Council for Higher Education Accreditation Goals and Position Paper

February 21, 2018

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), in Spring 2017, released its Position Paper on Regulatory Relief for Accreditation. This document included three major goals to address in any attempts at regulatory relief, including a reauthorization bill. These goals are:

  • Protect students: Strengthen accreditation rigor and provide expanded, readily understandable and accessible information about institutions and programs.
  • Advance innovation: Encourage fresh approaches to quality review of traditional providers and expand quality review to new providers and new credentialing.
  • Sustain the strengths of accreditation: Maintain and enhance the academic leadership of institutions and programs, peer review and the commitment to academic freedom.

The proposed legislation addresses the three major goals that CHEA has set. The CHEA goals are also consistent with expectations for accreditation that have been discussed broadly by both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate as well as the House of Representatives.

Specifically, the accreditation provisions of H.R. 4508 address the following recommendations in the Position Paper:

  • Streamlining substantive change
  • Removing the federal definition of credit hour
  • Encouraging innovation
  • Continued commitment to institutional and accreditor mission
  • Additional restricting of federal oversight
  • Centrality of accountability for accreditation credibility
  • Attention to non-institutional providers of higher education and alternative providers of quality review


Download pdf of President's letter and all graphics