USDE Announces Executive Actions and Legislative Proposals on Accreditation

November 6, 2015

Breaking News

 Obama Administration Cracks Down on College Accreditors (Washington Post, November 6, 2015)
“The political scrutiny intensified for accreditation agencies [on November 6] with the Obama administration announcing a series of executive actions to reform the gatekeepers between colleges and billions of dollars in federal financial aid.” “'The increasing push by federal officials to tie accreditation status more closely and explicitly to evidence of institutional performance is pressuring accreditation to move in that direction,' said Judith Eaton, president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.”

U.S. to Put New Requirements on Accreditors (Chronicle of Higher Education, November 6, 2015)
“The administration is taking only limited steps. Bigger changes will require cooperation from Congress.”

Shaming Accreditors (Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2015)
“The Obama administration is trying to ratchet up already growing pressure on accrediting agencies to focus more intently on whether colleges are graduating students with the skills they need to get jobs and repay their loans.”

From Inputs to Outcomes: Decoding ‘Quality Assurance’ in Higher Education (EdSurge, November 4, 2015)
“What does ‘quality’ in higher education look like? That’s the top-of-mind question for higher-ed leaders as the US Department of Education dangles the prospect of making financial aid available to students engaged in nontraditional academic programs, designed in partnership with third parties—including for-profit companies.”

Broad Coalition’s Goals for the Higher Education Act (Inside Higher Ed, November 4, 2015)
“The groups described seven principles: outcomes are what matter, federal financial aid policies need to be more flexible, higher education needs to do more to connect learning and work, accreditation processes need to be more transparent and rigorous, quality assurance processes should focus more on programs and credentials, policy should encourage innovation and experimentation, and that the Higher Education Act should be better coordinated with other federally funded education and training programs.”

Who Keeps Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Flowing to For-Profit Colleges? These Guys (ProPublica, November 3, 2015)
“Accreditation agencies are supposed to make sure that colleges are putting students in a position to succeed. That’s not happening at schools overseen by one accreditor in particular.”

Judge Throws Out Suit Against Accreditor That Shut Down For-Profit Venture (The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 30, 2015)
“A federal judge in California has dismissed a lawsuit that the company behind the for-profit Ivy Bridge College filed against the accreditor that shut down the institution.”

Obama’s Accreditation Reform: A Welcome First Step (Brookings, October 27, 2015)
“Our system of higher education serves a very diverse set of students with needs that are changing quickly over time. As such, we need a system of accreditation that will support a variety of pathways for skill development and that can embrace innovation.”