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Institution & Program Certification Policies Guide

This guide outlines procedures to certify short-term Credential training programs for the Indiana Career Accelerator Fund (ICAF) under Indiana Code 5-34. The Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans (d/b/a INvestEd) is tasked with both administrating ICAF and developing policies to evaluate, identify, and certify Qualified Education Programs. Only enrollees of Qualified Education Programs may apply for financial assistance awards, and only Qualified Education Programs may receive financial assistance award Disbursements.

ACCELERATE INDIANA, INC. – 501(c)(3) SUBSIDIARY & GOVERNANCE

Established in 1980, INvestEd is a statutory non-profit corporation with a nine-member board of directors appointed by the Governor of Indiana. Its statutory mission and duties include providing Hoosiers with free financial aid literacy, student loan options, and other means to responsibly fund postsecondary education. As the fund and program administrator, INvestEd is administering ICAF through a newly-created, single-purpose controlled subsidiary, Accelerate Indiana, Inc. (501(c)(3)). The INvestEd Board of Directors’ Executive Committee, in consultation with the business community and education and workforce officials in the State of Indiana, will serve as Accelerate Indiana, Inc.’s Board of Directors to administer ICAF.

CERTIFICATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE – COMPOSITION & ROLE

Accelerate Indiana’s external Certification Advisory Committee shall identify, evaluate, and recommend certification of Qualified Education Programs pursuant to statute and the workforce development goals of the State of Indiana. The Certification Advisory Committee shall consist of business community representatives and workforce development officials in the State of Indiana as designated by the Governor of the State of Indiana (or designee). The Committee will provide a representative, expert body of Indiana’s employers and workforce development officials.

The Certification Advisory Committee shall review and evaluate state education and workforce development programs in order to provide technical expertise and recommend the certification of Qualified Education Programs for the approval and certification of Accelerate Indiana’s Board of Directors. Accelerate Indiana certification requires demonstrating statutorily specific lagging indicators and data points many institutions may not have collected or new programs could not possibly possess. The Certification Advisory Committee may consider Proxy Data in determining whether to recommend Provisional Certification for a Candidate Program.

The Certification Advisory Committee shall have other duties as are delegated to it by Accelerate Indiana’s Board of Directors. Accelerate Indiana shall provide the Certification Advisory Committee with data collection and analysis to inform policy- and decision-making, particularly concerning recommendations for Qualified Education Program certification procedures and Program Duties and Responsibilities.

APPLICATION FOR CONSIDERATION PROCESS – CANDIDATE PROGRAMS

  • Any Credential training program offered by an Eligible Institution seeking certification as a Qualified Education Program is a Candidate Program.
  • Candidate Programs are location-specific for application and certification purposes. If, for example, an Eligible Institution offers the same Credential training program across two different physical campuses and statewide virtually, three respective Applications for Consideration would be necessary.
  • A Candidate Program must submit an Application for Consideration to Accelerate Indiana including all information in formatting as prescribed by Accelerate Indiana. Every Application for Consideration shall be presented to the Certification Advisory Committee. In considering an Application for Consideration, the Certification Advisory Committee may request additional information to facilitate a determination whether to recommend certification, such as specified Proxy Data for Program Eligibility Criteria the program does not possess. The additional information must be submitted to Accelerate Indiana. Candidate Programs are strongly encouraged to include in their original Application for Consideration additional information, such as Proxy Data, in support of a certification recommendation.
  • The Application for Consideration shall include the program’s consent, if certified as a Qualified Education Program, to enter into an agreement with Accelerate Indiana to adhere to Program Duties and Responsibilities.
  • Upon receipt of a complete Application for Consideration, including any subsequent requests for additional information, the Certification Advisory Committee shall determine in a timely manner whether to make a certification recommendation.
  • A Candidate Program denied a certification recommendation shall be supplied an explanation of the determination upon request. A Candidate Program denied a certification recommendation must await the passage of three (3) calendar months before submitting a new Application for Consideration to Accelerate Indiana.

