Here is the official announcement from the US Department of Homeland Security that the US Department of Education no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency, a decision that affects more than 16,000 international students in the US attending nearly 130 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and programs that are accredited by ACICS. (There are also implications for the significantly higher number of US Americans students enrolled in these mostly for-profit schools.)
This is an issue I’ve been writing and talking about for a long time, including in the hallowed pages of this blog. The only reason it has come to this is because of the crack investigative reporting of BuzzFeed and the fact that a couple of political leaders, one at the state and another at the national level, took an interest in the sordid results of this long-term lack of oversight. ACICS essentially dug its own grave by not minding the store. The gig is finally up.
Here’s a blog post I wrote last summer about this reporting and Northwestern Polytechnic University in Fremont, CA. There are others. Consider my post an introduction to the rather large elephant in the room, which DHS and EducationUSA chose to ignore.
Another pending issue is the fact that a number of SEVP-certified schools are not accredited, which means there is no quality assurance or maintenance. As the announcement points out, “Most SEVP-certified schools are not required to obtain accreditation and can provide evidence in lieu of accreditation.” To be continued…