Institutional Participation in the TEACH Grant Program Is in Immediate Jeopardy

By Joan Berkes, Policy & Federal Relations Staff

Do you participate in the TEACH Grant Program? You may be prohibited from making further TEACH Grant disbursements after this current payment period unless you have taken one of two possible actions to continue your participation. You are in this situation if your teacher preparation programs are eligible for the TEACH Grant Program based on specialized accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) or National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Department of Education (ED) no longer recognizes these agencies as accreditors, effective September 22, 2016.

As a result of this loss of accreditation, an affected school may not make additional disbursements of TEACH Grants to students in its teacher preparation program after the current payment period has ended, without taking one of two specified actions. ED sent letters to the presidents of affected institutions on September 23. If you believe your institution may be affected, check with your president’s office to see that letter.

This action does not affect student eligibility for other Title IV programs (such as Pell Grant or Direct Loans) as long as the student’s academic program is included in other institution-wide accreditation.

TEAC and NCATE are, as has been planned, merging into the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). However, ED has not yet recognized CAEP as an accreditor, and there is currently no projected date by which that action might be taken. There are currently no other specialized accreditors of teacher preparation programs that are recognized by ED.

Schools may continue to disburse TEACH Grant funds after the end of the current payment period to students enrolled in affected teacher preparation programs if the school notifies ED that it either:

  • Documents that it meets the other requirement for TEACH Grant eligibility currently allowed by regulation, which is state approval together with two other requirements related to program content; or
  • Accepts provisional certification in hopes of CAEP becoming recognized within the next 18 months.

Both of these options are further described in ED’s letter to presidents of affected schools. The requirements of institutional eligibility specific to the TEACH Grant Program based on state approval are in the program regulations at 686.2(d), definition of TEACH Grant-eligible institution. If provisional certification is chosen, one impact is that the school may not add any new programs or additional locations for Title IV purposes without approval from ED.

An affected school has 30 days from the date of the letter sent to its president to notify ED of its choice, or that it will withdraw from the TEACH Grant Program instead. An institution that changes the basis for its TEACH Grant eligibility must amend its e-App as well as notify ED using the form included with the letter to the school’s president.

Additional information may be obtained from your School Participation Division, or by sending an email to [email protected]. NASFAA is seeking additional information about impacted programs from ED and is working with other groups regarding this issue.


Publication Date: 9/27/2016

Tracie P | 10/11/2016 1:8:33 PM

sent an email 15 days ago and left two messages, still have not heard back from ED. My PPA is locked as we are up for recertification - also, we have never been accredited by TEAC of NCATE but always state certified so it seems this should not even apply but we got the letter - anyone else have any updates?

James K | 10/3/2016 10:51:22 AM

We don't participate in the Teach Grant program yet still received this letter. None of the options seem relevant. Anyone else in the same situation?

Linda B | 9/30/2016 3:48:15 PM

Similar situation. We received the letter even though we are state certified and never did receive accreditation from either of those agencies. Our E-app is locked while being reviewed for additional programs.

Sherrie P | 9/28/2016 7:46:10 PM

I submitted an update to my E-App on February 24, 2016 to add a location and a certificate program. It has still not been approved and will not allow me to make changes. You would have thought that this situation would have been addressed in the TEACH notification email.

Tracy H | 9/27/2016 3:24:50 PM

We are not affected school...have never received any accreditation from either of these agencies, and were still told by ED that we had to comply with the request. Our program is state approved. I asked, and ED sent this out to ALL TEACH grant participating institutions regardless of their accreditation status or accrediting agency.

George J | 9/27/2016 10:55:39 AM

I sent an email to ED for clarification, but in case anyone reading this knows: if we choose Option 1 since we can document state approval, can we disburse TEACH Grants on October 1 before we update the E-App? Our E-App is currently locked pending ED approval of our recertification.

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