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA – CERTIFYING QUALIFIED EDUCATION PROGRAMS

For certification as a Qualified Education Program, a Candidate Program must demonstrate the following Program Eligibility Criteria as determined by the Certification Advisory Committee:

  1. That it is offered by an Eligible Institution;
  2. That it has consented to enter into a Compliance Agreement with Accelerate Indiana to adhere to Program Duties and Responsibilities;
  3. That it allows an individual to earn a Credential in not more than six (6) months;
    • NOTE: Within six (6) months excludes any normally scheduled interim period between successful course completion and the formal Graduation award date.
  4. That the Credential relates to a career field, job title, or occupation in one of the Five High-Demand Career Fields designated by NextLevel Jobs Indiana;
  5. That at least seventy-five percent (75%) of enrolled individuals Graduate from the program with a Credential not more than six (6) months after beginning the program;
    • NOTE: Within six (6) months excludes any normally scheduled interim period between successful course completion and the formal Graduation award date.
  6. That at least sixty-five percent (65%) of Graduates obtain employment within three (3) months of Graduating from the program;
    • NOTE: Within three (3) months of Graduating means employment was verifiable within the passage of two (2) calendar quarters post-Graduation.
  7. That Graduates of the program who obtain employment within six (6) months of Graduation earn average wages that are at least twenty percent (20%) higher than the wages the Graduates earned before beginning the program; and
    • NOTE: Within six (6) months of Graduating means employment and then wages were verifiable within the passage of three (3) calendar quarters post-Graduation.
  8. That Graduates of the program earn an average wage that is at least two hundred percent (200%) of the Statewide per Capita Income [$59,554] within two (2) years of Graduation.
    • NOTE: Within two (2) years of Graduating means employment and then wages were verifiable within the passage of nine (9) calendar quarters post-Graduation.

INSTITUTION ELIGIBILITY – AUTHORIZATION

An Eligible Institution must:

  1. Have a physical presence in the State of Indiana meeting at least one of the following criteria as determined by the Certification Advisory Committee (see Program Eligibility Criteria Item #1):
    • On-going occupation of a physical location for instructional purposes; and
    • Maintenance of an administrative office to serve students;
      NOTE: The following do not constitute a physical presence in the State of Indiana:
      • Advertising and/or recruiting;
      • Online academic offerings;
      • Service of process arrangements (e.g., a registered agent or registered office in Indiana); and
      • Resident faculty or staff (without corresponding instructional facilities within the state).
  2. Meet at least one of the following criteria as determined by the Certification Advisory Committee (see Program Eligibility Criteria item #1):

PROGRAM DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

A Candidate Program’s Application for Consideration must include a completed and signed Compliance Agreement and Standard Terms and Conditions prior to certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program (see Program Eligibility Criteria Item #2). The Program Duties and Responsibilities, as amended from time to time, are incorporated herein by reference, and will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website.

A Candidate Program must provide a signed Standard Terms and Conditions prior to full certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program. If a Candidate Program receives a recommendation for certification or Provisional Certification from the Certification Advisory Committee but does not provide a duly executed Standard Terms and Conditions, the Candidate Program will neither receive certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program nor be added to the Qualified Education Program List.

Program Duties and Responsibilities, as amended from time to time, will include:

General Compliance Matters

  • Upon full certification or Provisional Certification, a Candidate Program—or its sponsoring Eligible Institution on behalf of that program—must provide a duly executed Standard Terms and Conditions agreeing to adhere to Accelerate Indiana’s Program Duties and Responsibilities, incorporated therein by reference.
  • A Qualified Education Program must notify Accelerate Indiana as soon as practicable of any substantive changes in the information submitted in the Qualified Education Program’s Application for Consideration, such as, but not limited to:
    • The Eligible Institution’s state authorization type;
    • Programmatic changes, such as changes to the program’s:
      • Name or title;
      • CHE/DWD ID #;
      • Credential(s) and/or credit(s) offered;
      • Duration;
      • Physical location or delivery format, e.g., in-person versus virtual; and
      • Director name and contact information.
  • If Program Duties and Responsibilities, as incorporated by reference under the Standard Terms and Conditions, are amended, Accelerate Indiana shall notify all Qualified Education Programs as soon as practicable before the revisions become effective. The Standard Terms and Conditions, as may be amended from time to time, will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website.

