Council Fortifies Focus on Integrity
Disclosures by the Government Accountability Office regarding questionable practices in the admission and advising of students prompted the Council to strengthen its focus on institutional integrity and appropriate relations with students. The GAO report included the apparent violation of accreditation standards at 15 for-profit institutions, including five colleges and schools accredited by ACICS. Questionable practices illustrated involve potential non-compliance with one or more of the standards contained in Title III, Chapter 1 and Appendix C.
The Council reiterated its expectations of transparent, ethical relations with students and authorized a series of actions:
- Direct immediate outreach by the Office of Executive Director to the Chief Executive Officers of each of the five institutions cited for engaging in questionable student relations practices
- Direct written communiqué to the primary administrative officers of all 830 ACICS institutions reiterating in unambiguous terms the Council’s “no tolerance policy” for non-compliance with student relations standards or evidence of practices that are exploitative of vulnerable populations, individuals or circumstances.
- Core, accreditation process changes for the Fall 2010 Travel Cycle, including in-service training for accreditation staff and evaluators on student relations standards, citations, inquiries; and revisions to site visit evaluation templates and questionnaires.
- A third-party performance audit of the accreditation program in order to identify deficiencies of the core enterprise relative to expectations and requirements of students, employers, policy makers.
- Deferred accreditation action on several institutions with pending reviews and opened formal inquiries into the operations of the institutions if ANY of their affiliates were mentioned in the GAO report.
2010 Commissioner Elections
ACICS Council elections this fall will utilize a secure, on-line voting system that affords all member institutions greater access. The on-line voting system will be open October 18 - 22; all ACICS institutions can participate through their designated delegate. If you are ACICS accredited and do not know whom your designated delegate is, contact Deborah Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about the password and access to the Vote Net system will be posted on the ACICS website before October 18.
The candidates for the elected position are Seth Balogh and David Parmenter. Seth Balogh earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology with a double major in Psychology from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio and his master’s and doctorate in Biobehavioral Science from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. Seth is currently the Chief Academic Officer for Brookline College and also serves as an evaluator for ACICS. David Parmenter earned his bachelor's degree in business from Avila University, a master’s in management from Baker University and a master’s in education from St. Mary University. David is currently Wright Career Colleges’ Corporate Vice President and serves as an ACICS evaluator.
The elected candidate will begin service on the Council in January 2011, along with Linda Blair, an appointed member. Linda Blair has worked at Spencerian College, Louisville, Kentucky since 1998 and has served as Dean since 1999. She has a bachelor degree in nursing and a master degree in education, both from Spalding University in Louisvile. Ms. Blair has been active with ACICS since 2004.
ACICS Continues Outreach to Senate HELP
Members of the ACICS executive team continued to reach out to the staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee prior to the August hearing. The HELP committee is expected to hold more hearings this fall, possibly focusing on accreditation. Committee staff members continue to express high interest in the manner in which ACICS resolves complaints and adverse information derived from GAO reports and other sources.
Upcoming Workshops and Webinars
AWARE Webinar: Fall 2010
September 22, 2010
Evaluator Training Webinar
September 24, 2010
Adding Value Workshop: IEP
October 7, 2010
Initial Applicant Workshop
October 12, 2010
Indian Wells, CA
October 13, 2010
Indian Wells, CA
Adding Value Webinar: Cohort Default
November 12, 2010
New Staff at ACICS
Sarah Sober has joined ACICS as Senior Research Coordinator – Institutional Finance. Sarah will provide staff support to the Financial Review Committee (FRC), coordinate financial hearings, manage the Annual Financial Report (AFR) and related financial reporting, coordinate change of ownership notifications and analyze financial adverse information.
Joe Hye and Karly Smith have joined ACICS as Accreditation Coordinators. They will be supplementing the team of accreditation professionals who organize, supervise and direct site visits to member institutions. Joe and Karly will be present at site visits during the Fall 2010 travel cycle as part of their training.
Bill Davis has joined ACICS as Information Support Specialist. His responsibilities include troubleshooting application issues, serving as help desk and trainer for staff and institutions, and as the systems administrator for ‘Personify.’