Liberal Group Rips Proposed Changes to Accreditation Standards

April 19, 2019

Proposed changes to college accreditation standards would reduce transparency and weaken federal oversight, according to a brief released Thursday by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

An appointed panel earlier this month reached an agreement to overhaul federal rules for accreditors after several rounds of negotiations. The Education Department will next issue proposed regulations based on that agreement and take public comments before crafting a final rule.

The brief from CAP argues that the agreement would favor colleges and accreditors over students. Antoinette Flores, CAP’s associate director of higher education, writes that the new rules would make it easier for accreditors that don’t meet federal standards to get approved to oversee colleges. They would also make federal reviews of those agencies less transparent to the public, she writes.

Flores writes that the new rules would also allow accreditors to delay taking action for up to four years when a college is out of compliance with its standards. And they would allow colleges to make substantial changes to their programs or even add new branch campuses without seeking approval from their accreditor first.

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