By

cdantoni

March 2020

There is much to report following ACCET’s recent renewal of recognition by the U.S. Department of Education for the maximum five-year period, effective October 23, 2019.  Some exciting initiatives that ACCET is pursuing to provide additional services to our member institutions include:


An Expansion of Scope to Accredit Applied Bachelor’s Degree Programs
: To provide additional opportunities for ACCET institutions and their students, ACCET will be applying to the U.S. Department of Education to expand its scope to accredit applied bachelor’s degree programs. ACCET has initiated a pilot to begin accrediting applied bachelor’s degree programs and is currently working with three institutions that will be applying for accreditation of their BA programs. Other institutions are invited to contact ACCET if they are interested in being considered for the pilot.

A Competency-Based Education Task Force: To provide innovative and alternative learning modalities to ACCET institutions and their students, ACCET is establishing a Competency-Based Education Task Force to develop a template with ACCET standards (Specific Field Criteria) for competency-based education (CBE).  This CBE template will be modeled after those established by ACCET for Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) and E-learning.

Online Training Modules: To provide real-time training to member institutions, ACCET will be developing online training modules. By Spring 2020, ACCET’s website will include online “back-to-basics” training modules on: (1) planning, (2) instructional delivery, and (3) satisfactory progress for Intensive English Programs (IEP). Please contact ACCET to suggest other training modules of value to the membership.

Growing the Membership: ACCET congratulates the following institutions on the award of ACCET initial accreditation in 2018 – 2019, reflecting the rich diversity of our expanding membership:

  • IATA Training Center
  • Institute for Business and Technology
  • Manhattan School of Computer Technology
  • Saudi Electric Services Polytechnic
  • Branford Hall Career Institute
  • Southern California Health Institute
  • Gradalis Waldorf Consulting Services
  • Harris School of Business
  • The Salter College
  • InterNACHI
  • Mariano Moreno Culinary Institute
  • Professional Golfers Career College
  • The Institute of Clinical Pastoral Training
  • Universal Training Institute
  • Yanbu Technical Institute (Saudi Arabia)
  • Continuing Education Center, American University of Beirut (Lebanon)
  • Institute of Banking Studies (Jordan)
  • Saudi Aramco Industrial Security Operations Academy
  • PACE International Academy
  • Saudi Aramco Manpower Development
  • American Flight Training
  • ARC Broward dba Arc Educates
  • Arkansas Fashion School
  • Pacific West Academy
  • Graduate School USA
  • Portland Fashion Institute

At its April 2020 meeting, the Commission will be considering initial accreditation for six additional institutions, including three vocational and three avocational.

Other ACCET News: At its April 2020 meeting, the Commission will welcome a new Institutional Commissioner, Dr. Brad Bouté, Dean of Student Services and Compliance at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.  Additionally, several new staff joined the ACCET team in the fall of 2019, including: Res Helfer as a Senior Accreditation Coordinator with responsibilities for the Financial Review Committee (FRC), Branching Review Committee (avocational institutions), and Complaints; Courtney Smith as an Accreditation Coordinator with responsibility for the Branching Review Committee (IEPs) and the review of reaccreditation applications; Kaitlyn Gough as an Administrative Assistant and Database Liaison; and Curtis Campbell as our new accounting staff.

U.S. Department of Education News:  We are pleased to report that new federal regulations (to become effective July 1, 2020) will eliminate any reference to “national” and “regional” accrediting agencies, with all such agencies simply designated as “institutional accreditors”.  This will be an important first step towards: (1) leveling the playing field for institutions accredited by ACCET and other former “national” accreditors and (2) eliminating artificial and unfair barriers to credit transfer for graduates of ACCET institutions.

Please remember to save the date for ACCET’s annual conference: November 11-13, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency in beautiful Lake Tahoe!

In closing, we at ACCET pledge our continued commitment to working with ACCET members to promote A Partnership for Quality®. We look forward to a productive and successful 2020!

Sincerely,

Judy Hendrickson

Interim Executive Director

September 2019

On July 30, 2019, ACCET appeared before NACIQI – the National Advisory Council for Institutional Quality and Integrity – as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s (US ED) re-recognition process. The Department’s Accreditation Group presented NACIQI with a completely compliant report on our re-recognition petition. ACCET then had the opportunity to make a presentation regarding our agency’s operations and results since 2013. After a brief round of questions from NACIQI members, the advisory committee unanimously supported the recommendation that ACCET’s recognition by US ED be granted for the maximum five-year period. Now, both the Accreditation Group’s recommendation and that of NACIQI will be forwarded to the Senior Department Official and the Secretary for final action. We are so pleased with the result and are grateful for the outcome. The entire ACCET team thanks you for your support!

Following the successful NACIQI meeting and August 2019 Commission meeting, Dr. Bill Larkin announced his retirement and resignation as ACCET’s Executive Director, effective August 31, 2019.  We extend sincere thanks and appreciation to Bill for his leadership, support, and service to ACCET during his six years as Executive Director from 2013 – 2019.  We wish Bill the very best in his well-deserved retirement at his beach house in Cape May.  With Bill’s retirement, I was appointed the Interim Executive Director of ACCET, after serving as Deputy Executive Director and Associate Executive Director for twelve years. We at ACCET pledge our continued commitment to working with our ACCET members to promote A Partnership for Quality®

Sincerely,

Judy Hendrickson

Interim Executive Director

August 2019

On July 30, 2019, ACCET appeared before NACIQI – the National Advisory Council for Institutional Quality and Integrity – as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s (US ED) re-recognition process. The Department’s Accreditation Group presented NACIQI with a completely compliant report on our re-recognition petition. ACCET then had the opportunity to make a presentation regarding our agency’s operations and results since 2013. After a brief round of questions from NACIQI members, the advisory committee unanimously supported the recommendation that ACCET’s recognition by US ED be granted for the maximum five year period. Now, both the Accreditation Group’s recommendation and that of NACIQI will be forwarded to the Senior Department Official and the Secretary for final action.

