- A new policy brief from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation outlines its concerns for the changing landscape of the industry, which paints a bleak picture of governmental oversight and a lack of understanding of what makes college education valuable and sustainable.
- The brief outlines several key areas of concern: Muddled views of accreditor oversight, definitions of quality and accountability and the nature of accreditation itself are all up for debate, in part, because of increased government oversight.
- The paper follows increased discussion from federal lawmakers about scaling back intervention in accreditation monitoring and sanctioning.
It is highly likely that many of the rules and consequences levied against accrediting bodies over the last eight years will be rolled back over the course of the next four by a new presidential administration which has pledged the repeal of federal oversight and its associated costs. This could be good news for accreditors and institutions which have long shared concerns about the costs and uneven interpretations of compliance and accountability.
But for the opponents who say institutional quality will decline without federal oversight, individual campuses may have a difficult time convincing the public that metrics like graduation rates, postgraduate employment placement and student debt are no longer important on the scale of how well a school educates its students. Seemingly, the genie may be already out of the bottle for an industry struggling to define its relevance and defend its high costs in an era shaped by the last eight years of the federal government alerting citizens to bad institutional deals and degrees.