Embattled accreditor receives federal lifeline
- Despite opposition from stakeholders, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) will continue as an authorized body for federal compliance review for the next 18 months, with the chance to clear the granting of full undergraduate degrees at some member institutions.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the surprising decision from the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity to maintain operational status for the ACCJC, which has faced intense criticism for violations of federal compliance standards in review and revocation standards. It has specifically been rebuked for its decision to revoke the accreditation of the City College of San Francisco, which was successfully challenged in court.
- The accrediting agency seeks new relationships just months after the forced departure of its former president, Barbara Beno.
This could be the first sign of the coming wave of deregulation in higher education, and college presidents should be very aware of its potential outcomes. Prior to the election, there was great concern among college presidents that accreditation could be snatched as a result of select institutions behaving badly in recruiting practices or postgraduate outcomes.
But now that the Trump administration has signaled its willingness to dial back many of the federal rules, campuses should be most concerned with ensuring that the public is aware of the difference it makes in the lives of students, industries and communities independent of federal reporting standards. Tools like the federal scorecard may disappear, but it is up to individual campuses to make the case for their own advancement among families and legislative bodies.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Federal panel gives controversial community college a clean slate