As you know, this already difficult process was prolonged by an additional fourteen months due to events (including the latest government shutdown) that were beyond our control. We are so pleased with the result and are grateful for the outcome. Our Deputy Executive Director, Judy Hendrickson, led the petition process and is most deserving of our praise and appreciation. The entire ACCET team thanks you for your support!

Sincerely,

William V. Larkin, Ed.D.
Executive Director

March 2019

ACCET has been blessed with no professional staff turnover for five years, so it’s not surprising that some career and personal developments would eventually catch up with us and disrupt this streak.  Here are some recent staff announcements: 

Assistant Executive Director Linsay Oakden will leave the staff after more than ten years of service in mid-May to relocate in Ravenna, Italy with her husband Kenan and baby son, Ozan.  Kenan has accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Bologna and they expect to be overseas for at least two years. Linsay’s contributions to ACCET are legendary and she will be dearly missed both professionally and personally.  We wish the three of them well as they begin this new chapter in their lives.

Senior Accreditation Coordinator Megan Ackerman-Yost left the staff in late February to accept an academic planning position in the College of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin. This move will provide Megan with the opportunity to pursue her first academic love – science – and complete her doctorate. Megan was with ACCET for eight years and was a major staff player in many different realms.  I know you join me in thanking her for her dedicated and talented service.

We have also been informed that Accreditation Coordinator Carol Crehan will leave the staff in late April to accept a language education related position with the United Nations.  Carol’s expertise in the Intensive English area as well as her superb training/teaching skills are but of few of the qualities that we will miss as she moves on after four years and we are grateful for having her with us during that time.

So, after recovering from this news, the senior executive staff worked together to re-organize professional staff portfolios and hire talented new staff.  Major events are as follows:

Dr. Mary Clare DiGiacomo has been promoted to Assistant Executive Director effective upon Linsay’s departure.  Mary Clare’s organizational and interpersonal skills will serve us well as we look towards the future.  Her responsibilities will not be the same as Linsay’s but will encompass several key areas.

Ms. Miia Rasinen has joined the professional staff as an Accreditation Coordinator. She holds a Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of West Virginia and an undergraduate degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame.  Her recent employment includes education/training related positions with the Electronic Transmission Association, the Truckload Carriers Association and Teach for America. 

We also will be hiring an additional Accreditation Coordinator in the coming weeks and will keep you posted once the appointment is made.

On the administrative side, Mr. Shubham Puri has joined the staff as Database Coordinator replacing Simin Xi who left the staff at the end of 2018 to accept a professional position with the United States Senate.  Shubham holds a Master’s degree in Applied Information Technology from Towson University (where he was employed part-time in the University’s Intensive English office) and an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Panjab University in India.

ACCET has always prided itself in serving its members and although we will surely miss Linsay, Megan and Carol, we are committed to continuing such service with our new team organization and players.  Thank you for supporting us in this new chapter.

 

December 2018

In short, the annual ACCET conference in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho was spectacular – beautiful setting, great keynotes, quality breakouts, an abundance of exhibitors, and social events galore.  Sandy Lockwood, Darlene Foret, and the ACCET staff program committee led this year by Cristina Rodarte all did an outstanding job.  FIRST Institute in Illinois is congratulated for winning this year’s Tom Tillia Community Service Award and thanks to Carol Crehan for coordinating the event.  Many memories were made and friendships renewed.  A highlight was the surprise awarding of the first ACCET Lifetime Achievement Award to Sandy Lockwood.  No one is more deserving!  So, now it is on to Phoenix in November 2019.  It promises to be awesome.

We have just completed a week of ACCET Commission meetings with a significant changing of the guard and an agenda of 87 items for consideration.  The Commission welcomed three new Institutional members – Haviva Parnes (EC Boston), Megan Kobzej (New American College, Denver) and Larry Lewis (San Diego Culinary Institute) – and a new public member, Terry O’Donnell (retired Executive Director of CEA – Council of English Language Accreditation).  They quickly adjusted, were oriented and played significant roles in the recent deliberations.  Also, a new Commission Executive Committee was installed – Paul Dunlop, Chair; Yadexy Sierra, Vice Chair; Derek Kindle, Treasurer, Rick Wood, Secretary, Peggy Tiderman, Past Chair (ex officio) and Dr. Bill Larkin, ACCET Executive Director (ex officio). Despite the changes and the short preparation time between the Conference and the Commission Meeting, all ran smoothly.  Special thanks to the ACCET staff for seeing that this occurred.

ACCET staff and Commission Executive Committee members are gearing up for consideration of ACCET’s re-recognition by NACIQI in early February.  The preliminary analysis of our petition by U.S. Department of Education staff was very encouraging and we are eager for the process to be completed. We will keep you posted as the process progresses.

Washington continues to be a hotbed of activity, speculation, and unpredictability with current attention on the ACICS re-instatement, the rapid demise of ECA – Education Corporation of America, and the impact that a Democratic Party led House of Representatives may have on higher education in general and the for-profit sector in particular.  Be assured that every day is an adventure here!

It has been a most challenging year for ACCET but in conclusion, I want to emphasize that ACCET is mired in a strong and durable foundation capable of weathering daunting times. We are moving ahead with a clear vision and determination to continue to serve our members and be a leader in the accreditation community.  Your unwavering support and enthusiasm for ACCET is noted and appreciated. I thank you for this partnership and extend my best wishes for your continued success while sending sincere best wishes from the Commission and staff for an enjoyable, relaxing and productive holiday season!