Why do I keep covering accreditation issues on e-Literate, a blog nominally about online learning and educational technology? The reason is that accrediting commissions have enormous influence on higher education institutions, particularly as the industry wrestles with questions of which changes are necessary, which changes are worth trying but might not work, and which changes should be avoided. If there really is a shift in the DOE’s views on accreditation or in the accrediting commissions’ interpretation of standards, then that could have fairly profound cascade effects on competency-based learning programs, private online colleges, MOOCs, and online service providers.

That is also why the lack of transparency from the accrediting commissions is so troubling. They are making decisions that have profound effects on many institutions, not just the specific schools under review.


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