Enrollment & Cost of Attendance Verification

  • A Qualified Education Program must provide to Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor):
    • The Applicant’s verified enrollment in the program;
    • The Applicant’s highest level of educational attainment;
    • Verification the Applicant is not utilizing an Indiana Workforce Ready Grant to fund any portion of their current enrollment in the program; and
    • Verification of the Applicant’s total cost of tuition, fees, and required course materials to certify the maximum allowable individual ICAF award.
  • A Qualified Education Program must demonstrate to Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor) the total cost of tuition, fees, and required course materials for an ICAF Applicant is the same cost available to the general public.
  • A Qualified Education Program must have an established policy to address instances of student emergency absence, such as personal, family, or health emergencies.

NOTE: An Applicant and/or Awardee should never simultaneously utilize a Workforce Ready Grant and an ICAF financial assistance award in pursuing a Credential from a Qualified Education Program. Prior usage of a Workforce Ready Grant does not disqualify an Applicant and/or Awardee from receiving ICAF financial assistance award.

Regardless of the total cost of tuition, fees, and required course materials, the total financial assistance award is capped at the maximum allowable individual ICAF award amount of $7,500. Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor) will also require an Applicant to attest that they are not utilizing an Indiana Workforce Ready Grant to fund any portion of their enrollment in the Qualified Education Program.

Academic Separation & Graduation Notifications

  • A Qualified Education Program must notify Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor) within 60 (sixty) calendar days that an enrolled Awardee separates, including the following information:
    • The grounds for the separation;
    • The effective date of the separation;
    • The time remaining (weeks) if the Awardee were to successfully complete the program; and
    • What Credentials and/or academic credits, if any, were earned by the Awardee.
  • A Qualified Education Program must notify Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor) within 60 (sixty) calendar days that an Awardee is still enrolled after the passage of six (6) months but has not yet successfully completed or Graduated.
  • A Qualified Education Program must notify Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor) within 60 (sixty) calendar days that an enrolled Awardee Graduates from the Qualified Education Program (to become an Awardee-Graduate), including the following information:
    • The date of Graduation;
    • Whether the Graduation was on-time;
    • The Awardee-Graduate’s total duration of study (weeks) minus any interim period between successful course completion and the graduation award date;
    • What Credentials and/or academic credits were earned by the Awardee-Graduate; and
    • Whether the Awardee-Graduate has secured or been offered employment (if known).

Student Outcomes & Performance Metrics Data

  • A Qualified Education Program must collect and retain Student Outcomes and Performance Metrics Data concerning:
    • All student-level data submissions required by DWD’s INTraining System;
    • Program Eligibility Criteria items #4 through #8;
    • Proxy Data for Program Eligibility Criteria (if applicable);
    • Information in relation to Provisional Certification (if applicable); and
    • Program Duties and Responsibilities, specifically:
      • Enrollment & Cost of Attendance Verification data; and
      • Academic Separation & Graduation Notifications data.
  • A Qualified Education Program must semiannually submit Student Outcomes and Performance Metrics Data to Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor) in a form prescribed by Accelerate Indiana.
  • A Qualified Education Program must adhere to all applicable laws and regulations concerning student privacy and data security.

Initial & Outcome-Based Disbursements

  • Disbursements are financial assistance award payments on behalf of the Awardee or Awardee-Graduate from Accelerate Indiana to the Qualified Education Program or its sponsoring Eligible Institution.
  • A Qualified Education Program agrees to instruct an Awardee contingent upon the following two Disbursements of the financial assistance award always subject to the individual, lifetime maximum award amount of $7,500:
    • First Disbursement and conditions:
      • Upon the Awardee beginning the program, seventy percent (70%) of the total cost of tuition, fees, and required course materials verified by the program for the Awardee.
    • Second Disbursement and conditions:
      • Upon Graduation of the Awardee, thirty percent (30%) of the total cost of tuition, fees, and required course materials verified by the program for the Awardee.
      • If an Awardee graduates after an enrollment of twelve (12) months, there is no second Disbursement on behalf of the Awardee-Graduate, unless:
        • The prolonged enrollment was allowed under or involved the Qualified Education Program’s established policy to address instances of student emergency absence, such as personal, family, or health emergencies, subject to verification by Accelerate Indiana (or its designated Vendor).

