Accrediting Agency Spotlight: A Reliable Authority
For more than 50 years, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) has helped establish and advance quality education at postsecondary career schools and colleges throughout America. Now, you can count on the ACCSC to continue delivering services to career colleges as a trustworthy authority for at least another five years.
In August, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) voted to recommend that ACCSC’s recognition as a reliable authority on quality education be continued for five years. The five-year mark is the maximum time frame allowed under federal guidelines. The NACIQI provides recommendations to the United States Department of Education regarding accrediting agencies that monitor the academic quality of postsecondary institutions and educational programs for federal purposes.
With this step accomplished, the next move in the recognition process requires the recommendation from the NACIQI to be submitted to the senior department official designated by the secretary of education, who makes the decision regarding recognition.
In a press release, Duane Kramer, ACCSC chairman, said, “The Accrediting Commission is extremely pleased with NACIQI’s recommendation to continue ACCSC’s recognition by the U.S. Department of Education. ACCSC appreciates the thoroughness of the recognition process and understands the important role and responsibility that accreditors accept in ensuring students receive a high-quality education.”
Dr. Michale McComis, ACCSC’s executive director said, “ACCSC is exceptionally proud of this achievement and gives thanks to the hundreds of peer review volunteers, professional staff and commissioners who all helped to make this happen. ACCSC also recognizes that there is much work to do, and we look forward to continuing to develop innovative approaches to quality assurance that can enhance the effectiveness of peer review; demonstrate the reliability of accreditation; and more importantly, support the educational experience for thousands of students served by ACCSC?accredited institutions every year.”
Since 1965, ACCSC has accredited public, private, nonprofit and for?profit institutions that offer career, technical and vocational training and educational programs at the postsecondary level. ACCSC is dedicated to ensuring a quality education for more than 165,000 students who are pursuing vocational education at about 685 ACCSC?accredited institutions across the United States, Puerto Rico and abroad. The U.S. Department of Education has continually recognized ACCSC as a reliable authority for quality education since 1967.
A quick history
ACCSC was founded in 1965 as the Accrediting Commission of the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools (NATTS). In 1967, the Commission received recognition from the U.S. Department of Education as a nonprofit, independent accrediting agency, which confirmed the Commission’s status as a reliable authority for the establishment of educational standards. In 1990, the name changed to the Accrediting Commission of Trade and Technical Schools (ACTTS) as part of the Career College Association. In 1993, the Accrediting Commission separated from the trade association unit, creating a new wholly independent organization — the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In October 2009, ACCSCT changed its name again to the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). In 2014, ACCSC earned recognition from the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).
Following a mission
According to its website, ACCSC’s mission is to serve as a reliable authority on educational quality and to promote enhanced opportunities for students by establishing, sustaining and enforcing valid standards and practices that contribute to the development of a highly trained and competitive workforce through quality career-oriented education.
The two primary objectives of ACCSC’s mission are to
• Assure students and the general public of the quality of educational training provided by ACCSC-accredited institutions and their programs.
• Assist institutions in continually improving themselves and the training they provide students.
ACCSC stimulates, nurtures, verifies and recognizes ongoing educational quality and integrity in institutions offering programs of a vocational and career-oriented nature. At the same time, ACCSC has a legacy of holding its accredited member institutions accountable for the quality of education provided and takes action when necessary and appropriate to revoke an institution’s accreditation when accrediting standards are not met.
As a way for ACCSC to hold itself accountable for meeting its mission, the organization has established a values-based framework supported by the core values of integrity, accountability, continuous improvement and community. The Commission, its professional staff and its corps of volunteers were all instrumental in developing these core values to convey how they strive to go about their work.
You can read more about the ACCSC here: www.accsc.org.