Executive Director Update - June/July 2010

ACICS Outreach to Senate HELP Committee

Members of the ACICS executive team met with staff of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate in advance of the first round of hearings regarding for-profit higher education. Institutions accredited by ACICS were mentioned indirectly during the June 24 hearing, and directly during follow-up conversations with staff. The HELP committee is expected to hold more hearings this summer and fall, and we anticipate the standards, methods and capacity of ACICS as a reliable authority on education quality and institutional integrity are among possible topics of review.

ACICS is developing information and analysis to inform members of Congress about the rigor and thoroughness of quality assurance applied to institutions we accredit. On July 8, member institutions participated in a webinar briefing, “Accreditation Outreach to the Senate,” in which ACICS’ executive team presented an overview of the issues and discussed the ongoing outreach effort.



Eligibility for CHEA's Affirmation of ACICS

A formal review of ACICS operations and the credentials offered by institutions it accredits has yielded a favorable outcome for ongoing affiliation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Based on the deliberations of a key committee, the full CHEA Council in September will be considering a recommendation that it affirm ACICS eligibility to seek re-recognition from CHEA. Affirming eligibility is the first step in a rigorous, thorough review of ACICS’ standards, procedures and rigor to serve as a reliable source of authority regarding education quality and institutional integrity for degree-granting colleges. The next phase will involve review of agency records and documents, and observation of site visits and Council deliberations, among other inquiries. As part of its re-recognition process, ACICS will also be undergoing comparable scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Education in the next two years.



Annual Meeting 2010: Empowering Workforce Education

More than 200 career college professionals participated in the ACICS 2010 Leadership Conference and Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Highlights of the two-day conference included a thoughtful discussion of the proposed new “Distributed Enterprise” standards for multi-campus systems; recognition of Evaluators of the Year and Honor Roll Institutions; and discussion of communications and outreach activities supporting the ACICS brand of quality assurance.

Quick Links:
• Overview of Distributed Enterprise discussion forum
• View the 2010 Evaluators of the Year and Honor Roll institutions
• View and download photos and video podcasts from the Annual Meeting 



Focus on Cohort Default

A survey of ACICS-accredited institutions demonstrates high awareness and attention to addressing the rates at which students default on financial aid. The study shows that nearly 90 percent of ACICS-accredited colleges and schools maintain cohort default rate goals and improvement plans; it also identified top best practices widely used to mitigate the incidence of student loan defaults. Results of the research were presented at the ACICS 2010 Leadership Conference and Annual Meeting. The focus on default rates is related to changes made in the Higher Education Act that significantly impact how cohort default rates are calculated and tracked. A webinar regarding the best practices will be scheduled for ACICS member institutions this fall.

Quick Link:
• Visit the Federal Student Aid Data Center 


Upcoming Workshops and Webinars

Adding Value Webinar: IEP
August 27, 2010

Accreditation Workshop – ACICS Office
September 3, 2010

Adding Value Webinar: Retention
September 10, 2010

AWARE Webinar: Fall 2010
September 17, 2010

Evaluator Training Webinar
September 24, 2010

Accreditation Workshop – Hyatt Grand Champions Resort
October 13, 2010

Quick Link:

Visit for more information or to register for a webinar/workshop


New Staff at ACICS
Lauren Trice has joined the Campus Development staff. Her primary duties include processing applications for new programs, non-substantive changes and program modifications. Lauren earned a B.A. from Mary Washington University and a Certificate in Architecture and Design from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad.