Executive Director Update/October 2011

Council Deliberates: What Constitutes A Quality Program?
Member institutions received additional guidance this month regarding Council expectations of programs offered by ACICS colleges and schools. The guidance was developed during discussions and review by the Council at its September 27th special policy meeting in Charleston, S.C. The new program level expectations for student achievement, contained in the October Memo to the Field were developed to strengthen ACICS accountability standards and more closely align ACICS accreditation with the expectations of the U.S. Department of Education regarding program quality.  Among new standards under consideration by the Council are those that require all programs to meet certain minimum thresholds for student retention, placement and licensure pass rates.

More than 250 institutions participated in the Oct. 21 AWARE webinar to ask questions and gain perspective on these important standards. Member institutions have until November 11 to submit comments for consideration by the Council at December meeting, when the standards and expectations are expected to be finalized and adopted. All ACICS colleges and schools are encouraged to review the proposals in detail and provide timely, constructive feedback. These are proposed program level standards; your feedback is crucial to the Council in developing final standards and benchmarks.

Successful Student Success: Professional Development Conference 2011
More than 130 instructors, administrators, student services professionals and admissions specialists attended the first annual ACICS Professional Development Conference, “Student Success: It Takes a College,” Sept. 26 -28 in Charleston, S.C. Keynote speaker Steve Gilliland highlighted the three-day conference, focused on admissions, retention, student learning, institutional effectiveness and placement. Commissioner Jill DeAtley, chair of the ACICS Centennial committee, delivered a sneak preview of the many festive and substantive events that will commemorate the 100th Year anniversary of ACICS in 2012.  Next year’s Professional Development Conference will be integrated into the ACICS annual meeting and Centennial Gala Nov. 8 – 11, 2012 in Las Vegas. Look for a special wall calendar coming to you in the mail that provides a reminder of the Centennial events.

Thought Leadership: Workforce-Ready Graduates?
ACICS will kick-off the Centennial Year celebration with a special “thought leadership forum” on Monday, Dec. 5 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The forum will focus on new research comparing the cognitive skills of employees sought by today’s employers with those provided by post-secondary colleges and schools. The event will include discussion by a panel of education and workforce experts regarding the relevance and validity of recent research, and its applicability through quality assurance to the student success. Watch for more details in the near future.

AWARE Webinar: “How To” Help on New Application
The first in a series of new ACICS AWARE webinars, a “how-to” tutorial on the new application for Substantive Changes to Existing Programs, will be offered this Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST.  ACICS recently launched this application to report certain substantive changes to existing programs. The webinar will give schools an opportunity to learn more about why this new application is required, how to complete the application, its purpose and objectives. ACICS institutions received an email invitation to the webinar. However, if you did not receive an invite, please click here for more information.