A belated welcome to 2017 and Greetings from Washington, DC. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to keep track of the new daily political developments and the implications they may have for our ACCET membership. Suffice to say at this point, there are far more questions than answers. Education Secretary DeVos is still finding her sea legs and identifying key staff. There is indication that some de-regulation is in the works but this is still very undefined. In fact, my attendance at last week’s NACIQI meeting as an observer would currently point to no change in attitude or approach to the for-profit institutional accreditors. Likewise, the court proceedings related to the ACICS dissolution decision by the Department of Education have not yielded positive signs. For our Intensive English Program members, the initial travel ban actions by the new administration have not helped change the perception for students from many countries that the United States is no longer a welcoming place for them to study. So, stayed tuned, as they say, and we will see what the future brings.
Meanwhile, at the ACCET office, staff are coming off the road and preparations are in gear for the April 2017 Commission meeting. As usual, we will have a full agenda and a hectic five days of deliberations. The approval of initial applications from former ACICS schools has been a challenge as we review their financial and other records while holding them to the ACCET standards. By the way, we welcomed Cristina Rodarte back to the fulltime ACCET staff a couple of weeks ago and we are fortunate to have her expertise and experience. Cristina will be working remotely from California but has already assumed a full portfolio of ACCET responsibilities. The office in Washington, DC can facilitate any contact you might require of her.
Preliminary plans are shaping up nicely for our next ACCET Annual Conference scheduled for November 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio, Texas. Sandy Lockwood and her team, as well as ACCET Commissioners and Staff are eager to see that another high quality professional education opportunity is available to our membership. So, please block out those dates now and plan to be with us in November.
As always, I am appreciative of your support and engagement. Warm regards to all.