Accreditors have many detailed rules that they expect colleges to meet -- requirements that relate to courses, faculties, facilities, money and more. But what about the use of adjunct faculty members -- an issue that is the subject of increasing debate in higher education? What have the accreditors said or done?
A year after Education Secretary Margaret Spellings abandoned plans to propose new federal rules governing higher education accreditation, under heavy pressure from members of Congress, the Education Department is reportedly contemplating issuing such regulations when legislation to renew the Higher Education Act becomes law. That possibility is being met with astonishment by college leaders and many on Capitol Hill, who describe it as both practically difficult and politically foolhardy.
Stymied in its efforts to alter federal laws and regulations to make it easier for students to transfer academic credits from one institution to another, the U.S. Education Department plans an "emergency" survey of federal Pell Grant recipients that seems designed to build a case that changes are necessary. The request has agitated some higher education officials, who questioned both the premise and the purpose of the department's information expedition.