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Problems with an Accrediting Agency - will it affect the library?

Problems with an Accrediting Agency - will it affect the library?

As a librarian I am looking askance at the issues some of our clients may face if they are accredited through ACICS. And when the institution is ACICS accredited, that means their students have access to Title IV student assistance funding.  This DOE negative decision has been looming for a while, and this summer, based on the DOE staff  report, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity voted to deny ACICS the recognition ACICS itself needs to continue. There is a very explicit process for an agency to be recognized as an accreditor. Here is the DOE description of the accreditation process in America: (

How did we get here? A DOE staff report to the leadership at DOE wrote that ACICS did not meet the over 20 criteria set to fix the issues seen by DOE. And if ACICS cannot continue then some of our client institutions who are accredited by ACICS, will not have access to the federal student loan program.

I am sure the ACICS Council is working to meet those criteria. Read here ( what the interim President said they are doing in September 2016.  Listen here ( to the Webinar presentation by the Interim President and others of ACICS in August 2016 that covers some of the changes.

While I am sure our client institution’s leadership are also working to help ACICS fix the problems and meet the criteria ACICS themselves have been asked to meet by DOE, there exists the possibility our ACICS accredited clients will have to find another accreditation agency, and then meet their standards or guidelines.

Effect on the library? None of the 20 criteria that ACICS was supposed to meet and failed had  to do with library resources or services. ACICS Standards have clearly prescribed guidelines on the need and type of library sources and services driven by the level of degree. Changes to another accrediting agency or new ACICS criteria may not mean a substantial change in the library operations. But the trickle-down effect of that will mean this library consultant and our excellent librarians, will be busy writing even more self-study reports to meet the language of new standards, criteria and guidelines.

Read here for yourself what DOE staff  had  to say about ACICS in June 2016: (