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Form I-17 Petition Update - Accreditations and Recognitions

Last updated 31-Jul-2018

Overview of SEVIS Accreditations and Recognitions

Overview

In accordance with 8CFR 214.3(g), school officials must update their institution’s Form I-17 when information on the petition changes or does not reflect the institution’s current operating status. Such changes must be reported within 21 days of the change. This includes changes to information on Page 3 of the Form I-17: Accreditations and Recognitions.

For information about other Form I-17 petition updates see the following articles:

To complete the Form I-17 petition, schools must list any over-arching institutional accreditations they hold under at least one of the four following categories:

  • U. S. Department of Education Recognized Agencies
  • SEVP-Identified Accrediting Agencies
  • State Recognitions
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

SEVP-certified schools are required to update this information whenever it changes. Reporting must be completed within 21 days of the change.

Accreditation and Recognition Categories

Accreditation Category Description
U.S. Department of Education Recognized Agencies*
  • Agencies recognized by federal Department of Education, not state departments of education.
  • For post-secondary schools (colleges and universities) only.
SEVP-Identified Accrediting Agencies*
  • Primarily for K-12 schools.

*If an agency appears in both lists, select the agency from the list most appropriate for your school, for example, post-secondary versus K-12.

Accreditation Category Description
State Recognitions
  • Agency or agencies that grant your school the authority to operate and/or recognizes your school as an educational provider, if any.
  • Schools that operate in multiple states may have appropriate agencies/exemptions for each state.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certification
  • For schools that offer flight training programs.
  • FAA Certifications Part 141/142 are entered in this section.

Before starting, check with your registrar's office or other responsible office to confirm the types of accreditations your school has:

  • U.S. Department of Education Recognized Agencies
  • SEVP-Identified Accrediting Agencies
  • State Recognitions
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Supporting documentation may be requested in the form of a request for evidence (RFE). Therefore, designated school officials (DSOs) should have the documents ready when they submit the Form I-17 update in SEVIS.

Guidelines for Accreditations and Recognitions

Schools must report to SEVIS only institutional accreditations and recognitions that allow them to offer the programs of study listed on the Form I-17. Program or department-specific accreditations are needed only if the institutional accreditation or recognition does not cover all programs listed on the Form I-17.

Examples

School A has an institutional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ (WASC) that covers all programs it offers. It also has program specific accreditations for its law school, engineering school, and nursing program.
Required listing on the Form I-17: WASC

 

School B is also accredited by WASC. This accreditation covers all its programs, listed on the Form I-17, but one. It has a separate accreditation for the one program on the Form I-17 that is not covered by WASC.
Required listing on the Form I-17: WASC and the separate accreditation/recognition.

Schools must list only their accreditations and recognitions. Do not enter association memberships into SEVIS.

Process

To update the Accreditations and Recognitions, complete the following process:

  1. From the Listing of Schools page, select the school you want to edit by opening the drop-down list. The selected school name displays as a hyperlink below the drop-down menu.

Updating the accreditations and recognitions for the main campus also updates the accreditations and recognitions for all campuses/schools associated with the Main Campus.

  2. Click the hyperlinked school name. The School Information page opens with the name of the school displayed at the top of the page. 

  3. Click the Update School Information (Form I-17) link under the Actions section on the left of the School Information page. The Update School Information (Form I-17): Contact Information page opens.

  4. Click Page 3: Accreditations and Recognitions link in the top, left box of the Update School Information (Form I-17) page. The Accreditations and Recognitions page opens.

  5. The school’s current accreditation information pre-populates. 

If your school does not hold an accreditation or recognition in a section, leave None selected. There are several situations when accreditations or recognitions are not held. They are described below:

Accreditation or Recognition Description
U.S. Department of Education Recognized Agencies*
  • None indicates either the accrediting agency is not listed or your school is not accredited.
SEVP-Identified Accrediting Agencies*
  • None indicates either the accrediting agency is not listed or your school is not accredited.
State Recognitions
  • None indicates the school lacks required state recognition.
  • Exempt means the school is not required to have a state recognition/licensure.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certification
  • None indicates your school does not have FAA Part 141 or 142 certification.
  • Not Required indicates your school does hold FAA Part 141 or 142 Certification, and is not seeking SEVP certification for those programs of study.

