Administration Plans Accreditation Actions

October 21, 2015

Arne Duncan to Launch Crackdown on College Accrediting (Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2015 – subscription required)
“Education Secretary Arne Duncan is preparing to unveil a package of proposals aimed at forcing colleges that receive federal money to improve graduation rates and to provide students with job skills. The proposals will  be aimed at accreditors, the not-for-profit agencies that must give their seal of approval so schools can take part is the federal student-loan system.”

“Judith Eaton, president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, an industry association that recognizes 60 accrediting organizations, said the department has been trying to nudge accreditors to focus more on whether colleges provide a return on investment for students. ‘They want accreditation tied more closely to performance,’ Ms. Eaton said. ‘My guess is that the accreditors are going to be pressured to look more closely at things like graduation and completion and transfer [rates] when they make a decision to accredit.’”

Upping the Pressure on Accreditors (Inside Higher Ed, October 20, 2015)
The Obama administration is planning new executive action on higher education accreditation in the coming weeks, as part of a push to make accreditors focus more heavily on student outcomes when judging colleges and universities, officials said.”

What Duncan Wishes He’d Done Differently – and What’s Next for the Education Dept. (Chronicle of Higher Education, October 19, 2015)
“With a little over a year remaining in President Obama’s second term, the administration is setting its sights on accreditation, with plans to issue a package of proposed reforms this month, officials said.”

Mitchell Talks Funding, Accreditation, and Alternative Providers at Linkedin Seminar (Education Dive, October 15, 2015)
“Student outcomes have not always been central to the accreditation process but [Education Under Secretary] Ted Mitchell said that is the shift the Department of Education would like to see.”

Great. Now Washington Wants to Ruin Coding Boot Camps (Slate, October 16, 2015)
“[To be eligible for federal financial aid] The programs would have to be offered in partnership with an accredited college or university, and overseen by an independent 'quality assurance entity' charged with making sure students are actually learning, graduating, or getting jobs.” 

QAA Chief: End of Current System Could Risk “Volkswagen-Style” Crisis (Times Higher Ed, October 16, 2015)
“The scrapping of the UK-wide quality system could risk a Volkswagen-style rapid destruction of the sector’s global reputation, according to the head of the nation’s quality watchdog.”

Administration Backlog Paralyses Australia’s Higher Education Sector (GovernmentNews, October 7, 2015)
“University of Technology Sydney Senior Lecturer Dr Keri Spooner, a public sector administration expert, said there was a growing backlog of private higher education providers waiting to register or renew their registrations with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.”