It is an unusually busy travel season as ACCET peer review volunteers and ACCET staff traverse the country visiting schools up for initial accreditation, reaccreditation and substantive change approvals. Many of the teams are larger than normal for some initial applicant sites while the winter weather and illnesses have all contributed to a very hectic scene. Nevertheless, we are right on schedule. I would especially like to thank the volunteer team evaluators who are giving their time to this effort and their supervisors who are coping back home when some key personnel are serving as ACCET peer reviewers.
The April Commission meeting also promises to be packed and we have actually extended the number of meeting days as well as enlisting the aid of some former Commissioners to serve on a pro tempore basis. Many initial applicants are experiencing non-compliance issues with placement and, of course, this is an area where time is often necessary to correct. For this reason, the proposal for an 18 month extension of the deadline for the accreditation of former ACICS schools is of crucial importance. Congressional action is necessary to create this extension and the proposal is moving through as part of a Senate appropriations bill. We are monitoring it closely and are encouraged to date but the unpredictability of the current legislative process is reason for concern. By obtaining this extension, ACCET and the other national accreditors are merely trying to do their jobs in a conscientious and complete manner. Most of you are aware that the majority of initial applicants for ACCET accreditation are deferred at least (if not more than) one cycle before becoming completely compliant, so what we’re experiencing here is not all that unusual. What is unusual is a June 12, 2018 deadline for accreditation that has been imposed on former ACICS schools.
Modest enrollment rebounds among ACCET career colleges counter balanced by continued retraction at Intensive English Program schools still appears to be the theme nationwide. We will keep you posted if we see any shifts in these trends.
Spring is around the corner! Hang in there!