NOTE: Never should an Applicant, Awardee, or Awardee-Graduate simultaneously utilize or have utilized an Indiana Workforce Ready Grant to fund the same course of study.

Never will an Applicant, Awardee, or Awardee-Graduate receive a Disbursement; Disbursements are only made to the Qualified Education Program or its sponsoring Eligible Institution.

The Certification Advisory Committee will provide ongoing input and such other information necessary for Accelerate Indiana to develop and revise as necessary Accelerate Indiana Program Duties and Responsibilities with the express intent of protecting ICAF Applicants and Awardees, providing for programmatic accountability and transparency, upholding instructional rigor and Credential value, pursuing the workforce development goals and objectives of the State of Indiana, and complying with all applicable laws and regulations.

Accelerate Indiana shall regularly inform the Certification Advisory Committee of this information in respect to all and individual Qualified Education Programs.

CREDENTIAL – HIGH-DEMAND CAREER FIELDS

As determined by the Certification Advisory Committee, a Candidate Program must allow an individual to obtain a Credential in a career field, job title, or occupation corresponding with at least one of NextLevel Jobs Indiana’s Five High-Demand Career Fields (see Program Eligibility Criteria item #4):

  • Advanced Manufacturing;
  • Building & Construction;
  • Health & Life Sciences;
  • IT & Business Services; and,
  • Transportation & Logistics.

PROVISIONAL PROGRAM CERTIFICATION & PROXY DATA USAGE

Certification as a Qualified Education Program is dependent upon the demonstration of statutorily-specified lagging indicators and data points many institutions may not have collected or new programs may not possess. Below are Accelerate Indiana policies for the Certification Advisory Committee to consider when making a determination whether to recommend Provisional Certification for a Candidate Program.

Provisional Certification requires evaluating Proxy Data for only specific Program Eligibility Criteria. If the Certification Advisory Committee determines a Candidate Program satisfies Program Eligibility Criteria items #1, #2, #3, and #4 (see above), but does not have adequate data for one or more criteria required under program eligibility items #5, #6, #7, and #8 (see above), Proxy Data may be considered by the Certification Advisory Committee to determine whether to recommend Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program.

Eligibility Criteria Item #5: Student Completion Rate Proxy Data

If a Candidate Program, especially if it is new(er), does not have data to determine at least 75% of enrolled individuals Graduate with a Credential within six months, the following Proxy Data may be considered by the Certification Advisory Committee to provisionally satisfythis specific Program Eligibility Criteria item:

  • A very similar program, preferably already certified as a Qualified Education Program, has demonstrated that at least 75% of its enrolled individuals Graduate with a Credential within six months;
  • The program is offered by an Eligible Institution that can demonstrate it offers other short-term program(s), which are preferably similar, in which at least 75% of enrolled individuals Graduated with a Credential within six months; and
  • If new, the program can demonstrate 75% of its currently enrolled individuals are making sufficient academic progress to Graduate with a Credential within six months.
  • NOTE: Within six (6) months excludes any normally scheduled interim period between successful course completion and the formal Graduation award date.

Eligibility Criteria Item #6: Graduate Job Placement Proxy Data

If a Candidate Program, especially if it is new(er), does not have data to determine at least 65% of its Graduates obtained employment within three months of Graduating, the following Proxy Data may be considered by the Certification Advisory Committee to provisionally satisfy this specific Program Eligibility Criteria item:

  • A very similar program, preferably already certified as a Qualified Education Program, has demonstrated that 65% of its Graduates obtained employment within three months of Graduating;
  • The Credential offered by the Candidate Program directly corresponds to a career field or job title categorized as a four- or five-flame occupation by DWD’s INDemand Jobs ranking system;
  • Industry-recognized job market analytics, e.g., DWD’s Labor Market Information Dashboard, indicate a majority of individuals with the same Credential offered by the Candidate Program secure employment in the corresponding career field, job title, or occupation within three months of job searching in Indiana; and
  • Any of the above Proxy Data may be considered in geographic-specific terms (county, metropolitan statistical area, or region) in relation to the Candidate Program.

