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!