ERIC Number: ED131766
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Accreditation and the Public Interest.
Selden, William K.
Accountability has become an integral part of the accreditation process in higher education. The function has traditionally been performed by private agencies with the purpose of establishing common standards among colleges and universities. The function has recently expanded to include a concern for the welfare of society, and this has increased the necessity that the agencies that do the accreditation maintain their autonomy from the government and private interests. The justification and historical background for nongovernmental accrediting agencies is presented. Recent events have encouraged outside participation in accreditation, including unionization of professionals; the recognition of postsecondary education as a central issue in the political arena; the phenomena of"groupthink," in which members are much less sensitive to the public interest; and the realization of the inevitable conflicts of goals among educational institutions of different types and among various professions. Some alternatives confronting accreditation are presented, including increased governmental involvement and restructuring of accrediting agencies. The latter alternative is favored generally and the advantages and disadvantages of outside participation on accrediting committees is outlined as are some of the problems to be resolved in appointments of public members: resistance, definition, source, and quality. (JMF)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Accreditation (Institutions), Agency Role, Citizen Participation, Educational Assessment, Educational Quality, Higher Education, Organizations (Groups), Participant Characteristics, Political Influences, Political Issues, Political Power, Private Agencies, Social Problems, Social Responsibility, Standards, Voluntary Agencies
The Council on Postsecondary Accreditation, One Dupont Circle, Suite 760, Washington, D.C. 20036 ($1.50)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council on Postsecondary Accreditation, Washington, DC.