- The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has established a blue-ribbon panel to assess its review standards for governance, student services, administration and operations.
- The committee will recommend “fundamental changes” to ensure quality assurance in its review of member institutions.
- ACICS, a major accreditor of for-profit colleges, has suspended its granting of accreditation until the panel has concluded its review of organizational processes.
It would be difficult for any organization embroiled in controversy to convince the public that a self-assessment will be the solution to all of its problems. The ACICS-appointed blue-ribbon panel will likely have little bearing on the Department of Education and its campaign against the organization, which it accuses of having maintained accreditation for Corinthian Colleges up until the day the company folded amidst lawsuits and government inquiry.
Corinthian’s case isn’t helped by new revelations from former employees, who say that the school unlawfully tied pay bonuses and promotions to recruiters’ efforts to convert student interest to enrollment. Corinthian may be the most extreme example of predatory recruitment and enrollment, but nonprofit colleges and universities with weakened outcomes in graduation, job placement and student debt may want to monitor the government’s reaction, because they too can be easily targeted as a “fraudulent” institution.