ERIC Number: ED172591
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
Federal Reliance on Educational Accreditation. The Scope of Administrative Discretion. An Occasional Paper.
Finkin, Matthew W.
The legal question of the scope of administrative authority Congress has actually conferred upon the Commissioner of Education in the listing of accrediting agencies of institutions of higher education is addressed. To ensure that its tax monies would not be paying for substandard education, but to avoid controlling education, the government, through the 1952 Korean War GI Bill, began its reliance on private accrediting agencies. State approval agencies were authorized to approve courses offered by an institution that had been accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and the Commissioner of Education was authorized to list such accrediting agencies. However, during the past decade, private accreditation has been criticized and, in response, the Office of Education has expanded its role until it has begun to proximate that of a regulatory agency. Abuses of the guaranteed student loan program, advertising, business practices, refunds, and other wrongdoing have been targets of regulations. Much of the criticism and Office of Education response assumes that Congress has given administrators broad authority to fashion standards governing the selection of those accrediting agencies it will list, as long as the standards serve public interest as currently perceived. It is demonstrated in this report that the scope of administrative discretion is narrower than many critics and government officials have assumed, and that many of the proposals for change have been directed to the wrong branch of the government. (JMD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accreditation (Institutions), Accrediting Agencies, Agency Role, Consumer Protection, Court Litigation, Educational Quality, Federal Government, Federal Regulation, Government Role, Postsecondary Education, Private Agencies, Program Evaluation, Student Loan Programs, Welfare
The Council on Postsecondary Accreditation, One Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036 ($2.50)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council on Postsecondary Accreditation, Washington, DC.