Centennial Newsletter - August










Conference to Expand Knowledge of ACICS Leaders

Culminating ACICS’s Centennial will be “Celebrating 100 Years of Excellence,” the Professional Development Conference and Annual Meeting held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. During the conference, dynamic speakers will lead breakout sessions, organized into the following five categories:

These breakout sessions will explore issues concerning academic quality, and specifically examine student success through problem-based learning, teaching professionalism, institutional effectiveness standards, academic and community support, and academic program effectiveness.

Career Services
Gainful employment is essential to student – and institutional – success, and an institution’s career services center is constantly working to improve the services offered to students. Topics covered during these sessions will include improving retention and placement rates, best practices for student career and financial planning, the power of networking, the benefits and strategies of social media in career services, and building credibility through community engagement.

ACICS has planned several breakout sessions about faculty skills and performance. These sessions will address how to deliver compelling content with real-world relevance, as well as the evolving science of resource management. They will also examine how to enhance teaching and learning across multiple generations, improve student retention rates, measure learning outcomes and faculty performance, and improve student motivation.

Financial Aid
Financial aid-focused sessions will examine the impact of successful student retention on default prevention and gainful employment. These sessions are designed to help schools prepare for a Department of Education program review and increased oversight over their private lending practices.

Last but not least, several sessions will address student recruiting practices. These sessions are intended to help strengthen recruiting efforts for member schools, while helping them adhere to compliance issues in marketing. Specifically, they will address how to improve recruitment through training, examine ways to transform learning experiences and hands-on classroom activities into referral and recruitment activities, and discuss current compliance issues in marketing.

To learn more about individual breakout sessions and speakers, visit the “ACICS Centennial” section of our website.

Join the Celebration on November 10

Get ready for the capstone event of our Centennial celebration, the Gala which will be held on Saturday, November 10. The evening will be filled with stories and laughter as generations of career school leaders sit down together to reflect on a rich history filled with service to students, employers and communities. Buy a new dress, pull out your best suit, or perhaps even wear a tuxedo for this grand event. A ticket to the Gala is included in the Professional Development Conference registration. 

Snapshot from ACICS History – The ‘90s, Balancing Quality and Growth

The 1990s represented a period of transformation and continued growth for ACICS. In 1991, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) was founded in order to serve as a national advocate and institutional voice for academic quality through accreditation. Within a year, ACICS became one of two national accreditors recognized by both the Education Department and CHEA, positioning themselves as leaders in the accreditation industry.

This recognition, coupled with the continued expansion of career schools nationwide, resulted in numerous applications from schools seeking accreditation. As ACICS accredited more and more schools, it also began brainstorming ways to better serve these institutions and their students.

ACICS subsequently raised its accreditation standards and began developing resources for students and member institutions. By raising its standards, ACICS also demanded more from its schools in terms of quality of education – based on metrics such as student success rates. ACICS’s forward thinking has allowed the organization to become a leading quality assurance voice and set the bar for other accrediting agencies to follow.

In response to changes in federal regulations adopted in the 1992 Amendments to the Higher Education Act, ACICS was incorporated as an independent non-profit corporation on July 1, 1993, and was no longer affiliated with the industry trade association, the Career College Association.

Centennial Student Profile

Melanie Gonzalez: When Patience Leads to Success

After dropping out of high school, Melanie Gonzalez didn’t know what the future held. With an interest in healthcare, Melanie started researching career colleges that would help her find gainful employment in the healthcare industry.

Melanie learned about the medical assistant program at The Sawyer School in Hamden, Conn., designed to train students for jobs in hospitals, doctor’s offices and walk-in clinics where help is in demand. Graduates of the medical assistant program learn about infection control; how to perform EKGs and blood, glucose, cholesterol and hemoglobin tests; and throat swab cultures. In addition, graduates enter the workforce with comprehensive training in patient charting, medical billing and coding proficiency, and the ability to build positive patient relations.

“From the minute I entered The Sawyer School, I felt the love, warmth, comfort and the security I had been in search of for a very long time,” Melanie said. “The director, teachers and all staff members were amazing. They are the reason why students who are out on a quest begin reaching for the stars! This school means the world to me!”

Melanie’s training at The Sawyer School gave her the confidence and skills needed to obtain a job. She is currently a medical assistant for an arthritis and osteoporosis clinic in Hamden.

“From the day I started [at The Sawyer School], my life began changing for the best. I began believing in myself, and there was no more self-doubt.”

Centennial Resources to Download

Visit the Resources page to view and download fact sheets, the Centennial logo, and other materials. ACICS has also created an online Centennial Toolkit to guide schools in planning local celebrations, inform students about ACICS’s 100 years of history, offer links to videos and other multimedia content, and more.

Click here to view all related Centennial resources.

Click here to view the Centennial Toolkit.

Upcoming Events

  • September 24 and 28: Virginia Career College Association (VCCA) Annual Meeting and Fall Conference (Richmond, Va.)
  • October 9: California State ACICS Centennial celebration at the CAPPS annual conference (Pasadena, Calif.)
  • October 9: Texas State ACICS Centennial celebration at the CCST annual conference (Dallas, Texas)
  • October 18: Missouri/Kansas ACICS Centennial celebration at the MAPCCS annual conference (Kansas City, Mo.)
  • November 8-11: ACICS Annual Meeting and Centennial Celebration Gala (Las Vegas, Nev.)