Eligibility Criteria Item #7: Graduate Earnings/Wages Data—Wage Gain Within Six Months

If a Candidate Program, especially if it is new(er), does not have data to determine that its Graduates who obtained employment within six months of Graduating realized average wages that are at least 20% higher than their pre-enrollment wages, the following Proxy Data may be considered by the Certification Advisory Committee to provisionally satisfythis specific Program Eligibility Criteria item:

  • A very similar program, preferably already certified as a Qualified Education Program, has demonstrated that Graduates who obtained employment within six months of Graduating realized average wages 20% higher than their pre-enrollment wages;
  • The Credential offered by the Candidate Program directly corresponds to a career field or job title categorized as a four- or five-flame occupation by DWD’s INDemand Jobs ranking system;
  • Industry-recognized job market analytics, e.g., DWD’s Labor Market Information Dashboard, indicate a majority of individuals with the same Credential offered by the Candidate Program realize a comparable wage increase after six months of employment in the corresponding career field, job title, or occupation in Indiana;
  • Any of the above Proxy Data may be considered in geographic-specific terms (county, metropolitan statistical area, or region) in relation to the Candidate Program.

Eligibility Criteria Item #8: Graduate Earnings/Wages Data—Average Wage Within Two Years

If a Candidate Program, especially if it is new(er), does not have data to determine that its Graduates earn an average wage that is at least 200% of the Statewide per Capita Income within two years of Graduation, the following Proxy Data may be considered to provisionally satisfythis specific Program Eligibility Criteria item:

  • A very similar program, preferably already certified as a Qualified Education Program, has demonstrated that Graduates earned an average wage that is at least 200% of the Statewide per Capita Income within two years of Graduation;
  • The Credential offered by the Candidate Program directly corresponds to a career field, job title, or occupation categorized by DWD as having an average annual salary of at least 200% of the Statewide per Capita Income within two years of work experience in Indiana;
  • Industry-recognized job market analytics, e.g., DWD’s Labor Market Information Dashboard, indicate an individual with the same Credential offered by the Candidate Program realizes an average wage that is at least 200% of the Statewide per Capita Income after two years of employment in the corresponding career field, job title, or occupation in Indiana;
  • Any of the above Proxy Data may be considered in geographic-specific terms (county, metropolitan statistical area, or region) in relation to the Candidate Program.

QUALIFIED EDUCATION PROGRAM LIST

A Candidate Program provided certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program shall be added by Accelerate Indiana to the Qualified Education Program List if the program or its sponsoring Eligible Institution enters into the Standards Terms and Conditions, agreeing to adhere to Program Duties and Responsibilities as incorporated by reference and as may be amended from time to time. The list is administered by Accelerate Indiana and will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website. Only programs on the list may receive disbursements from Accelerate Indiana to assist Awardees in obtaining Credentials.

If a program is removed from the list while an Awardee is enrolled, they may complete their program unless the institution has lost state licensure, certification, or authorization to operate by the appropriate state oversight agency as determined by CHE or DWD.

Accelerate Indiana’s Agreement for Repayment policies provide for Awardee forgiveness in the case of pre-Graduation school closures.

CERTIFICATION REVIEW, EXTENSION & REMOVAL

The Certification Advisory Committee will establish procedures to regularly conduct a Performance Review of all programs on the Qualified Education Program List in terms of compliance with Program Duties and Responsibilities, Program Eligibility Criteria, and all other applicable laws and regulations. All Qualified Education Programs slated for a Performance Review shall be notified in writing at least ninety (90) calendar days beforehand. The program may supply additional relevant information for consideration no later than thirty (30) calendar days before the review. The Certification Advisory Committee may require the submission of additional information as specified in the original written review notification no later than thirty (30) calendar days before the review.

