Department of Education Appeal Decision

Today, the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (“ACICS”) received notice that the Department of Education has denied our appeal of the September 22, 2016 decision by the Senior Department Official (SDO) to withdraw ACICS’s recognition as a nationally-recognized accreditation agency.  ACICS will immediately file litigation seeking injunctive and other relief through the courts. 

Roger Williams, ACICS Interim President, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement:  

“We are deeply disappointed in this decision as we believe it will result in immediate and meaningful harm to hundreds of thousands of students currently enrolled at ACICS-accredited institutions.  ACICS has acknowledged its shortcomings and worked diligently to correct them so that, together with ACICS-accredited institutions, we can continue to work to help students achieve their academic and career goals.  ACICS has instituted many new initiatives to address the Department’s concerns and strengthen the accreditation process.  We believe the Department’s decision-making process was flawed and potentially unlawful as it did not take this significant progress into account.  Furthermore, we believe the Department failed to follow its own procedural requirements for review and, in doing so, implemented a process that was arbitrary, biased and in contrast to procedures and legal standards applied to other accrediting agencies.    As such, we will seek immediate redress from the courts in order to maintain our status as an accreditor.” 

More information regarding ACICS’ position on the Secretary’s decision can be found at this link.