  6. Update the accreditation and recognition information, as needed. 

Each section on the Accreditations and Recognitions page must have an option selected. If your school does not have an accrediting agency or recognition, None is an acceptable option, and depending on your responses, Not Required may be selected.

Section 3.1: Date School Was Established

  • Enter the date your school was established.
  • Format – MM/DD/YYYY.

Section 3.2: Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies

Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies are the federally recognized agencies that authorize your school (not the state departments of education). 

Icon - Pay attention to an important pointThe Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies must have a value entered. If your school does not hold any Department of Education accreditations, None must be checked.

If your school does not hold any Department of Education accreditations, None must be checked.

  1. To enter a new Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency from the Accreditations and Recognitions page:

  • Click Add. The Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies modal opens.

  • Click the Agency drop-down arrow to display the list of Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies.

  • Select the accrediting agency.

Note: Use the Optional Comments field on this page to list any state agency not in the drop-menu.

For a list of the Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies, see The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs on the SEVIS webpage http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/agencies.aspx.

Only postsecondary institutions should be selecting from the Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies list.

  • Enter the Effective Date of accreditation. (Format – MM/DD/YYYY)

 

The Effective Date is required and cannot be more than 100 years earlier than today. It cannot be in the future. It should reflect the start date of your most recent accreditation.

  • Enter the Expiration Date of accreditation. (Format – MM/DD/YYYY)

The Expiration Date is required and must be in the future, but cannot be more than 100 years from today. It cannot be in the future. It should reflect the start date of your most recent accreditation.

  • To add more Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies, click Add Another and repeat the above steps to include all desired agencies.
  • Click Done to add the accrediting agency or agencies. The agencies are displayed with the agency name, effective date, and expiration date.

2. To edit the accreditation dates or delete an accrediting agency:

  • Click Edit to the left of a specific accrediting agency’s date. The Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agencies modal opens.

  • Change the dates in the Effective Date or Expiration Date fields, if needed.
  • Click Delete Entry, if the Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agency does not authorize your school any longer.

  • Click Done when the update is completed. 

Icon - Additional information is availableChanges will be saved when you navigate away from the page, but will not be submitted until you click Submit under Page 6: School Officials in the top, left corner of the page.

Section 3.3: SEVP Identified Accrediting Agencies

The SEVP Identified Accrediting Agencies that authorize your school are used primarily by K‑12 schools.

This is a required field. If your school is not accredited by an SEVP Identified Accrediting Agency, click the None checkbox.

1. To enter a new SEVP Identified Accrediting Agency from the Accreditations and Recognitions page:

  • Click Add. The SEVP Identified Accredited Agencies modal opens.

  • Click the Agency drop-down arrow to display the list of SEVP Identified Accrediting Agencies.

  • Select the accrediting agency.

For a list of the SEVP Identified Accrediting Agencies, see https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/sevisAccreditingAgencyList.pdf.

 

  • Enter the Effective Date of accreditation. (Format – MM/DD/YYYY)

 

The Effective Date is required and cannot be more than 100 years earlier than today. It cannot be in the future. It should reflect the start date of your most recent accreditation.

 

  • Enter the Expiration Date of accreditation. (Format – MM/DD/YYYY)

 

The Expiration Date is required and must be in the future, but cannot be more than 100 years from today.

  • To add more SEVP Identified Accrediting Agencies, click Add Another and repeat the above steps to include all desired agencies.
  • When the last agency is entered, click Done to add the accrediting agency/agencies. The agencies are displayed with the agency name, effective date, and expiration date immediately below the Add button of the SEVP Identified Accrediting Agencies field.

  2. To edit the accreditation dates or delete an accrediting agency:

  • Click Edit to the left of a specific accrediting agency’s date. The SEVP Identified Accrediting Agencies modal opens.

  • Change the Effective Date or Expiration Date, as needed.
  • Click Delete Entry to delete the accrediting agency, as needed.
  • Click Done.

  • Changes will not be recorded until you click Submit under Page 6: School Officials in the top, left corner of the page.

Section 3.4: State Recognitions

The State Recognitions agency or organization is the state educational oversight body under which your school is authorized or licensed. If your school has campuses in more than one state, there may be more than one state authorization listed in this field. 

