Albert C. Gray Responses to Article in Herald - Leader

Accreditation by National Firm More than Adequate

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is quoted in a July 17 Herald-Leader article, "A high degree of default," as making broad claims about for-profit institutions, including the "adequacy" of accreditation for Kentucky career colleges.

As the largest national accreditor of degree-granting career colleges, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools assures the quality of 26 colleges in Kentucky serving more than 26,000 students in such fields as business administration, information technology and allied health.

Accredited institutions play a crucial role meeting the work-force needs of the community for IT professionals, business assistants and licensed practical nurses. Accredited colleges and schools in Kentucky retained students at a rate of 68 percent in 2010 and placed nearly 70 percent in related jobs.

As a national accreditor of institutions chartered to train students for professional, technical and occupational fields, ACICS is the appropriate quality-assurance resource for Kentucky career colleges. Regional accreditors do not have standards for retention or placement; colleges would face no accreditation sanctions for poor retention and placement from regional accreditors.

Career colleges have provided pathways to post-secondary education for many underserved by traditional colleges for decades. Career education is simply a better fit than traditional higher education for many working adults.

ACICS-accredited institutions offer students the opportunity to attain educational success while maintaining transparency, establishing measurable learning outcomes and ensuring compliance in calculating, evaluating and measuring job placement and student achievement.

Not only is ACICS "adequate" accreditation for Kentucky career colleges; it is the appropriate form of accreditation.

Albert C. Gray
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
Washington, D.C.