ED moves closer to banning for-profit accreditor
- The Washington Post reports on the latest notice from the U.S. Department of Education to the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, suggesting that it will uphold an independent call for the council to be banned as an approved accrediting agency of schools receiving federal funding.
- In a letter, ED officials told ACICS leadership that fundamental issues with oversight and the application of monitoring reforms would not be possible in the next 12 months.
- ACICS officials could choose to sue the department, which would maintain accreditation until a court ruling and prevent a massive shift in higher education impacting 300 schools and more than 600,000 students.
Potential court order not withstanding, there is little chance that ACICS will survive the likely banishment from federal authority as an accrediting agency, which would all but end the existence of for-profit education. However, the real concern is for non-profit institutions which could potentially face the new standards applied to for-profits, in examination of endowment spending, cost maintenance for students and postgraduate metrics.
This is a new era of oversight for the entire sector of higher education, and regardless of public status, degrees awarded and jobs secured after graduation, the federal government is emerging as the the new and sole accreditor of colleges and universities, based upon metrics that most institutions cannot control, such as student preparedness or attractiveness to employers in a changing marketplace.