The State Recognitions section must have a value entered. If your school does not hold any State Recognitions, None must be checked.

SEVP does not anticipate many schools selecting None in this category. Ensure your school is not required to be licensed, recognized, or exempt from state requirements.

  1. To add a new State Recognition from the Accreditations and Recognitions page:

  • Click Add. The State Recognitions modal opens.

  • Click the State Recognition drop-down arrow and select either:

    • Name of the state: name of state agency – Agency that recognizes or licenses your school to operate.

    • Name of the state: Exempt – School is exempt from State Recognition.

    • Name of the state: Veterans Affairs – School has Veterans Affairs recognition in lieu of State Recognition.

  

  • For a list of the State Recognition Agencies, see http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html.
  • If your school has instructional sites in multiple states, ensure an option for each state is selected from the drop-down list.
  • If your school is recognized by a state agency not on this list, you may choose None on the Accreditations and Recognitions page, and then list the agency in the Optional Comments field.
  • Enter the Effective Date of the State Recognition. (Format – MM/DD/YYYY) 

 

  • The Effective Date is required for a State Recognition and must be on or after July 4, 1776. It cannot be in the future.
  • If your school is exempt for a state, an Effective Date is not required and N/A (Not Applicable) will appear in the date fields.
  • Enter the Expiration Date of the State Recognition. (Format – MM/DD/YYYY)

Icon - Pay attention to an important pointThe Expiration Date can be N/A, if the State Recognition does not expire. 

  • To add more State Recognition agencies, click Add Another and repeat the above steps until all desired recognitions are added.

  • Click Done when the last state recognition is entered. The recognitions are displayed with the state and recognition name, effective date, and expiration date immediately below the Add button.

 

2. To edit the accreditation dates or delete a State Recognition:

  • Click Edit to the left of a specific State Recognition’s date. The State Recognitions modal opens.

  • Change the Effective Date or Expiration Date, as needed, and click Done.

  • Click Delete Entry to delete the State Recognition or exemption.

  Changes will be saved when you navigate away from the page but will not be submitted until you click Submit under Page 6: School Officials in the top left corner of the Optional Comments page.  

Section 3.5: Optional Comments

Use the Optional Comments field to enter information about licenses, accreditations, and other recognitions that are relevant to SEVP certification. 

  • Enter any clarifying comments about the school's accreditation and recognition. 
  • there is a 1,000 character limit on this field with a characters remaining

 Changes will be saved when you navigate away from the page, but will not be submitted until you click Submit under Page 6: School Officials in the top left corner of the page.  

 

Section 3.6: FAA Certfication

Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is required for schools that offer flight training. Flight school officials must enter the school’s FAA Part 141 or 142 Certification and Air Agency Certificate number with expiration date. SEVP only accepts full FAA Part 141 or 142 Certifications. To edit or delete FAA Certifications:

  • Select either Part 141/Part 142, None, or Not Required.
    • Click either None or Not Required, if your school does not have any FAA Certifications.
      • None means that your school does not offer any flight-related programs to nonimmigrant students.
      • Not Required means that your school may have an FAA Certification, but you do not offer any flight-related programs to nonimmigrant students; or you selected a Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agency, SEVP Identified Accrediting Agency, or State Recognition that covers your school’s programs.

Icon - Pay attention to an important point  The Not Required displays if you have already entered information on a Department of Education Recognized Accrediting Agency, SEVP Identified Accrediting Agency, or State Recognition. 

  • Select FAA Certified – Part 141 and/or Part 142 to enter the school’s FAA Part 141 or Part 142 Certification Number with expiration date.

  • Enter the FAA Certificate Number for either Part 141, Part 142, or for both.

    • Use a maximum of eight characters in the FAA Certification Number.

    • Do not use any special characters or spaces.

    • Enter the Effective Date of the FAA Certificate Number.
      (Format – MM/DD/YYYY)

Icon - Pay attention to an important point The Effective Date is required and must be on or after July 4, 1776. It cannot be in the future. 

 

  • Enter the Expiration Date of the FAA Certificate Number.
    (Format – MM/DD/YYYY)

 The Expiration Date is required for FAA Part 141 Certification and must be in the future, but cannot be more than 100 years from today.

