Kill NCACS Urges DoEd
Accreditors are lacking "analytical firepower"?  Is that a nice way of saying "fucking stupid"?

New Scrutiny for College Accreditation Groups
Quote:JUNE 7, 2010

Groups that accredit colleges and universities are facing new scrutiny after the U.S. Department of Education's inspector general urged department officials to curtail the authority of the nation's largest regional oversight group.

The inspector general's office found that the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools granted accreditation to a for-profit university despite what investigators considered the school's questionable practices in awarding credit hours to students.

The inspector general urged federal officials, in a final report released May 24, to "limit, suspend or terminate" the HLC's accrediting power.

Officials with the department said they were awaiting a response from the commission before making a decision.

The HLC has objected to the report's conclusions. Karen Solinski, the commission's vice president for legal and governmental affairs, said it has been working with the department on responding to suggested corrective actions. "We'll see where that process comes out," she said.

Many analysts doubt federal officials would take such extreme actions as those called for by the report. A loss of governmental recognition could put students at HLC's 1,000-plus schools in jeopardy of losing federal student aid. Colleges and universities need approval from government-recognized accreditors to participate in federal student-aid programs.

The report comes as the department is pushing for stronger oversight of for-profit higher education amid explosive growth in the sector. Robert Shireman, deputy undersecretary of education, told regulators in April that he feared accreditors didn't have the "analytical firepower" needed to fairly assess schools.

Colleges and universities pay accrediting agencies such as the HLC to evaluate educational activities, financial stability, governance and administrative structure.

Mr. Shireman likened accreditors to credit-rating agencies that gave top marks to underperforming securities amid the financial crisis and said the organizations have an "inherent conflict of interest," as they are funded by the educational institutions they are meant to critique.

The inspector general's report blasted the HLC for accrediting Career Education Corp.'s American Intercontinental University, even though HLC had previously expressed concerns about the school's credit-hour structure.

The report said HLC's failure to define what constitutes a credit hour allowed the university to inflate course value and, consequently, award students too much in federal student loans.

Jeff Leshay, a spokesman for Career Education, said American Intercontinental supports the accreditation process and that HLC's advisory committee found no violations in its recent review of the university.

Department officials said a newly reconstituted oversight body, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, would help correct problems in the accrediting process. The group has not met for two years because of a holdup in member nominations.
The HLC regularly accredits for-profit colleges which operate on "short paper curriculums," where students watch their video courses and then write a brief paper on the subject rather than a taking comprehensive examination.

What does that tell you?
Quote:Department officials said a newly reconstituted oversight body, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, would help correct problems in the accrediting process.

I see.  Regional accreditation is the "gold standard" and we really need it because it assures us all of quality and integrity in higher ed.  Except when the Dept. of Ed decides that it doesn't.  

Then NACIQI would solve all our higher ed quality and integrity problems, if only they could figure out how to nominate members.  

Just as soon as they work out that complex dilemma I'm sure they'll get right on that quality thing.Rolleyes

When layer upon layer upon layer of government bureaucracy is doing nothing to assure quality and integrity, the only answer is....more bureaucracy??  

And CHEA does what exactly?  Don't ask George Gollin, he doesn't know either.
Don't tell the inspector general that the Middle States Association accredits a school that gives 30 credits for a 90 minute exam.
Dennis Ruhl Wrote:Don't tell the inspector general that the Middle States Association accredits a school that gives 30 credits for a 90 minute exam.

The socialist paper shufflers in government only get aroused if it's a for-profit.
Shireman was already replaced a couple days ago.

Wonder why.
Take a look at the full report by the IG's office, available here.

The cartel shill spin on this seems to be that the IG is being unreasonable by suggesting that NCACS should be abolished just because one of those evil for-profits got caught in the ringer.  But that is a totally inaccurate picture.

In fact, the IG's office has been on NCACS' case since at least 2002.  Not for the activities of for-profits, but for NCACS' own lack of concrete and specific accreditation standards.

Quote:In 2002, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a final management information report entitled, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Accreditation Standards for Student Achievement and Program Length (ED-OIG/A09-C0016).  The review found that HLC’s standards that encompass student achievement and program length were general and did not include specific measures to be met by institutions.  The report stated that, as a result, HLC’s established standards inherently limited the agency’s ability to compare institutional performance and distinguish between compliant and noncompliant institutions.  We suggested that HLC develop standards that are sufficiently concrete and specific to permit it to determine whether an institution is compliant or noncompliant; describe the Carnegie formula in written guidance and explicitly state that institutions should use this method or submit written justification of any deviation; and provide guidance on documenting deviations from the Carnegie method.  HLC did not concur with our conclusions or our suggestions.

This is about as damning an indictment of an accreditation organization as one could imagine.

No specific standards.  Hence no ability to compare institutional performance.  And no ability to distinguish between compliant and noncompliant institutions.  

Then (to borrow from Edwin Starr) what is it good for?  Absolutely nothing!

This goes to the very root of the justification for accreditation in the first place.  You need somebody to tell you what to do, the clones whine.  You need big brother to wave his mighty hand and approve what you study and learn, and ultimately what you think.  Now we are finding out the TRUTH, that accreditation agencies cannot distinguish between compliant and noncompliant, because there are no specific standards for comparing.  

TESC = Harvard = St. Regis = UoPhoenix!!  They are all the same in the eyes of the inept, incompetent, insubordinate accreditation agencies, because the accreditation agencies have no ability to tell them apart!

NCACS ignored the specific suggestions for improvement and thumbed it nose at the IG.  They probably figured this notion of "standards" was something peculiar the Bush administration and would blow away in the winds of hope and change.  


What if the Obamunist regime finally notices that their socialist pals in the higher ed cartel are being exposed as a public fraud and sham?  Will somebody decide to "put their boot on the neck" of the IG, as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar so artfully put it?

Considering how well that's working out for Salazar it might not be much cause for concern.  Let's hope the IG sticks to her guns and keeps pressing NCACS to begin doing it's job.  

NCACS, either stand for something or stand aside.  If you can't or won't do the job then quit pretending.  "Unaccredited" has more value than "no standards sham accredited."

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