Executive Update - July 2011

August Council Meeting
The ACICS fiscal year ended on June 30, 2011 and our first Council meeting of the new business year is next week, August 1-5.  This portends to be an extremely busy week for the Council.  In addition to almost 200 accreditation actions to be promulgated there are several important policy items on the agenda.  Among other issues, our commissioners will be considering the definition of a credit hour and clock to credit hour conversion, assessment of student achievement at the program level, and publication of student achievement. You will hear more about these and other issues in the Memo to the Field and AWARE seminar following the meeting. This meeting will also see the first accreditation consideration of a school under the distributed enterprise classification.  We are privileged to have the Department of Education’s Accreditation and State Liaison Director, Kay Gilcher, attending our meeting to observe the distributed enterprise accreditation process.  And on a logistical note this will be the first entirely paperless Council school review and consideration process.  This marks one more milestone in the long journey of technology advancement for ACICS.

Annual Business Meeting
At the 2011 ACICS Business Meeting Chairman some 150+ members heard Chairman Gary Carlson, Treasurer John Kushner and I reporting the Council’s activities and progress over the past year.  ACICS has grown to more than 878 members with an aggregate student enrollment of over 800,000 students. It was an extremely active year including the initial accreditation of 25 institutions, the processing of 55 branch applications, the review and processing of almost 3,000 new program applications and many other accreditation actions.  Treasurer Kushner reported that year end projections were for a financially successful year that tracked closely with the ACICS Board approved budget.  And finally, Commissioner Jill DeAtley reported on the planning for activities to recognize the ACICS centennial year.  Commissioner DeAtley’s centennial steering committee is working to ensure that ACICS’ one hundredth birthday is appropriately recognized. There will be a Kick-off event this December and several other events to be rolled out in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Department of Education Recognition
Finally, in this brief Executive Director’s Update I would like to provide a few thoughts on ACICS re-recognition by the DoEd.  We have kept you apprised on our re-recognition progress on our website which currently indicates that Assistant Secretary Ochoa has continued the Department’s recognition of ACICS as a recognized accrediting agency for the time necessary to permit ACICS 12 months to achieve compliance with several Department accreditation regulations.  The Assistant Secretary conveyed his appreciation to the members of ACICS “for their continuing efforts to improve the quality of postsecondary education in the United States”.  Mr. Ochoa expressed confidence that ACICS will be able to come into full compliance within the allotted timeframe and the commissioners and I share that confidence.  We look forward to responding to the Department and to documenting the robust and effective accreditation program that is the essence of ACICS.  And we’ll improve in the process which isn’t a bad thing when you are in the continuous quality improvement business.

Professional Development Registration Deadline Nears
The early registration deadline for “Student Success, It Takes A College” is Sept. 1, 2011. The professional development conference set for Sept. 26 – 28 in Charleston, S.C. will feature keynote speaker Charles Gilliland, who observes: “If you continually learn more about your company, your industry, your customer and yourself, you will always be a leader. You will be purpose-driven rather than process-driven, and you will make a difference.” The three days will focus on student success through best practices in admission and recruitment, retention, teaching and learning, institutional effectiveness planning and placement. It is specifically designed to expand the horizons of campus directors, program managers, faculty members as well as compliance officers. Register now at