ERIC Number: ED184428
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Federal Regulation of Accrediting. Draft.
The meaning of accreditation and how it has evolved is discussed, and the relationship between accrediting agencies and the federal government is examined. Accrediting agencies derive from the federal government the power to designate which school shall be eligible for federal student assistance programs and/or a national recognition and stimulus for improvement. The U.S. Office of Education (OE) is the body responsible for recognition and regulation of accrediting agencies. It is claimed that the policy of OE has been to cover as much of the postsecondary universe as possible with institutional accrediting agencies; to recognize specialized accrediting agencies meeting many of its criteria; to note the many criteria that recognized agencies do not meet; and to accept their formal actions as evidence of their compliance of their basic transformation from groups serving parochial private interests to groups serving broader public interests. It is claimed that accrediting is undertaken in the interest of, and financed by, accredited schools and that the present process of accreditation affords inadequate assurance that standards are met. The federal government has taken independent measures to protect its funds and students' interests by auditing institutions. Thus it would appear that OE is both regulating accrediting agencies and regulating educational institutions directly. It is proposed that the problems of institutional eligibility and student protection would be clarified by reestablishing the distinctions between higher and vocational education, or between degree-granting and nondegree-granting institutions. Regional accrediting agencies, rather than federally approved ones, are favored. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Sloan Commission on Government and Higher Education, Cambridge, MA.
Authoring Institution: National Academy of Public Administration, Washington, DC.