NAICU Washington Update

Accreditation Agreement - Here's the Deal . . .

Last month, the accreditors (regional, national, and specialized), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the higher education associations (including NAICU) agreed upon language on measures of success in student achievement (see WIR, 12/21/07). Representatives of these groups have asked the House to include this compromise language in their bill, and members seem receptive to this request.

A key component of the agreement among all parties was the assurance that the Secretary of Education would be restricted from prescribing standards and otherwise regulating measures of student achievement success. This restriction has been included in both the House and Senate bills. This means it is critical that the final bill’s language retain the restriction on success measures, and on the Secretary’s regulation of subsection (a)(5).

The proposed language is intended to uphold the cooperative efforts between accreditors and institutions, preventing either from exercising control over the other — in the same way that both reauthorization bills, as currently written, would keep the Secretary from doing so.