In an accompanying report, Senator Warren criticized ACICS’ performance, issuing a number of condemning findings, including that “ACICS has a history of accrediting schools accused of numerous violations of federal and state law,” and that the agency “has ignored obvious signs of wrongdoing at schools it accredits.”
“As gatekeepers to federal funding, accrediting agencies play a crucial role in promoting student achievement and institutional quality at institutions of higher education,” Senator Warren wrote.
Meanwhile, executives at ACICS are defending the accreditation process and his organization’s role in it.
“What’s the alternative? The alternative will be mid-level government bureaucrats that are going in schools and saying, ‘We deem this one to be good, we deem this one to be bad, and we deem this one to be bad,” said Tony Bieda, ACICS’ Executive in Charge, during an interview with WGBH’s On Campus.
This week, Bieda announced ACICS would stop taking new applications from colleges seeking accreditation.
Senator Warren’s letter and report come as the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) is expected to consider whether to renew ACICS’s federal recognition later this month.
Senator Warren, along with other lawmakers, want the Department to stop recognizing the Council’s accreditation.
[Cross-posted at On Campus: the WGBH News Higher Education Blog]