Standards Century Volume 3, No. 8


Connecting the dots between incremental, indirect measures of institutional effectiveness and more direct, time-proven measures of quality derived from a robust application of accreditation standards is an exercise that continues to occupy a substantial portion of the policy community. In the latest dot-connecting exercise, one Washington D.C. think tank implies that high rates of default by students on federal education loans correlates with a lack of institutional quality or integrity. Other factors - such as the economic circumstances of individual students, or economic conditions that lower the chances for employment or substantial compensation - are marginalized or ignored by some loud voices in the policy community.

ACICS provided a summary response to the report and media coverage through a letter to the editor of the Washington Post. While there is always work to be done to improve accreditation and strengthen the education provided by member colleges and schools, the direct and reliable indicators of program quality extend far beyond cohort default rates and other proxies. Member institutions are encouraged to continuously develop new and better ways to measure quality, particularly as it relates to student learning and student achievement. The accountability of private, independent postsecondary education requires it.

Albert C. Gray, PhD
President and CEO


Council Election September 28
The on-line election to fill two seats on the Council and Board of Directors will be held September 28 - 30. The election is open to designated delegates only; all delegates designated and confirmed by ACICS will receive by email instructions for gaining access to the on-line voting platform. The two winning candidates will each serve a five-year term beginning January 1, 2016.

The candidates for elected member institution representative are:

The elected members next year will join new Commissioners Mr. Richard Bennett, Southern Technical College and Dr. Adriene Hobdy, Montgomery County Community College, who were appointed by Council to fill five-year terms beginning January 1, 2016.

All Institutions Subject To Additional Placement Verification Beginning in 2016
Effective January 1, 2016 ACICS will randomly select member institutions and require them to submit the current month's placement activity through the Placement Verification Program. The spreadsheet used to submit this activity can be viewed by clicking here. All member institutions will be selected at least once within a five-year period for verification of their placement data, the integrity of the placement data collection and reporting process, and the qualifications of parties responsible for the placement data.

Fee Increases for Some Applications
A discrete set of applications - including those for initial grants of accreditation, non-credit short term programs and changes in campus name and location - are subject to higher fees beginning September 1. The adjustments reflect the recovery of the cost of reviewing and assuring the quality of the institutions and their programs. Many fees remain the same. To determine the fee for your application, visit Schedule of Fees.

2015 CAR Templates, Submittals Due November 1
All member institutions have access to the 2015 Campus Accountability Report template and guidelines through The template for 2015 has been revised; institutions should review the new template carefully before preparing. The 2015 CAR submittal requires the new template; submittals using an older template will not be accepted. An AWARE webinar focused on the CAR is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29. The Memorandum to the Field is available for your review.

Reminder: Self-Study is Due September 30
ACICS institutions with an accreditation grant that expires on December 31, 2016 (next year) are required to submit a completed self-study by September 30, 2015. In addition, the chief on-site administrator or the renewal self-study coordinator is required to attend an accreditation renewal workshop to support the preparation of the self-study and other reports required before a site review. To access the application, log on to the ACICS Member Center.