Executive Director Update - April 2010

Scalable Education Delivery Accreditation

Adjustments to standards, practices and support systems applied to career education will go before the Council in April for review and adoption. Based on commentary received from member institutions and the U.S. Department of Education, the changes in criteria will provide additional efficiency and effectiveness in assuring the quality of multi-campus systems that utilize an administrative center to direct and monitor educational and student services operations across multiple campuses. The new standards will require review by ACICS of the administrative center, its operations, capabilities and quality control regimes, while giving ACICS flexibility in visiting a sample of satellite locations rather than every location during every grant cycle. The standards will also streamline and reduce duplicative review of identical programs offered at multiple campuses. 

With thoughtful review anticipated for April Council, we anticipate some capacity to bring the new accreditation model online in the next six to 12 months, said Tom Wickenden, Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Accreditation Systems. Much work has to be done before the distributed enterprise model will be fully implemented, but we expect to roll out this program as a prototype for testing and evaluation as early as January 2011. This is an exciting time of transition for ACICS, and we look forward to making our accreditation systems as scalable, dynamic and efficient as the institutions we accredit.

Learn more about this program:

•             January 2010 Memo to the Field 


Leadership Conference 2010: Empowering Workforce Education

The elements are coming together for the 2010 ACICS Leadership Conference and Annual Meeting, which will take place June 89 in Las Vegas.  Keynote remarks will be delivered by Dr. Paul H. Shiffman, Assistant Vice President for Strategic and Governmental Relations at Excelsior College, Albany, N.Y. Dr. Shiffman brings a wealth of knowledge about the higher education sector, the public sector and the value of online education. In addition to his role at Excelsior, he leads an annual policy institute, The Presidents Forum, comprised of a national membership of higher education leadership, focusing on policy, regulatory, and fiscal issues associated with adult serving and distance learning institutions.

The conference will feature workshops on accreditation and evaluator training, and discussion forums that focus on issues relevant to the dynamic career education sector. The meeting will also honor the contributions of ACICS strong cadre of peer evaluators, including Dr. George Fakhoury, Dr. Thomas Duff and Mr. Ed Krissler, and the 2010 ACICS Honor Roll institutions. Each year ACICS honors this group of career colleges, deemed to be among the best based on peer evaluation reviews during the last 12 months.

•            Information on registration for the Annual Meeting and program details
•             Annual Meeting workshop information 

•            2009 ACICS Honor Roll Institutions 


Technology Advancements for Efficiency

ACICS Web-based commerce platform has added four new applications to its electronic capabilities. Member institutions can now log in to ACICS Personify to complete transactions for change of location, change of name, change of ownership and approval of non-credit, short-term programs. The enhancements add functionality to the platform launched in 2009, which made available electronic applications for new and initial grants of accreditation. Visit and view the Applications tab for more details and instructions.


Measuring Accreditations Impact

ACICSs annual summary of measures of institutional quality, the Key Operating Statistics report (KOS), has been released with 2009 data. The report captures the dimensions of the growth of private post-secondary education under the authority of ACICS, and describes the results of measuring key institutional indicators of quality.

We look forward to working with our member institutions in the coming year to strengthen educational outcomes and to ensure that a top-quality education is given to all students enrolled at ACICS-accredited institutions.

•             View the latest KOS report 


ACICS Leadership in California

Anthony Bieda, Director of External Affairs, will join a panel of accrediting officials at the California Association of Private Post-secondary Schools (CAPPS) April 1416 in Sacramento. A key focus of the discussion will be the implementation of the new regulatory structure and the appropriate roles of accrediting agencies, the Bureau of Private Post-Secondary Education (BPPE), and the institutions themselves. ACICS accredits more than 75 institutions in California, serving more than 26,000 students.


Staff Update

Jessica Menjivar recently joined ACICS as receptionist. She is a native of the Washington, D.C., area and a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she majored in Family Science. Jessica developed her research skills (a very important part of the receptionist duties) at National Corporate Research as a Research Specialist. Join us in welcoming Jessica! She replaces Lindsey Withem, who has been named Accreditation Coordinator with the Campus Development team.


Upcoming Workshops/Webinars

To meet the needs of ACICS Institutions preparing for their next accreditation review, a robust schedule of workshops at different locations throughout the country has been established:

•  Accreditation Workshops, April 30 in Chicago, IL., and June 8 in Las Vegas, NV.

•  AWARE Webinar (ACICS Webinar Announcing, Relating, and Explaining) to discuss the most
    recent changes to the Accreditation Criteria and the latest Council updates, May 21, online.

•  Evaluator Webinar, May 28, online. (Evaluator training consists of three taped webinars and one  
    live webinar session. The final live sessions are by invitation only and are scheduled for the
    last Friday of every other month).

•  Deferral Workshop, June 3, Washington, DC.

•  Adding Value IEP (Institutional Effectiveness Plan) Webinar, June 4, online.

•  Evaluator Workshop, June 8, Las Vegas, NV.

•  Adding Value Placement Webinar, July 9, online.

For more information or to register for an upcoming ACICS workshop or webinar, visit