Former Accreditor ACICS Applies for Recognition

By Allie Bidwell, Communications Staff

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or ACICS, an accreditor terminated by the Obama administration last December, is applying for recognition, the organization’s new president announced Thursday.

In a written statement posted on ACICS’s website, Michelle Edwards – the new president and chief operating officer – said the accreditor plans to formally petition the Department of Education (ED) for recognition as a national accreditor by the beginning of October. The accreditor’s termination largely stemmed from its oversight of the for-profit college chains Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute, both of which closed their doors in recent years and have been the target of complaints from former students claiming they were defrauded by the institutions. Before its termination ACICS accredited more than 200 institutions, many of them for-profits.

Following the official termination of ACICS as a federal accreditor, ED informed institutions accredited by the agency of additional conditions required in order for them to continue to participate in Title IV programs. ED told the ACICS-accredited institutions that they could be provisionally certified by ED for participation in Title IV programs for up to 18 months from the date of the final decision, allowing schools time to seek accreditation from another agency that is recognized by the federal government.

However, ED is required additional conditions for ACICS-accredited institutions during the provisional certification, including additional monitoring, oversight, transparency, and accountability measures.

In her statement, Edwards said that in the last 14 months, ACICS has launched reform efforts and “made significant progress” in several areas related to accreditation criteria, standards, data collection and verification, monitoring, and more.

“Indeed, I believe ACICS is taking the steps necessary to become, over time, a leader among accreditors,” Edwards said. “I am proud of the tremendous work being advanced by so many members of the ACICS community and I am committed to our shared future."


Publication Date: 9/15/2017

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