Notwithstanding the regular Performance Review Process above, Accelerate may initiate a performance review if it receives information or data that calls into question a Qualified Education Program’s economic viability, student outcomes, performance metrics data or its ability to deliver the approved program to its students and support students through completion. Data relating to a Qualified Education Program’s qualification or certification to deliver programs through other state funded programs will be relevant to this inquiry. The Qualified Education Program shall be notified in writing and electronically that such review has been requested. The program may supply additional relevant information for consideration no later than thirty (30) calendar days before the review. The Certification Advisory Committee may require the submission of additional information as specified in the original written review notification no later than thirty (30) calendar days before the review.

The Certification Advisory Committee shall prioritize Performance Reviews for all Qualified Education Programs with Provisional Certification. As determined by program-specific data or newer Proxy Data, the Certification Advisory Committee may recommend to extend Provisional Certification, revoke Provisional Certification, or fully certify the program. A Qualified Education Program facing revocation of its Provisional Certification shall be supplied an explanation of the determination in writing within thirty (30) calendar days.

A fully certified Qualified Education Program is still subject to regular Performance Review as per Certification Advisory Committee policies. As determined by program-specific data, the Certification Advisory Committee may recommend to revoke or maintain full certification. If the Certification Advisory Committee determines a fully certified Qualified Education Program should be decertified, it must supply an explanation of the determination in writing within thirty (30) calendar days.

A former Qualified Education Program may only reapply for reinstatement through the normal Application for Consideration process as a Candidate Program. The Certification Advisory Committee may also consider prior Performance Reviews and/or grounds for decertification when determining whether to make a subsequent recommendation for full certification or Provisional Certification.

Definitions:

Academic Program Inventory means the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s (CHE) comprehensive listing of all active certificate and degree programs offered by Indiana community colleges, public universities, and private nonprofit and for-profit postsecondary institutions.

Accelerate Indiana, Inc. means the single-purpose, nonprofit (501(c)(3)) entity established by INvestEd as a controlled subsidiary to administer the Indiana Career Accelerator Fund (ICAF). The entity is governed by the INvestEd Board of Directors’ Executive Committee. The entity’s Certification Advisory Committee will identify and evaluate Candidate Programs to make determinations whether to recommend to Accelerate Indiana certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program.

Agreement for Repayment means the contractual agreement an Applicant must agree to enter into with Accelerate Indiana upon becoming an Awardee. The agreement’s terms are subject to the ICAF statute under Indiana Code 5-34-1-9, Accelerate Indiana programmatic policies, and all applicable laws and regulations.

Application for Consideration means the process by which a Candidate Program seeks a recommendation from the Certification Advisory Committee for certification as a Qualified Education Program. If an Eligible Institution offers the same Credential training program at multiple physical locations and/or virtually, each requires its own Application for Consideration. The Certification Advisory Committee shall specify the necessary application information; additional information may be subsequently requested, such as potential Proxy Data for certain Program Eligibility Criteria. An application shall result in a denial or recommendation for Provisional Certification or full certification. The Application for Consideration may be amended from time to time and will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website.

Applicant means an individual seeking to become an Accelerate Indiana Awardee. To qualify for an Accelerate Indiana financial assistance award to obtain a credential through a Qualified Education Program, an Applicant must be: 1) eighteen years of age; 2) an Indiana resident; 3) a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or an eligible non-citizen under certain circumstances; 4) enrolled in a Qualified Education Program; 5) not simultaneously utilizing an Indiana Workforce Ready Grant to fund their enrollment; and, 6) without any prior repayment default for a previous Accelerate Indiana financial assistance award.

Awardee means an individual who enrolled in a Qualified Education Program, received a financial assistance award from Accelerate Indiana to assist their obtaining a Credential through that program, and entered into an Agreement for Repayment with Accelerate Indiana. An individual retains their Awardee status regardless of their course of study or training outcome: failure to complete, Graduation, separation, etc.

Awardee-Graduate means an individual who is an Awardee who graduated from the Qualified Education Program. An Awardee-Graduate is also an Awardee.

Candidate Program means a Credential training program seeking a recommendation for certification from the Certification Advisory Committee as a Qualified Education Program. A Candidate Program must submit an Application for Consideration to Accelerate Indiana. Candidate Programs are location specific in application and certification terms. While an Eligible Institution may offer the same Credential training program at multiple physical campuses and/or virtual formats, each is treated as an individual Candidate Program requiring its own Application for Consideration. An Eligible Institution must acknowledge it is submitting multiple Applications for Consideration on behalf of same Candidate Programs. In these instances, the Candidate Programs may reference one another in terms of Proxy Date or additional information in support of the Applications for Consideration.

