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Student Achievement Standards

ACICS has established and enforces standards for student achievement to which all campuses and all programs are held. Those standards include Retention Rates, Placement Rates and Licensure/Certification Rates. The rates for each campus and program are calculated based on data submitted by the institution at least annually, and tested and reviewed by ACICS for accuracy, completeness and truthfulness. The technical definitions of each of these standards and the descriptive formulas are published in the Guidelines and Instructions for the Campus Accountability Report. (The 2016 CAR Guidelines & Instructions are under development and will be posted once finalized.)

Benchmark - Benchmarks are thresholds below which a campus and/or program must develop and implement an Improvement Plan. Requirements applied to performance below benchmark but above Council Standard are intended to promote improvement and effectiveness.

Council Standards - Council standards ensure that a substantial majority of students enrolled at ACICS-accredited campuses and programs are retained, pass licensure exams where applicable, and find employment related to their fields. Once determined to be out of compliance with Council expectations for student achievement, a campus or program must come into compliance within established time frames or face conditioning or withdrawal of accreditation.

 

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Immediate Adverse Action – Student achievement performance, derived from self-reported data, is considered a bright line standard that absent any other evidence indicates whether or not a program or campus is performing at or above ACICS minimum standards. When the data reported by a program or campus to ACICS indicates performance significantly below minimum standards, and the institution demonstrates limited capacity to remedy the student achievement deficiencies in a timely manner, the Council will immediately impose sanctions, including probation or other conditions on the grant of accreditation. These adverse actions will be disclosed to the oversight partners as well as the public.

Compliance Warning - When student achievement data reported by a program or campus to ACICS indicates performance below minimum standards, and the institution demonstrates some capacity to remedy the student achievement deficiencies in a timely manner, the Council will issue a compliance warning rather than immediate adverse action and require the campus and/or program to bring themselves into compliance with the applicable standard within the maximum timeframes specified in Title II, Chapter 3 of the Criteria. The Council has the discretion to require compliance in intervals shorter than those specified in Title II, Chapter 3.

Withdrawal by Suspension or Termination of a Program - If a campus or program fails to come into compliance with the Council’s student achievement standards in the timeframes specified by the Council, the Council will impose sanctions, including probation or other conditions on the grant of accreditation. The Council will require the campus to submit an ACICS-approved teach-out plan.

Data Collection and Verification - ACICS has adopted a new comprehensive standard for data integrity, including self-reported student achievement data contained in annual Campus Accountability Reports. All data reported by institutions to ACICS for accountability purposes is subject to testing, verification and accuracy assessment, as well as compliance with technical data formatting and structure requirements. Data that does not conform to ACICS technical requirements, or is found deficient through the integrity testing protocols, will at minimum be returned to the institution for resubmission, at its expense, with the imposition of a fee. Egregious deficiencies of data integrity will subject the institution to sanctions by the Council, including compliance warning, probation and other conditions on the grant of accreditation.


Learn about disclosing student achievement information.