HomeSchool Reform NewsSwitching Accrediting Agencies for Higher Education

Switching Accrediting Agencies for Higher Education

Switching accrediting agencies for higher education, Arizona and Florida officials say they hope to improve student outcomes.

Florida’s Education Bureaucracy Seeks New Accreditors

Florida officials are taking the costly step of seeking a new accreditation body, switching from the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to the Higher Learning Commission. A four-step process, which includes Department of Education approval, accompanies the approximately $11 million price tag.

The kick-off meeting at Tallahassee Community College of over 40 college and university presidents was closed to the public. Andrew Gothard, president of the United Faculty of Florida, spoke against the move: “This was about firing a shot across the bow of SACSCOC. And elected leaders, particularly the conservatives in the Florida Legislature, were willing to sink the higher education system to score those political points.”

Meanwhile, a Defense of Freedom Institute press release is accusing the DOE of harassing Florida’s governor and his and the state’s efforts to “improve student outcomes and educational programs in higher ed.”

Accreditation Works for Some, Not for Others

Whereas the Florida higher ed system hopes to welcome the Higher Learning Commission as its accreditor, the University of Arizona system wants to dump it in exchange for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC).

The Arizona system is attempting a merger with the University of Arizona Global Campus, formerly Ashford, the once for-profit school with low completion rates. WSCUC was its accreditor, and the powers that be think the merged university system will be better off with it. Meanwhile, the Department of Education will review all the comings and goings.

Gayle Greene, a professor at Scripps College, overseen by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (the parent organization of WSCUC), bemoans the meetings and reports required in the accreditation process in which “narrowly prescribed” Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) are filled with words like model, measure, solve, and prioritize rather than comprehend, appreciate, grasp, and—dare we say—enjoy.

Originally published by Paideia TimesRepublished with permission.

For more on higher education, read School Reform News.

Paideia Times
Paideia Times
Paideia Times reports on higher education issues.


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