ERIC Number: ED261590
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Environmental Change and Regulatory Reform in Postsecondary Institutional Accreditation.
Bjork, Lars G.
The historical foundations of postsecondary institutional accreditation are traced, and the relationships between the federal and state governments and accrediting associations are analyzed within the context of environmental change. The following emerging characteristics of institutional accreditation are considered: strong traditions of voluntary self-regulation, dependence on evaluation, the expansion in the numbers of accrediting agencies and the resulting fragmentation of the accreditation process, and the leadership role assumed by the Council on Postsecondary Education in restructuring the accreditation community. Recent federal initiatives emphasizing regulatory reform and disengagement, which has moved responsibility for education to the states, has significant policy implications. Policy and environmental changes can lead to the creation of new accreditation structures, role redefinitions, and new relationships among government sectors and accrediting agencies. It is suggested that recognizing these environmental shifts and taking the initiative to formulate policies that facilitate rather than suppress organizational change can contribute to the emergence of an effective postsecondary accreditation mechanism. Appropriate and inappropriate uses of accreditation are also discussed, along with future directions. (SW)
Descriptors: Accreditation (Institutions), Accrediting Agencies, Agency Role, Change Strategies, Educational Policy, Federal Government, Federal Regulation, Federal State Relationship, Government Role, Institutional Evaluation, Organizational Change, Postsecondary Education, Public Policy, State Government
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A