ACICS defines standards for student achievement that include Retention Rates, Placement Rates and Licensure Examination Pass Rates. These rates are calculated using data from the annual Campus Accountability Report (CAR), and the formulas are described in the Guidelines and Instructions for the Campus Accountability Report. Quantitative Standards are defined at the Benchmark level and the Compliance level. ACICS has adopted standards to be applied to the 2012 reporting year and has enhanced those standards for application to CAR data beginning with the 2013 reporting year.
Benchmark Standards – 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 out of compliance. A campus whose rates fall below the Benchmarks must develop and implement a Campus Improvement Plan and fulfill certain reporting requirements, although applications for new programs may be submitted without requesting a waiver). A program whose rates fall below the Benchmark standard must develop and implement a Program Improvement Plan.
Compliance Standards – Compliance 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. A campus whose rates fall below the Compliance Standard must come into compliance within established timeframes or its grant of accreditation may be withdrawn. A program whose rates fall below the Compliance Standard must come into compliance within established timeframes or approval for inclusion of the program within the campus’s grant of accreditation may be withdrawn.
Qualitative Standards –The evaluation of educational quality, campus missions and program objectives depends upon consideration of more than the three quantitative measures described above, including information about the satisfaction of students, student learning outcomes, and the preparation of students for careers. Mitigating circumstances must also be considered, to account for situations in which the validity of the three quantitative metrics may be reduced. Starting in 2013, as part of the annual Campus Accountability Reporting (CAR) process, ACICS invites members to upload information on Council forms that provides a more complete demonstration of student success and justifies the consideration of alternative measures.
2012 Reporting Year - ACICS adopted student achievement standards at both the campus level and the program level in December 2011. The benchmark standards were applied starting in January 2012. Benchmark and Compliance standards are effective for the reporting year of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.
1Where licensure is required for employment
2Programs must also meet any applicable state or national pass rate standards
2013 Reporting Year - ACICS adopted enhanced student achievement standards in July 2012, effective for the reporting year of July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. ACICS will give due consideration to qualitative standards and mitigating circumstances when applying these standards. Institutions are invited to produce evidence of mitigating circumstances and qualitative measures on Council forms, to be submitted as part of the Campus Accountability Report due September 15, 2013.
1 Where licensure is required for employment
2 Programs must also meet any applicable state or national pass rate standards