 

  • To edit either Part 141/Part 142:

    • Deselect radio button for FAA Certified – Part 141 and/or Part 142. Existing information will be deleted.

    • Enter information, as detailed above. All rules and requirements remain constant.

 

Submit Accreditations and Recognitions Petition Updates

When all required accreditation and recognition changes have been completed: 

  • Click Save Draft to save a draft of the Form I-17 without submitting changes.

Icon - Additional information is availableOther functionally buttons at the bottom of the Accreditations and Recognitions page are:

  • Print Draft – Prints out a new Form I-17 without submitting changes.

  • Previous – Returns the user to Page 2: Programs of Study page without submitting changes.

  • Next – Brings the user to Page 4: School Calendar, Costs, and Demographics page without submitting changes.

  • Cancel – Cancels all changes made to the Form I-17 without saving changes and restores previous, saved values.

  • Click Submit link from the list of page options in the top, left corner of the Accreditations and Recognitions page. The Update School Information (Form I-17): Submit page opens.

1. Click View Edits to verify all information is accurate. 

2. Ensure all supporting documentation is ready to upload. If the petition update requires a signed Form I-17, click Print Petition at the bottom of this page, and collect the required signatures.

Note:  If the petitioner does not print the form before leaving this page, schools will be unable to upload a signed Form-I-17. If the school needs to gather more supporting documentation, use the left navigation pane to return to the form and save the petition as a draft.

3. Complete the PDSO Attestation and enter your SEVIS password to sign the petition update.  

4. Click Continue only when the school is ready to submit the petition along with ALL required supporting evidence. The Upload Evidence: Form I-17 page opens.

Once you submit the information in SEVIS, you must upload the required evidence to SEVP through SEVIS. 

  • After submitting, the petition is locked. 

 The evidence a school needs to provide to SEVP depends on accreditation status and the type of programs offered by the school. If a school fails to submit evidence at the same time (within 2-3 business days) it submits the update in SEVIS, SEVP may cancel the request and ask that the school resubmit the request with the required evidence.

 

Icon - Regulatory or policy resources For more information about uploading evidence, read the Form I-17 Upload Evidence article on the SEVIS Help Hub.

For guidance on what evidence is required for petition updates, visit http://www.ice.gov/sevis/schools or see below for the definitions of evidence, and the required evidence checklist:

PDSOs must provide all required evidence at the same time as they submit the petition update in SEVIS. School officials must ensure that all required documentation is ready at the time of filing the petition update.

Schools with Multiple Campuses

 

Same Accredititing Agency - Different Dates

SEVIS only allows schools to select an accrediting agency once. Since some schools have different review dates for their individual campuses, schools should enter the accreditation validity dates associated with the school whose accreditation expires last.

Examples

School A has two locations, both accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ (WASC)

  • Accreditation dates for Campus/School 1: 9/23/2015 to 9/30/2016
  • Accreditation dates for Campus/School 2: 7/8/2014 to 7/30/2015
  Entry on the Form I-17: Western Association of Schools and Colleges with the following dates: 9/23/2015 to 9/30/2016

The accreditation information would then only need to be updated by the Expiration Date listed on the Form I-17.

Different Accrediting Agencies for Different Campuses

Multi-campus schools may have different accreditations for the different locations. SEVIS does not provide the ability to enter such comments when selecting a specific accrediting agency. Schools must use the Optional Comments field on the Accreditations and Recognitions page to capture this information.

Select the accrediting agencies from the appropriate drop-down lists. If your campuses have different expiration dates, enter the Effective Date and Expiration Date per the instruction above. In the Optional Comments field, enter the name of the agencies, followed by the listing of SEVIS Campus Codes for the schools covered by each accrediting agency. The school Campus Code consists of the last three digits of the SEVIS school code.

Examples 

School B has five locations:

  • Campus 1 and 3 are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  • Campus 2, 4, and 5 are accredited by the Florida Catholic Conference Accreditation Program (FCCCAP)
 

Required listing on the Optional Comments field of the Form I-17:

  • SACS: 000 and 002
  • FCCAP: 001, 003, and 004

 

 

Icon Guide

See the SEVIS Help Icons Job Aid on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.