Standards Century Volume 1, No. 6

The Journal of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
Volume 1, No.6
December 2013


From the President

The closing days of 2013 provide an occasion to reflect on the opportunities and successes afforded ACICS institutions in the past twelve months. It is also important to consider what our colleges and schools provide their students: opportunities to grow personally, acquire skills for the workplace, and better contribute to the well-being of their families and the community. These valuable outcomes are core to our enterprise; they reflect the fundamental reasons we apply our intellects, emotions and resources to accredited career education every day, month in and month out. The endeavor can be a struggle, but it is a noble struggle that produces honorable results. From the Council and the staff at ACICS, our wish to you is for a peaceful holiday season and many reasons to celebrate honorable results in the New Year!

Albert C. Gray, Ph.D. 


New Council Leadership

The New Year brings new leadership to the organization. In 2014, the Council will be led by Jeanne Herrmann, Chair. At the December Council meeting, the following were elected to the Executive Committee to serve with Ms. Herrmann: Mr. John Euliano, Chair-elect (to serve as Chair in 2015); Dr. Ed Thomas, Treasurer; Dr. Larry Leak and Mr. Edwin Colon, At- Large members.   


Restoring Confidence in Institutional Performance 

The leaders of all ACICS institutions will soon receive the first in a series of communiques outlining the enhanced Placement Verification Program (PVP). The communiques will be posted under the "News and Alert" banner on the website. Beginning July 1, 2014 all member institutions will be required to provide substantially more robust information, more frequently, so that placement outcomes can be tracked, evaluated and verified with greater confidence. The upcoming correspondence will explain how these formal changes are significant and integral to the maintenance of accreditation. It will also underscore the relationship between the implementation of the PVP program and the Council's sustained effort to restore credibility to the outcomes and institutional effectiveness metrics it applies to accreditation decisions.

Subsequent correspondence will provide more details about campus requirements, along with information on webinars and other training resources for institutions.The first of the informational webinars will be presented in January 2014. 


 College Ratings System Focuses on Debt, Price

More details about the proposed college rating system under development by the U.S. Department of Education have been shared in recent weeks. The concept of a consumer-focused college accountability system to augment or replace the current system of accreditation was announced in the State of the Union address earlier this year. The system is expected to be unveiled in early 2014 for public comment and feedback; then implemented in time for the start of the 2015 academic year.

ACICS members attending the 2013 Conference received a substantial briefing during one of the break-out sessions. "President Obama's Plan for Making College More Affordable: A Seismic Shift?"  As described, the ratings system would build on the White House College Scorecard established earlier this year. The system is designed to add affordability and debt load indicators to the peer review, site-based quality assurance accomplished through accreditation. 

Initially the program would provide an additional source of information to guide students in making enrollment decisions. The Department and the White House have indicated they intend the ratings to become material to the allocation of Federal Student Aid, including Pell Grants and subsidized student loans. 

n the policy community, it is widely acknowledged that the Department has the authority to establish a system for disseminating more information to consumers about colleges. It is also expected that any link between the rating system and allocation of Title IV funds will require Congressional review and approval. Some members of Congress, including those in leadership of education panels, have expressed reservations about that proposed linkage.

More information will be provided to member institutions in the coming months, as the ratings system has some overlap and potential conflicts with institutional effectiveness as measured and disclosed by the accreditation community.   


 New Staff Announced

Please welcome to ACICS the following individuals who have joined the staff recently:
Carl Atkinson, Institutional Finance Specialist
Lauren Carey, Program Analyst I
Steven Gelfound, Vice President of Information Technology
Frenika Rivers, Accreditation Coordinator
Jan Shelton, Accreditation Coordinator


Workshop Schedule for 2014

ACICS provides many in-person educational opportunities through the course of the year to assist member institutions - and those aspiring to membership - in preparing applications and other materials for the accreditation cycle.The workshops scheduled for 2014 are:

CEP/CAR Workshop 
September 4, 2014
ACICS Office

Initial Accreditation Workshop  
February 26, 2014
CICS Office

June 3, 2014  
Seattle, WA

October 14, 2014  
Monterey, CA 

Renewal Accreditation Workshop   
 February 27, 2014 
ACICS Office

February 28, 2014 
ACICS Office

June 3, 2014
Seattle, WA

July 29, 2014
Aventura, FL 

September 3, 2014   

ACICS Office

September 5, 2014 
CICS Office 

October 14, 2014  
Monterey, CA  

November 3, 2014
New Orleans

Retention and Placement Workshop 
February 21, 2014  
ACICS Office

March 7, 2014  
ACICS Office    

Save the Date: November 3-5, 2014

Come join us in New Orleans for the ACICS 4th Annual Conference and Business Meeting at The Ritz-Carlton of New Orleans. The keynote speaker will be Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr., the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.