Could audits replace traditional accreditation standards?
- The Chronicle examines the possibility of standard auditing practices as a replacement for regional accrediting as a monitoring tool for college and university performance.
- As the federal government makes accrediting compliance an issue of debate for the continuing disbursement of federal funds, some higher ed observers say the audit would enable a more detailed review of college outcomes, like job placement and graduation rates, as insight into how effective a school is.
- One bootcamp vendor, General Assembly, has released a set of audit standards by which it publicly measures its own veracity in the credentialing marketplace.
Accreditation, by its nature, has long been a point of contention for schools and a recent enemy of expenditure for the federal government. For smaller and economically stressed institutions, metrics of resources and outcomes that do not represent niche missions or financial divestment have long jeopardized the ability of minority-serving and historically black institutions to escape consistent shortfalls in accreditation standards.
Now that the Department of Education is positioning to become the sole accrediting body through control of federal financial aid, the audit may be an ideal way to create tiers of review for schools of varying size and mission, much in the way that the federal government determines tax rates, and measures other levels of performance in business or capacity.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Forget accreditation. Bring on the college audit