September 28, 2010
Attached please find the 2010 Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Recognition Policy and Procedures containing revisions approved by the CHEA Board of Directors on June 28, 2010. Accrediting organizations seeking CHEA recognition that initiate a review at the June 2011 meeting of the CHEA Committee on Recognition and thereafter will be considered under the 2010 policy. Accrediting organizations that are committed to review at the November 2010 or March 2011 committee meetings will continue under the 2006 policy.
CHEA began work on revisions to the policy in March 2010. The committee on recognition, made up of individuals from institutions, accrediting organizations and the public, shared initial proposed revisions with CHEA institutional members, CHEA- and USDE-recognized accrediting organizations, the Washington-based higher education associations as well as all others in the CHEA database of more than 11,000 institutions, organizations and individuals.
CHEA solicited comments on the proposed revisions during April 1 – May 31, 2010. The committee on recognition met on June 2, 2010 and reviewed the comments, making additional modifications based on the responses received. CHEA then circulated the modifications during June 2 – 16, 2010, once again soliciting comments from the 11,000 recipients. CHEA also hosted an open meeting (May 11, 2010), an open conference call (June 2, 2010) as well as meeting with the CHEA Specialized/National Advisory Panel and the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions.
A total of 178 comments were received during both comment periods. The committee met on June 20-21 and made its final modifications based on the comments, recommending final revisions to the CHEA Board of Directors. The board approved the revisions as presented by the committee at its June 28, 2010 meeting, following a review of all comments that CHEA received.
The 2010 revisions to the policy strengthen CHEA’s expectations of accrediting organizations with regard to transparency and financial independence. They initiate scrutiny of international activity and call for accreditor attention to degree mills and accreditation mills. The revisions include greater scrutiny of accrediting organizations between recognition reviews. The remaining changes affect the recognition process, e.g., setting time periods between successive attempts to achieve CHEA recognition.
Strong CHEA recognition is part of a strong accreditation enterprise and sustaining of self-regulation and peer/professional review. We thank the many individuals who participated in this important process and took the time to share their views with us. The comments that were offered resulted in valuable changes to the initial proposed revisions.