Executive Update - August 2011

Outlook: Growth, Challenges, Much Activity
As the family of ACICS colleges and schools enters fall 2011, some milestones and benchmarks are worthy of note. Firstly, ACICS will soon mark the addition of its 900th member institution, crossing a threshold that reinforces its position as the largest national accreditor of degree-granting colleges. The high water mark represents the vitality of the sector, the strong demand for applied education, and the unwavering commitment by career colleges and schools to the principles and culture of high quality and institutional integrity. Secondly, ACICS and our extended community of higher education professionals are putting the finishing touches on a set of substantive sessions to be delivered at “Student Success, It Takes a College” September 26 – 28 in Charleston, S.C. (See below).  I urge all member institutions to send at least one staff member to this excellent professional development opportunity. The potency of the seminars will be exceeded only by the caliber of the professionals and colleagues assembled in the meeting rooms. Lastly, watch for more information about the launch of the ACICS Centennial, beginning with a special event later this year in Washington, D.C. The event will be the kick-off of a full year of activities commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sector’s commitment to quality assurance through the discipline of peer accreditation. The occasion deserves and will receive a sufficient amount of profile!

Public disclosure, substantive change policies revised
Meeting and exceeding the expectations of the two organizations that formally endorse ACICS’ authority as an accrediting body received acute focus by the Council at its meeting in Washington, D.C. The changes to ACICS standards – (Memo to the Field at – were adopted to more closely align ACICS accreditation with the expectations of the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). ACICS is currently seeking re-recognition with both entities, and has identified key standards and practices to strengthen the evaluation it applies to member institutions. ACICS was granted an extension of its current grant of recognition by the Department through 2012 pending the successful submission of a compliance report. Among new standards adopted by the Council in August, ACICS institutions are now required to routinely provide reliable information to the public on their performance, including student achievement. Also, institutions will have greater clarity regarding when the breadth and depth of substantive changes in their operations trigger a mid-cycle accreditation review by ACICS. Look for more information during the upcoming ACICS AWARE Webinar.

Conference Registration Deadline Extended
Early registration deadline for “Student Success: It Takes A College” has been extended to Sept. 9, 2011. The professional development conference is set for Sept. 26 – 28 in Charleston, S.C. 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 will expand the horizons of campus directors, program managers, faculty members, compliance officers, student services professionals and career services professionals. Register now at

ACICS Welcomes New Staff 
Jennifer Newham has joined ACICS as an accreditation coordinator. She holds a B.A. and Master’s in Social Work degrees from Florida State University. Her most recent position was with the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education, where she has been served as a program specialist IV.

Torri Hayslett has joined ACICS as an accreditation coordinator. She holds a B.A. and in Business Administration from the University of Memphis and an MBA from Christian Brothers University, Memphis. She has served as director of career services and information services for Bryan College.