Accreditation Rules: Comparing the PROSPER Act and Aim Higher Act

How would the Aim Higher Act and the PROSPER Act affect accreditation rules? On July 24, 2018, Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) of the U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce introduced the Aim Higher Act, a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). The Democratic proposal follows the December 2017 PROSPER…

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Necessity to Invention: Beyond the “Toggle Switch” Approach to Accreditation

As the curtain raised, the theater went pitch black with only the light from the stage casting dimly into the audience. Patrons found themselves fumbling in the darkness trying to read their playbills and the latecomers interrupted the mood, unable to find their seats. In 1896, Granville Woods invented the “Safety Dimmer” so theater patrons—himself included—would…

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The Keys to Quality: Reforming Higher Education Accreditation Policy

The key to assuring higher education quality in the U.S. is accreditation, the complex system used by the Federal government as a gate-keeping mechanism to over $130 billion annually in federal student aid. But federal accreditation policy has become almost entirely focused on compliance and bureaucratic procedures, instead of what counts: student outcomes and results.…

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Reforming Higher Education Accreditation Policy

Today’s students deserve a system of higher education that delivers high-quality results and a guarantee of economic success and upward mobility. The key to assuring higher education quality in the U.S. is accreditation, the complex system used by the Federal government as a gate-keeping mechanism to over $130 billion annually in federal student aid. But…

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Ask the Experts: Accreditation Reform

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Accrediting agencies are responsible for doling out the “stamp of approval” that institutions of higher education need to be eligible to accept federal student aid. Though the federal government invests over $130 billion annually in federal financial aid for today’s students, federal policy does not have a clear focus on ensuring that students use those…

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Why Accreditation Reform Can Unlock Stronger Student Outcomes

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A college degree or certificate is ever more necessary in today’s economy; an estimated 65 percent of available jobs by 2020 will require some education or training beyond high school. The promise to students is that postsecondary education will set them up to obtain a job within their field and embark on a successful career…

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Defining Quality: What Should Quality Look Like in Higher Learning?

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In today’s higher education landscape, quality has become the most important watchword as institutions navigate new accountability policies and regulations while new providers hope to demonstrate their efficacy and impact with students. For today’s students, quality is much more than an abstract concept: it translates to their prospects for career, financial and personal success after…

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Decoding the Accreditation Process

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Today, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) will begin meeting to review the status of accrediting agencies, which play the role of gatekeepers to federal financial aid. We entrust the nation’s system of higher education quality assurance—including accreditors—with ensuring that students use more than $120 billion in federal financial aid at…

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Why Higher Ed Needs a Quality Assurance Revolution

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Surging tuition costs and lackluster results have left students, employers and the public wondering about the return on investment they receive from higher education. After all, taxpayers underwrite the nation’s investment in higher education to the tune of $150 billion annually, yet student outcomes are stubbornly low, and the quality of college educations are increasingly…

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