Facing shutdown, for-profit accreditor names new leader
- The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools Tuesday announced former continuing education accreditation leader Roger Williams as its new president, pledging new reforms in oversight and operations.
- The agency continues its fight to remain a federally-approved accreditation monitor for for-profit colleges receiving financial aid disbursement for full time students, despite being targeted as a primary partner in member schools' predatory marketing and recruitment tactics.
- The government has proposed that predatory institutions repay millions to defrauded students, and has extended the guidance to include "financially risky" institutions; a description which has caused concern with non-profit colleges.
ACICS schools are shutting down because of the very real, and very public threat of institutions no longer being eligible to receive financial aid and grant disbursements. Without this aid support, for-profit institutions like ITT, Corinthian Colleges and others quickly lose enrollment or cash assets under requirements to prepay for the disbursements as a condition of good faith enrollment practices.
But it is the overarching language that could involve other institutions which has the higher education community worried about the federal government's approach to loan debt management. With initiatives promoting community college being endorsed and adopted by states, and other initiatives supporting credentialing plans over traditional education, many smaller, liberal arts colleges could easily fall under the same designation and requirements as for-profit institutions.
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools Change in leadership