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ACCSC Webinar Series:
A Conversation with the Executive Director
November 28, 2012
Dr. Michale S. McComis
Christopher Lambert
Executive Director
Associate Executive Director
Webinar Logistics
• There may be a slight pause between slide transitions
• The slideshow is interactive
• Includes hyperlinks to various websites, forms, and Alerts referenced in
the webinar.
• Please feel free to ask your questions by typing them into the webinar platform
system.
• Staff will do our very best to answer all questions, either during, or after,
the webinar.
• If you have an “institution specific” question, for example on your credit
hour calculations, engaging with staff offline via email/phone is the best
scenario.
• A copy of the webinar will be made available at www.accsc.org under Events/
Webinars Section
• Yes, a copy of the slides will be made available online as well.
• Provide this information to your staff for ongoing training and development.
Agenda
• An update on the Commission’s External Affairs Activities
• An update on Organizational Initiatives
• Revisions and Proposed Revisions to the Standards of
Accreditation
External Affairs
Update
External Affairs Update
Reauthorization of Higher Education Act Strategic Planning
Session
• Sponsored by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation
• Named by National Accreditors and Designated Representative to
CHEA
• First Meeting
California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools Annual
Conference
• Break-out Session: Accreditation as a Blueprint for Institutional Success
• Panel Discussion: Accreditor’s Perspectives
Career Colleges and Schools of Texas Annual Conference
• ACCSC Member Forum
• Invitation from incoming Chair, Mary Cano, Western Technical College
(ACCSC-accredited) – Dinner with Sen. Royce West (D-Texas State
Senate)
External Affairs Update
On the Road…
Attending the APSCU Symposium
• December 5-7, 2012 – Washington DC
• ACCSC will be in attendance on December 6th
Maryland Association of Private Colleges and Career Schools
Annual Conference
• December 6-7, 2012 – Baltimore
• ACCSC to participate in Accrediting Agency Panel Discussion on
December 6th
National Advisory Committee for Institutional Quality and
Integrity (NACIQI) Fall 2012 Meeting
• December 11-12, 2012 – Washington, DC
• ACCSC in attendance
Organizational
Activities
Organizational Activities
• Call for Commissioner Nominations
• 2 School Commissioners for terms to begin 07.01.13 and to end 06.30.17
• 1 Public Commissioner for a term to begin 07.01.13 and to end 06.30.17
• 1 School Commissioner for a term to begin on 07.01.13 and to end 6.30.14
•
2012 Annual Report Deadline
• As of today, November 28, 2012, 99% submission (756 of 761)
• Deadline for Implementation of the Definition of a Credit
Hour
As stated in the April 13, 2012 Accreditation Alert the deadline for
implementing the Commission’s new definition of a credit hour is
no later than December 31, 2012.
Credit Hour Resources
• April 13, 2012 Accreditation Alert
• Read about the Commission’s Definition of a Credit Hour
• Read about the program approval process
• Read about the approval process for avocational/continuing
education programs.
• April 30, 2012 Webinar
• Hear from ACCSC’s Executive Director as he explains the
Commission’s Definition of a Credit Hour, the approval process,
expectations, and some interesting questions from the membership.
• Under Events / Webinars at www.accsc.org
• Contact ACCSC
• Engage with the Commission’s staff regarding any questions you have
with respect to the application of the Commission’s Definition of a
Credit Hour.
3Q Activity Report
766 accredited institutions
• Membership Services
• 173 participants at ACCSC workshops in 2012
• 212 participants at the 2012 PDC
• 1000+ at ACCSC Webinars
• Accreditation
• On schedule for 314 on-site evaluations in calendar year 2012
• Institutional Review and Development
• 490 Substantive Change Applications
• 93% of these applications have been approved (464/490)
• Operations
• Successful 2012 Audit
Organizational Activities
Staff Changes
• Associate Executive Director
• Christopher Lambert (1996)
• As of November 1, 2012
• Director of Membership Services
• Karen Marcinski (2004)
• As of January 1, 2013
• Open Positions
•
•
•
•
•
New – Manager of Institutional Review
New – Manager of Institutional Development
New – Institutional Review Assistant
New – Volunteer Coordinator
Accreditation Coordinators
Proposed
Revisions to the
Standards of
Accreditation
December 2012
Call for Comment
Transparency in Accreditation
A common buzzword in the policy community relative to the role
of accreditation is “transparency” and the need for more of it.
In common parlance this means that accreditors should share more
about their processes and actions as a means to:
• Demystify and explain accreditation in a manner which enhances
the public’s understanding of the key concepts and fundamental
tenants of accreditation;
• Enhance the public’s understanding about the quality of an
institution vis-à-vis its accredited status; and
• Promote and ensure the sharing of information amongst all
members of the regulatory “triad
Transparency in Accreditation
The December Call for Comment will include the Commission’s
proposal regarding the requirement for accredited institutions to
disclose graduation rates, graduate employment rates, and
information regarding Commission actions.