Certification Advisory Committee means the Accelerate Indiana body which shall consist of business community representatives and workforce development officials in the State of Indiana as designated by the Governor of State of Indiana (or designee). The Certification Advisory Committee shall review and evaluate Applications for Consideration from Candidate Programs in order to provide technical expertise and recommend their certification as a Qualified Education Program to the Accelerate Indiana Board of Directors. The Certification Advisory Committee shall have such other duties as are delegated to it by the Accelerate Indiana Board of Directors.

Compliance Agreement means the acknowledgement, understanding, and consent of a Candidate Program during the Application for Consideration process to enter into Standard Terms and Conditions upon certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program. Program Duties and Responsibilities are incorporated by reference and may be amended from time to time. The Standard Terms and Conditions, as may be amended from time to time, will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website.

Credential means a certificate, degree, license, or other qualification that demonstrates an individual has completed a specified course of training or demonstrated to a relevant authority specific competencies, skills, or knowledge.

Disbursement means one of two potential financial assistance award payments from Accelerate Indiana to a Qualified Education Program conditional upon: an Awardee beginning the program; and, an Awardee Graduating from the program to become an Awardee-Graduate. A Disbursement may never exceed the maximum, lifetime award amount ($7,500) for an Applicant, Awardee, or Awardee-Graduate. Accelerate Indiana Disbursements may only be made to programs on the Qualified Education Program List.

Eligible Institution means any postsecondary entity, academy, school, training provider, or higher education institution that is authorized to operate in the State of Indiana by CHE or DWD as appropriate. Only Eligible Institutions may offer Qualified Education Programs and receive Disbursements.

Five High-Demand Career Fields means the following five employment categories identified by the Indiana NextLevel Jobs program: Advanced Manufacturing; Building & Construction; Health & Life Sciences; IT & Business Services; and, Transportation & Logistics.

Graduate/Graduates/Graduating/Graduation means the successful completion, or a person who successfully completes, a Candidate Program or Qualified Education Program course of study or training that results in earning a Credential.

INDemand Ranking means the DWD-assigned “Flame Ranking” of a job title or occupation on an ascending-scale of one (1) to five (5) “flames” that considers metrics like total job openings, growth in openings, real-time labor market information, and wages. A four- or five-flame job is considered high wage and high demand.

Indiana Career Accelerator Fund (ICAF) means the statutory creation of House Enrolled Act 1001—2021 to provide financial assistance awards to assist individuals in obtaining Credentials from Qualified Education Programs. INvestEd is statutorily tasked with administering ICAF; INvestEd policies and governance have delegated administration to the newly-created, single-purpose subsidiary Accelerate Indiana, Inc.

Labor Market Information Dashboard means the online dashboard or web portal maintained by DWD providing quantitative and qualitative analysis of Indiana labor market information, including employment, unemployment, wages and earnings, labor demand by occupation/industry, and other occupation-specific projections.

Performance Review means the regular review of all Qualified Education Programs on the Qualified Education Program List in terms of compliance with Program Duties and Responsibilities, Program Eligibility Criteria, and all other applicable laws and regulations. The Certification Advisory Committee may determine to recommend a continuation or change in certification status.

Program Duties and Responsibilities means specific programmatic compliance matters for a Qualified Education Program. As part of a Candidate Program’s Application for Consideration, it must consent through the Compliance Agreement to enter into Standard Terms and Conditions with Accelerate Indiana upon certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program. Program Duties and Responsibilities are incorporated by reference. Failure to adhere to Program Duties and Responsibilities may result in de-certification as Qualified Education Program and removal from the Qualified Education Program List. Program Duties and Responsibilities will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website; they are incorporated by reference under the Standard Terms and Conditions and may be amended from time to time.

