The vote came after widespread criticism that the agency had provided inadequate oversight.
Some good news for a change. “Inadequate oversight” is one way of putting it. This organization, which was entrusted with the sacred task of accrediting postsecondary institutions, abdicated its responsibility in a number of cases, pure and simple. Why is the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), the largest for-profit accreditor in the US, going the way of the dinosaur? Because someone with power, someone in an official capacity, was finally on to them. How? Because of the outstanding work of two investigative reporters from BuzzFeed. (See the two articles below.) I’ve been writing about bottom feeder nationally accredited institutions and the lack of oversight for years but I was just a lone voice in the higher education wilderness.
Making The Grades
How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process. (5/16)
These Obscure Colleges Sign Up Thousands Of Foreign Students With Little Oversight
The little-known Northwestern Polytechnic University now enrolls more international students than almost any other U.S. college. (1/16)
Regulators Vote to Shut Down Nation’s Largest For-Profit Accrediting Agency
In a huge victory for opponents of for-profit schools, a federal panel voted Thursday to shut down the largest accrediting agency of private sector colleges and universities amid intense criticism in recent years for loose oversight of educational institutions.
The 10-3 decision, handed down Thursday by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, effectively eliminates access to federal financial aid to hundreds of schools accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools that enroll nearly 800,000 students.
To read the article in its entirety, feast your eyes here.
Perhaps there will be some future posts about the ripple effect of this historic vote to shut down ACICS, including the impact on entities that represent “officially accredited” US colleges and universities, i.e., EducationUSA, and those that allow their certified agents to work with these institutions, e.g., the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC). Stay tuned!
I won’t say “I told you so” just a heartfelt and hearty “Farewell, ACICS!” Many of us in the know won’t miss you. It’s high time for whatever replaces you and many of your accredited institutions to take their game to the next level, or become irrelevant.