This is my third website blog entry so far this year and I appreciate your positive feedback to date. This time, we have decided to also send this missive via email to each institution’s primary contact official listed on your AMS page.
We had a very busy and highly successful April Commission meeting during which we welcomed five new members and re-accredited twenty-two members. In all, eighty-two members were on the agenda for a variety of actions and deliberations. Recently, I have been often asked how ACCET is doing membership-wise in light of turmoil in both the career college and IEP/ESOL realms. This is a more compelling question nowadays especially in light of several sister national accrediting agencies reporting some significant attrition. I reported at the October 2015 that we finished the previous year with a net increase of nineteen main campuses. Since then, we have more or less broken even, losing six main campuses and gaining seven new ones with an even mix of new career colleges, IEP/ESOLs and avocational members. In this day and age, that record is a strong one and is indicative of our members’ commitment and adherence to ACCET standards. I sincerely thank you for your extra efforts.
During the April meeting, the Commission also held a one-half day retreat to account for the strategic priorities accomplished to date and to propose new initiatives. Included as new activities are ways to increase transparency by ACCET and ACCET members; further expansion of communications efforts with our members; consideration of expansion of ACCET’s scope of accreditation to possibly include new programs that we do not currently accredit and the possibility of becoming a programmatic accreditor in addition to our present status as an institutional accreditor; further strengthening ACCET’s professional development and training initiatives; and the exploration of a government relations program. Periodically, I will update you on our progress.
We continue to monitor and respond, when necessary, to issues regarding accreditors that have been raised by the Department of Education, Congress and the press. Watch for this focus to expand in late June when four of our fellow national accrediting agencies will be up for re-recognition by NACIQI – the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. The re-recognition process is rigorous and probing – not unlike the reaccreditation process our members experience every three or five years. It also includes a public hearing as part of the process and ultimately NACIQI makes a recommendation to the U.S. Secretary of Education regarding re-recognition. The three-day public meeting in suburban Washington, DC will be closely watched by the accreditation community and many other interested parties. I will be sure to update you in this space upon conclusion of the deliberations. By the way, ACCET is up for re-recognition consideration in June 2018.
Here in the ACCET office, we welcomed Stephen Barkley, a new accreditation coordinator who joined the staff in late April. Stephen brings a boatload of educational consulting and IEP/ESOL experience both stateside and abroad. You will enjoy meeting and working with Stephen in the time ahead. All ACCET accrediting and executive staff members have very extensive travel schedules this cycle but remain committed to a timely response of your inquiries.
Incidentally, we will have an opening for an Institutional Commissioner to take office for a renewable three year term beginning December 2016. Be on the lookout for an official notice to be emailed to you this summer outlining the nomination and election process that culminates at the annual conference this late October in New Mexico. So, please begin now to consider colleagues you might nominate.
So, here’s to a successful and enjoyable summer season. Best wishes for continued success and thank you for your continued commitment to ACCET.