Ministry of Education removes ACICS from university accreditation again
In a decision issued Friday, Deputy Education Secretary Cindy Marten sided with the Department of Education’s staff and an independent advisory board, which said the council will take steps to ensure that the federal government has sufficient staff and funding to operate. She said it was unlikely that the oversight body, commonly known as ACICS, would be able to fix the years-old problem if given more time.
Normally, the secretary of education would consider an appeal, but Marten was given that task after Secretary Miguel Cardona declined the case.The council accused Cardona of being biased against the oversight body after he appeared to support its termination in congressional testimony. last year. It took more than a year for the Biden administration to make a decision on the appeal.
In a statement, the Accreditation Council said it was “disappointed” by the department’s decision.
“It is seriously flawed, and ACICS believes it materially complies with an objective, consistent and reasonable interpretation of the accreditation criteria,” the company said. “We are considering all options … including a decision to appeal the Deputy Commissioner’s decision in federal district court.”
This final decision from the Department of Education allows the council to sue only for an injunction to stop its loss of recognition. If the court challenge is successful, the council-accredited school may remain in a pending pattern pending a final court decision. However, the school is already looking for new certifiers.
In a call with reporters on Friday, Undersecretary of Education James Coebar said three of the 27 colleges accredited by the council have begun the process of switching accrediting bodies. There is an 18-month grace period to find a new certifier to prevent loss of accreditation or grant funding.
“The Deputy Commissioner’s decision was not based on ACICS’ history or reputation, but on its long-standing failure to adhere to the minimum standards expected of an accreditation body,” Kvaal said. “It’s been a long conversation with ACICS.”
This is the second time the Council has lost the recognition it needs to operate. The Obama administration cut ties with his ACICS in 2016. Corinthian College and his ITT Technical Institute remained accredited by the council despite widespread findings of fraud and disastrous graduation rates.
The council was once one of the largest university accrediting bodies in the country, overseeing nearly 300 schools. Many of these universities changed accreditation bodies when the council lost his recognition in 2016, but some of the most troubled remained.
The Trump administration has given surveillance agencies another chance, knowing that: It will address open issues. Then-education secretary Betsy DeVos reinstated the council in 2018 over staff objections, with certifiers concluding that he could improve within a year.
In January 2021, Education Department careers staff said the deficiencies that plagued the council in 2016 remained and raised new issues. Appeared.
Officials challenged the board’s accreditation of Reagan National University in South Dakota, which was revealed in a 2020 USA Today survey.
ACICS approved the for-profit university in 2017, but I asked why two years later none of the graduates seem to be getting jobs.Then I asked the now-defunct school for an explanation Why should you keep the Seal of Approval? Instead, the university voluntarily waived its accreditation.
Another council-accredited school, Fairfax University of America (formerly known as Virginia International University), was forced to close in 2019 after a state audit criticized its online education program. A staff member of the Department of Education questioned why ACICS failed to strengthen before state regulators intervened.
“It’s great to see the Department of Education take this long-awaited action to protect students and taxpayers. “Students rely on accreditation bodies to verify that the schools they invest time and money in meet standard levels of quality,” he said. Today’s resolution is an important step in that direction.”