Ed Dept. ‘not wedded’ to its proposed accreditation rules

Education Dive

by Ben Unglesbee

The Education Department is “not wedded” to the language it issued in proposed regulations being debated in an ongoing negotiated rulemaking process, Diane Auer Jones, the department’s principal deputy under secretary, told an audience of accreditation professionals in Washington on Tuesday.

“Clearly we came to the table with some very provocative ideas,” she said at the annual meeting of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). “We just wanted to open the conversation.”

One area where Jones said she has heard “consternation” from stakeholders is around the definition of regional and national accreditors. The department has proposed a three-to-10 state range for regional accreditors, which has caused some pushback. (Regional accreditation often is seen as more reliable than national accreditation and means student credits transfer more easily.) Jones said the department is not committed to the definition it proposed but rather was exploring whether accreditors would be better defined by mission as opposed to… (continue reading)