

Annually or as requested by Commission

c.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

Enrollment and graduation data could be shared as part of the State’s Education Achievement Council report/records

d.
Web link for reporting.

No response provided

e.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

13: Enforcement

a.
What are possible consequences of institutional non-compliance?

Authorization may be refused, revoked, or suspended for proof of violation of the standards, regulations, policies, and procedures.

b.
Web link for enforcement information.

http://www.mississippi.edu/mcca/ (Procedures, Section 5, Institutions in violation of standards, regulations, policies and procedures, page 20 of Standards document)

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

14: Application Process

a.
Please provide a short description of the application process to obtain state authorization.

http://www.mississippi.edu/mcca/ Procedures to Apply (Section 5, page 17 of Standards document)

Submit a written request for an application packet via regular mail and include a non-refundable fee of $100 to: Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS  39211

 

As part of the application process, if not already incorporated or qualified to do business in the State, apply to the Mississippi Secretary of State for Articles of Incorporation or, in the case of a non-domestic corporation, a Certificate of Authority; and submit to the Commission a copy of such Articles or Certificate.

b.
Web link for application.

No response provided 

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

15: Fees Associated with Authorization

a.
Is there an application fee associated with the authorization process?

Yes

b.
If yes, what is the fee or fee schedule?

$100 application packet to begin application process

$3,000 submitted with complete application

c.
Web link for fee information.

No response provided

d.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

16: Records Retention

a.
When a school closes, what is the process your state uses to ensure that transcripts/records are kept available?

Institution officials are required to notify MCCA of the arrangements made for the location/management of student records including evidence of disposition of student records, with a contact person, complete address and telephone number/email address and instructions for how student records may be obtained.

b.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?

Academic degree-granting institutions are required to provide MCCA with the contact information for the entity that will be storing/managing the student records and instructions that a student should use  to request a transcript from that entity.  The entity’s contact information and instructions are placed on MCCA’s website (http://www.mississippi.edu/mcca, Closed School Transcript Request)

c.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic

17: Additional Information

a.
Is there anything else about the authorization process in your state that we and others ought to know about?

Career/occupational schools register with the Mississippi Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration