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Student Achievement Standards

ACICS defines standards for student achievement that include Retention Rates, Placement Rates and Licensure Examination Pass Rates. These rates are calculated using data on retention, job placement and licensure pass rates submitted and reviewed annually through the Campus Accountability Report (CAR). The relevant terminology is defined and the formulas are described in the Guidelines and Instructions for the Campus Accountability Report (CAR Guidelines and Instructions). Quantitative Standards are applied at both the program level and the campus level, as described below.

Benchmark - Benchmarks are intended to encourage campuses and programs whose student achievement is below average to improve their performance and to ensure that they avoid falling below the Council Standard. A campus and/or program whose rates fall below the Benchmarks must develop and implement an Improvement Plan.

Council Standards - Council standards are intended to ensure that a substantial majority of students at ACICS-accredited campuses are retained, pass licensure exams where applicable, and find employment related to their fields. Once determined to be out of compliance with Council expectations for student achievement, a campus must come into compliance within established time frames or its grant of accreditation may be withdrawn or a program may be terminated.

Student Achievement Standards

Student achievement standards outlined below apply to retention and placement rates at the campus and program levels, and licensure examination pass rates, where applicable, at the program level. Minimum standards are intended to ensure that a substantial majority of students at ACICS-accredited campuses are retained, pass licensure examinations where applicable, and find appropriate employment.   


Campus-Level Student Achievement Elements
(Effective 2013 Reporting Year)

Standard

Benchmark*

Retention Rate

Placement Rate

60%

60%

70%

70%

Program-Level Student Achievement Elements

(Effective 2013 Reporting Year)

Standard

Benchmark*

Retention Rate 
  • Program length equal to or less than one (1) year 
  • Program length more than one (1) year 
 

60%
 
60%

70%
65%
Placement Rate 
Licensure Examination Pass Rates, where applicable** 
60%
60%
70%
70%

 *A campus and/or program whose rates fall below the Benchmark must develop and implement an Improvement Plan.

**Licensure examination pass rates apply where a licensure is required for employment. The program is also required to meet applicable licensure agency standards if higher rates are required.   

Student Achievement Review and Council Actions

The Council reviews student achievement data for each campus on an annual basis and takes appropriate action. The Council reserves the right to take immediate adverse action once a campus and/or program is found out of compliance. The Council will follow the guidelines listed below:

 

Year Reporting

Rates

Campus and/or

Program Status*

Council Directed Activities

Current Submission**

60-69.9%++

Reporting

Implementation of an Improvement Plan (IP) and inclusion into the Campus Effectiveness Plan (CEP) (campus- and program-level)

Attendance at ACICS’s Retention and Placement Workshop (campus-level)

++Programs greater than a year in length that have retention rates 65%-70% are not on reporting

50-59.9%

Compliance Warning

Implementation of an Improvement Plan (IP) and inclusion into the Campus Effectiveness Plan (CEP) (campus- and program-level)

Mid-year rate and backup documentation of the activities occurring between July 1 and December 31 (campus-level)

Below 49.9%

Show-Cause

Submit evidence of corrective action to the Council (campus- and program-level)

Mid-year rate and backup documentation of the activities occurring between July 1 and December 31 (campus-level)

Notification of its status to its current and prospective students (campus- and program-level)

*

Adverse Action

Implement an ACICS approved Teach-out Plan and Agreement, if applicable (campus- and program-level)

Appealable to the Review Board of Appeals (campus-level)

Submit a Program Termination Plan for ACICS approval (program-level)

Following Year 1

50-59.9%

Show-Cause

Submit evidence of corrective action to the Council (campus- and program-level)

Notification of its status to its current and prospective students (campus- and program-level)

Attendance at ACICS’s Retention and Placement Workshop (campus-level)

Below 49.9%

Adverse Action

Implement an ACICS approved Teach-out Plan and Agreement, if applicable (campus- and program-level)

Appealable to the Review Board of Appeals (campus-level)

Submit a Program Termination Plan for ACICS approval (program-level)

Following Year 2

Below 59.9%

Adverse Action

Implement an ACICS approved Teach-out Plan and Agreement, if applicable (campus- and program-level)

Appealable to the Review Board of Appeals (campus-level)

Submit a Program Termination Plan for ACICS approval (program-level)

* If the Council deems an institution or an individual program significantly out of compliance relative to student achievement outcomes with little or no chance of coming into compliance within the maximum time frame, it will take an adverse action. In the event that the Council finds an institution or an individual program to be out of compliance at a level that, in its judgement, can be remedied in a reasonable period of time, it will take action appropriate to the circumstances such as compliance warning or show-cause.

**For any campus or program that receives a compliance warning or show-cause, the institution must bring itself into compli­ance within the time frames specified in Title II, Chapter 3 (i.e. an institution whose longest program is less than one year in length has a time frame of twelve months to come into compliance).

 

Deferral - The first year a campus and/or program reports student achievement retention or placement rates or program-level licensure pass rates below standards, it is considered on student achievement review. The campus and/or program must develop and implement an Improvement Plan that is fully incorporated into the Campus Effectiveness Plan (CEP). The Improvement Plan must include the required elements and may be reviewed during any onsite evaluation visit.

Compliance Warning - The second consecutive year a campus and/or program reports student achievement retention or placement rates or program-level licensure pass rates below standards, it will be placed on Compliance Warning status and found to be out of compliance. A campus and/or program on Compliance Warning status is required to evaluate, analyze and, if necessary, revise the Improvement Plan implemented while on student achievement review. Council reserves the right to request submission of the evaluation and analysis of the Improvement Plan for Council review. As a result of being found out of compliance, the campus and/or program will have one year to bring themselves into compliance with the applicable standard.

Withdrawal by Suspension or Termination of a Program - If a campus reports three consecutive years of below-standard retention or placement rates, the Council will issue a withdrawal by suspension action. The Council will require the campus to submit it an ACICS-approved teach-out plan. If a program reports three consecutive years of below-standard retention, placement, or licensure pass rates, it will be required to cease enrollment and terminate the program of study.

Established time frames for Compliance - When a campus and or program is determined by the Council to be out of compliance, it will be required to bring itself into compliance within one year. Failure to bring the campus and/or program into compliance with retention, placement and/or program licensure pass rates within one year will result in implementation of an approved teach-out plan. The Council reserves the right to take immediate adverse action once a campus and/or program is found out of compliance.

Data Collection and Verification - ACICS standards are applied by the Council to data collected from each main and branch campus through the annual Campus Accountability Report (CAR). The Council calculates campus-and program-level a retention and placement rates and program-level licensure pass rates where licensure is required for employment in the state the campus is located. The CAR reporting year is July 1 to June 30 and placement is accepted through November 1st of the CAR reporting year. 

In addition to the Council review of data on an annual basis, CAR data is reviewed during an on-site evaluation visit.

 

Learn about disclosing student achievement information.