Today, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) sent a clear message to accreditors: It is time to step up.
The Committee voted overwhelmingly to recommend the Department of Education decertify longtime, problematic accreditor ACICS. For far too long, ACICS approved — and kept taxpayer dollars flowing to — predatory schools like ITT Tech and Corinthian that cheated students out of both their valuable federal student aid and the educational opportunities they deserve. The Department of Education should move swiftly to accept NACIQI’s recommendation and strip ACICS of its certification as an accreditor.
While decertifying ACICS is a critically important move to protect students and taxpayers, it is just the first step we need to take to strengthen the quality assurance system in higher education. Accreditors need to do more to focus on improving outcomes for students. And federal policymakers need to advance a broader overhaul of our quality assurance system to ensure predatory schools, like the ones ACICS approved, cannot continue to prey on students. Arnold Ventures looks forward to working with our partners and policymakers to make this happen.