Don’t Call It a Comeback (Please)

What do you know about ACICS? If you haven’t worked with or for a for-profit school, probably nothing.

Please read this article about how ACICS is trying to regain its power and influence.

The gist of it, sadly, is that the current administration is friendly to for-profit schools and is likely to allow them to operate without as much regulation as is needed.

To wit:

For years, the accrediting body gave its seal of approval to institutions plagued by complaints, and oversaw for-profit schools that had some of the lowest graduation rates in the country and some of the highest rates of student loan defaults.

It accredited Corinthian Colleges even as it was declaring bankruptcy in 2015, and the agency did not pull the accreditation of ITT Technical Institute until after the federal advisory panel recommended the termination of the council’s recognition.

ACICS is not to be trusted. People like me, and probably you, will have little reason to worry about the damage they have done, are doing, and will continue to do, as their student population is relatively underprivileged and often convinced to take on loans they are unlikely ever to repay, even if they did happen to get a well-paid position (which they often do not). I speak from experience here, as, two jobs ago, I worked for an institution that sought to be accredited by ACICS, and each step they took towards gaining approval by the council led to more overcrowding, less support for instructors, and a generally less productive educational environment, though more money for school administrators.

Unfortunately, there is probably little that can be done to stop the current administration from warmly embracing ACICS. I write about this only to inform of the impending (and ongoing) danger of unscrupulous for-profit institutions.

The Times article I quoted above ends thusly:

“Yes, our sector has had bad schools like every sector of higher education,” Mr. Gunderson said. “But it is time that everyone across the political spectrum stop, step back and look for ways to work together to establish public policies that treat all sectors of higher education on a fair and equal basis. The ideological wars must end.”

I agree, if only in the sense that helping the people who suffer should be the only agenda that matters, and granting unbounded power to ACICS should not be an ideological battle at all. Yet such is the world of education in our country these days.