Program Eligibility Criteria means the eight (8) specified criteria items developed by the Certification Advisory Committee pursuant to the ICAF statute. The Certification Advisory Committee shall apply the criteria to determine if a Candidate Program should be recommended for certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program. The same criteria apply to the extension, renewal, or removal of certification.

Provisional Certification means a Candidate Program that satisfies all statutory certification requirements as a Qualified Education Program through the usage of Proxy Data as determined by the Certification Advisory Committee. If recommended for Provisional Certification by the Certification Advisory Committee, this certification type is provisional and subject to the Certification Advisory Committee’s reconsideration once adequate program-specific data has been collected to make an ultimate determination pursuant to statutory requirements. A program with Provisional Certification will be on the Qualified Education Program List. A program with Provisional Certification will not have its status reviewed by the Certification Advisory Committee until provided notice through Accelerate Indiana. A review can result in a recommendation for removal of Provisional Certification, extension of Provisional Certification, or full certification as a Qualified Education Program.

Proxy Data means information drawn from comparable training programs or authoritative data sources to inform the Certification Advisory Committee’s determination whether to recommend a Candidate Program be granted Provisional Certification. If a Candidate Program satisfies Program Eligibility Criteria items #1, #2, #3, and #4, but does not have adequate data for one or more criteria items required under Program Eligibility Criteria items #5, #6, #7, and #8, Proxy Data may be considered by the Certification Advisory Committee to grant Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program. If an Eligible Institution is submitting multiple Applications for Consideration for the same Credential training program, one or more of those Candidate Programs may be cited as Proxy Data or additional information in support of the application for another Candidate Program.

Qualified Education Program means a Candidate Program the Certification Advisory Committee determined satisfied all Program Eligibility Criteria and recommended to Accelerate Indiana for ultimate certification or Provisional Certification. A Qualified Education Program must have entered into Standard Terms and Conditions to complete its certification or Provisional Certification. A Qualified Education Program shall be on the Qualified Education Program List. Only Qualified Education Programs may receive Disbursements from Accelerate Indiana.

Qualified Education Program List means the list administered and published by Accelerate Indiana denoting active certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program. Only the enrollees of a listed program are eligible as an Applicant to apply for an Accelerate Indiana financial assistance award to obtain a credential through that respective program. Only a listed program may receive a Disbursement from Accelerate Indiana.

Statewide per Capita Income means Indiana’s per capita income according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey. The most recent figure (CY 2019) was $29,777, meaning:

  • Two-hundred percent (200%) of Statewide per Capita Income is $59,554.

Standard Terms and Conditions means the terms and conditions of the Accelerate Indiana, Inc. Qualified Education Program Standard Terms and Conditions, which may be amended from time to time at the sole discretion of Accelerate Indiana. A Candidate Program agrees to be bound by the Standard Terms and Conditions, as amended from time to time, to complete its certification or Provisional Certification as a Qualified Education Program, which includes its addition to the Qualified Education Program List. The Standard Terms and Conditions shall include, but not be limited to, the Qualified Education Program’s certification and agreement to adhere to the Program Duties and Responsibilities. The Standard Terms and Conditions, as may be amended from time to time, will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website.

Student Outcomes and Performance Metrics Data means program-specific quantitative and qualitative information a Qualified Education Program must collect, retain, and submit semiannually to Accelerate Indiana in compliance with Program Duties and Responsibilities as incorporated by reference under the Standard Terms and Conditions, as may be amended from time to time and will be available on the Accelerate Indiana website. This data relates to program-wide outcomes concerning student-level data required of DWD’s INTraining System, Program Eligibility Criteria, Proxy Data (if applicable), information in relation to Provisional Certification (if applicable), and Program Duties and Responsibilities. This data is not restricted to Accelerate Indiana Awardees and Awardee-Graduates except in the case of timely notifications for an Awardee’s academic separation or an Awardee-Graduate’s Graduation.

Vendor means a third-party contracted by Accelerate Indiana to process ICAF financial assistance awards, Disbursements, and Repayment Agreements for Applicants, Awardees, Awardee-Graduates, Eligible Institutions, and Qualified Education Programs. Accelerate Indiana will provide Vendors with an up-to-date Qualified Education Provider List and Program Duties and Responsibilities.

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