Career College Central summary:
A growing clamor is calling for an accreditor to oversee the quality of college-level learning that occurs outside of college.
The challenge could be taken on by an existing accrediting agency — or a new one — that develops a specialty in non-institutional providers like StraighterLine and Udacity. Or, with more of a trailblazing approach, an accreditor could approve individual courses rather than degrees.
If either idea becomes a reality it would add a seal of approval for a constellation of online course providers and, perhaps, open the door for them to federal financial aid.
The current accreditation system has taken plenty of hits lately. President Obama, Congressional Republicans, think tanks and Bill Gates are among many critics who say accreditors — who are outsourced gate-keepers for the federal government — need to do more to encourage innovation and competition.
Whether or not that charge is accurate, accreditors have their hands full of late, given the rapid rise of potential “disruptions” like competency-based education, prior-learning assessment, digital badges and free and low-cost online courses.
Click through for full article content.
INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION