Maintaining Accreditation

Although receiving initial accreditation is a complex and daunting task which requires commitment to educational quality, once an institution has earned a grant of accreditation it must meet all of the additional requirements outlined in the Accreditation Criteria, Title II, Chapters 1 and 2. These chapters explain that institutions not only must periodically reapply for accreditation, but that they also must prepare extensive Campus Accountability and Financial Reports which summarize the enrollment and financial condition of the institution. Furthermore, institutions may be required to prepare interim reports for a number of reasons. Finally, institutions must report changes in the mission, objectives, ownership, programs, names, location, and non-main locations whenever these occur. This additional reporting helps keep ACICS abreast of the current conditions at the institution and assists the Council in its assessment of educational quality, but it also can be an administrative burden for an institution not sufficiently organized to maintain its compliance with the Accreditation Criteria.

Academic Standards 
The essential elements of a curriculum and syllabus provided below are intended as tools for institutions to utilize when establishing new programs or revising existing programs.

Annual Financial Reporting 
All ACICS-accredited institutions are required to submit an Annual Financial Report (AFR), Ownership/Control Disclosure Form, and audited financial statements 180 days following the end of the institution's financial year.

Late Filings 
An initial late fee of $1,000 will be assessed the day following the deadline (first day late), and then a $100 per day will be accrued until day 20 of being delinquent.  On day 21, the institution will be presented before the Executive Committee who may issue a show-cause directive.

Interim Reporting 
The Council occasionally requires accredited institutions to submit additional financial information based on the school’s reported financial position.

Classification of Campuses 
The Council classifies campus activities into two categories: main and branch.

Change of Location 
The Council must be notified and grant approval prior to the initiation of educational activity when an institution changes its physical location or its address. An institution is required to justify, in narrative form, reasons for a change of location including effects on current students, administrative staff, and faculty.

Change of Name 
The Council must be notified and grant approval when an institution decides to change its name. If the name change applies to more than one campus, a separate application must be completed for each campus (main or branch).

Campus Closure 
The institution has an obligation to make appropriate arrangements when closing an institution.

Change of Ownership or Control 
The transfer of ownership or a change in the control of an institution is reviewed through the substantive change review process. In addition, any institution or owning corporation that is contemplating a transaction that may result in a change of ownership or control must notify the Council 30 days prior to the transfer of ownership or change in control transaction. A change of ownership application is required for the main campus and each branch campus.

Distance Education
Institutions are required to submit a Distance Education Application for the following changes:

  • the initiation of an on-line delivery format for less than 50% of a program of study;
  •  the initiation of an on-line delivery format for 50% or more of a program of study.


Evaluation Visits 
Prior to any evaluation visit, an institution should forward the Evaluation Visit Update Report directly to each team member at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled visit.

Faculty Enhancement 
Section 3-1-543 of the Accreditation Criteria requires institutions to establish faculty development plans including in-service and/or professional growth activities to enhance faculty expertise.

The Council must be notified prior to the start of any new program and must issue its approval before an institution advertises, recruits, or enrolls students in the proposed program.