Upon the consideration of any written comments, suggestions, or
recommendations received, the Commission may:
• Elect to adopt a revised standard as proposed,
• Adopt the standard with revisions,
• Defer action for further study and consideration, or
• Reject the proposed standard.
Revisions to the
Standards of
Accreditation
October 25, 2012
Accreditation
Alert
October 25, 2012 Accreditation
Alert
• Section IV(D)(9), Rules of Process and Procedure, Standards of
Accreditation - Effect of Substantive Changes
• Appendix IV, Faculty Qualification Provisions, Standards of
Accreditation - Faculty Grandfathering Provision
• Section V(A)(4)(a-b), Substantive Standards, Standards
Accreditation - Admissions Documentation
of
Section IV(D)(9), Rules of Process and Procedure,
Standards of Accreditation - Effect of Substantive
Changes
In an April 22, 2011 Accreditation Alert, the Commission issued a policy clarification
for the purposes of formalizing ACCSC’s parameters around when a substantive
change requires a total re-evaluation.
The Commission has incorporated this policy clarification part of the Rules of
Process and Procedures, has revised Section IV (D)(9), Rules of Process and Procedure
Effect of Substantive Changes:
Proposed changes to a school may be so substantial that the Commission may
conclude that the school must undergo a total re-evaluation in order to ensure the
sufficient continuity of the accredited school and that the school maintains
continuous compliance with accrediting standards.
Appendix IV, Faculty Qualification Provisions, Standards
of Accreditation - Faculty Grandfathering Provision
On March 17, 2004, ACCSC issued an Accreditation Alert modifying its faculty
qualification standards. In so doing, the Commission also established
grandfathering provisions (now found in Appendix IV) that allows faculty hired
prior to April 1, 2004 to meet the Commission’s pre-March 17, 2004
requirements.
• As part of its review of the Standards of Accreditation, the Commission
concluded that a sufficient amount of time has passed such that the
grandfathering provisions can be removed from the Standards of Accreditation.
• The phase-out process of the faculty grandfathering provisions begins
immediately and the provision will be removed from the Standards of
Accreditation as of July 1, 2014.
Section V(A)(4)(a-b), Substantive Standards, Standards
of Accreditation - Admissions Documentation
Background
• In late 2010, the Commission formed a Recruiting and Admissions Special Task
Force to, among other things, conduct a comprehensive review of the
Commission’s recruitment, advertising, and admissions standards under Section
IV & Section V, Substantive Standards, Standards of Accreditation and to make
recommendations for appropriate changes.
• The Special Task Force took up this charge and earnestly evaluated the
Commission’s standards in light of the findings put forth in a Government
Accountability Office report as well as the findings of several on-site
evaluations conducted by ACCSC teams for the sole purpose of assessing
recruiting and admissions practices in ACCSC-accredited institutions.
Section V(A)(4)(a-b), Substantive Standards, Standards
of Accreditation - Admissions Documentation
Background
• The Special Task Force, after considerable review and discussion,
recommended several changes to the Commission’s recruiting, advertising, and
admissions standards to include a recommendation that the Commission
require documentation that a student meets a school’s admissions criteria
“prior to enrollment.”
• The full Commission reviewed the recommendations and specifically discussed
the “prior to enrollment” provision and accepted the proposed revisions
concluding that schools would have an opportunity to provide comments on
the proposal prior to promulgation. The Commission sent the proposal to all
ACCSC member schools in a Call for Comment dated December 20, 2010.
Section V(A)(4)(a-b), Substantive Standards, Standards
of Accreditation - Admissions Documentation
Since the new language went into effect on April 22, 2011, institutions have
requested further clarification of the Commission’s expectation pertaining to
what “prior to enrollment” means practically.
The Commission believes that it is the responsibility of each school to make
a determination that a student meets the school’s admissions criteria prior to
that student beginning a program of study as a means to ensure that the
student can perform the level of work required by the program curricula.
The fundamental rationale is that admissions criteria are a key and front-line
indicator of a potential student’s ability to be successful in a program and as
such a school should not admit students to a program of study until the
potential students can show that those qualifications have been met.
Section V(A)(4)(a-b), Substantive Standards, Standards
of Accreditation - Admissions Documentation
As such, the Commission has interpreted that “prior to enrollment” in the
context of Section V (A)(4)(a-b) means prior to the acceptance of the student
through the full execution of the enrollment agreement (e.g., signed by the
accepting school official) and before allowing a student to start classes.
As a practical matter, the Commission concluded that a student may sign an
enrollment agreement and a school may communicate conditional or provisional
acceptance of a student prior to receipt of documentation1 that admissions
criteria have been met.
However, a school may not consider a student fully enrolled and may not allow a
student to start classes without the requisite documentation.
Online Member Forum:
Questions & Answers
ACCSC Webinar Series:
A Conversation with the Executive Director
November 28, 2012
Dr. Michale S. McComis
Christopher Lambert
Executive Director
Associate Executive Director
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