Senators Propose Alternatives to Accreditation

October 1, 2015

Bennett, Rubio Propose Alternative to Accreditation that Shifts Focus to Student Success (News Release, September 30, 2015)
“U.S. Senators Michael Bennett (D-CO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced a bill to create a voluntary, alternative system of accreditation for American colleges and universities as well as other providers of higher education.”

Perkins Loan Program, a Federal Stalwart Since 1958, Meets Its Demise (Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 2015)
“The bill [to extend the Federal Perkins Loan Program for one year] passed the House of Representatives on Monday. But it ran into trouble in the Senate.” “The legislation that cleared the House on Monday would also extend for a year ... the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the education secretary on accreditation issues.” (Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2015)

Universities to be Ranked in Three Tiers on Quality (University World News, September 26, 2015)
“Evaluations will be undertaken by an independent quality assurance agency with prior approval by the [Vietnam] Ministry of Education and Training.”

Guidance on Competency-Based Education (Inside Higher Ed, September 23, 2015)
“The [U.S. Department of Education] said it became clear that more guidance was needed – for both colleges and accrediting agencies.”

Chief Executive of For-Profit College Gets a Year in Prison for Visa Fraud (Chronicle of Higher Education, September 16, 2015)
“The chief executive of an unaccredited, for-profit university who pleaded guilty to participating in a visa-fraud scheme has been sentenced to one year in prison, the San Jose Mercury News reports.”

UK: BAC Launches Overseas HE Accreditation (The PIE News, September 15, 2015)
“The British Accreditation Council has introduced an accreditation scheme for UK and overseas higher education institutions this week.”

Would-Be Disruptor Shifts Gears (Inside Higher Ed, September 14, 2015)
“Modern States Education Alliance, an organization initially billed as an accreditor for nontraditional providers of education, is changing its focus and taking a more direct route to increasing access to higher education, its founders say.”

When Considering a Pivot, Take Your Cues From Your Customers (Fast Company, September 10, 2015)
“After three years’ toil and $1 million in expenses, University of the People received its accreditation from Distance Education Accrediting Commission, in 2014, and became the first tuition-free online institution to do so.”

Accreditation and the Presidential Campaigns

Rubio: Let’s Overhaul Higher Education (Des Moines Register (Op-Ed), September 14, 2015)
“I will reform our accreditation system to welcome low-cost, innovative higher education providers, which are currently being blocked by the existing institutions that control accreditation.”