accreditation

The Failure of Higher Ed Accreditation

American higher education is failing. There are numerous reasons for this, such as the pervasive deconstructionism in the academy exampled by young rioters destroying monuments to the very heroes who in the past supported similar causes to those of our modern-day “revolutionaries.” Rarely discussed, however, are the negative externalitiesof careless accreditation. Accreditors are supposed to assess the […]

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One Clear Way to Stop College Accreditation Fraud

The college accreditation system is supposed to uphold academic quality and integrity. Many Americans assume that if a college or university is accredited, that is equivalent to the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) seal on appliances – that it has been tested and found to be of good quality. Accreditation is a reliable stamp of approval, isn’t […]

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Why It’s Time to End College Accreditation

Stealing from Shakespeare: “Let’s kill all the accreditors.” In this kinder and gentler age, most of us would be content if college accreditors simply resigned their positions and did something useful, such as selling cars. When you buy a car, you pay about the same as a year’s tuition fee at a good university. Yet […]

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Why Get-Tough Accreditors Make Classes More Fun and Less Demanding

America’s higher education system works like this. The government dangles lots of easy-to-get money for college in front of every high-school graduate, nearly all of whom have heard repeatedly that a college degree is essential for a decent life. Without “higher education,” their lives will be nothing but low-paid drudgery. Salvation lies in enrolling in […]

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The Unstoppable MOOCs

By Richard Vedder Although difficult to measure, it is unlikely that higher education has had any productivity advance in the 50 years since I finished college. Economists like Princeton’s William Baumol have argued that rising college costs are inevitable, given inherent limitations on reducing the cost of disseminating knowledge -only so many people can fit […]

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We Must Embrace Higher Ed Reform

The History Channel’s popular series “The Men Who Built America” portrays an incredibly wealthy – yet worried – John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller, who earned much of his vast fortune by producing and refining kerosene, was facing competition not from rival magnates – the Carnegies or Vanderbilts – but from the likes of Thomas Edison and […]

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WASC Was Right to Deny Ashford Accreditation

Andrew, I understand that you were critiquing the accreditation system in general. I agree that it’s not perfect and could focus more directly on what students actually learn rather than on inputs and processes. I do think, though, that when a university doesn’t even have an adequate system in place for monitoring and assessing student […]

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A Short Reply to Charlotte

Charlotte Allen‘s response to my recent piece on the denial of accreditation for Ashford contains some good material, but some misunderstanding. My piece is not about whether the Ashford decision itself was flawed–I never stated that WASC was wrong to deny Ashford accreditation and flatly stated: “It is certainly possible that Ashford doesn’t deserve accreditation…” […]

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You’re Wrong About Ashford, Andrew

I agree with Andrew Gillen that a large segment of entrenched academia reflexively opposes for-profit colleges and online education. These people don’t even like the MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) started by MIT and Harvard! That said, I don’t see any evidence that the WASC acted unfairly when it refused accreditation to Ashford University’s massive, […]

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What’s Wrong with Accreditation–A Textbook Case

The world of higher education is abuzz with the news that a for-profit university, Ashford University, whose Iowa campus holds accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, has been denied accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for its online headquarters. Denial of accreditation for schools that already have […]

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What Do the Law Schools Think They’re Doing?

Crossposted from OpenMarket.org The New York Times featured an excellent news story Sunday by David Segal on the costly white elephant that is legal education in America. He describes how law school is expensive because of government-enforced accreditation standards that prevent law schools from containing costs even if they wanted to (and in truth, most […]

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More Ed School Follies

A few years ago, under intense pressure from Congress, NCATE (the national organization that accredits Education programs) abandoned its requirement that, in order to obtain accreditation, Education schools needed to measure the “disposition” of each and every prospective public school teacher to promote social justice. (The mandate didn’t apply to schools that don’t list promotion […]

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Why Are There So Many Law Schools?

During my service as a member of the accreditation committee of the American Bar Association, the ABA added a 200th school to their roster of accredited law schools. This growth could be seen as a cause for celebration– the roster of new schools included many with missions that would clearly benefit society. Public service law […]

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Accreditation: Are the Inmates Running the Asylum?

On paper, accreditation is an amazing system. Among other things, it simultaneously advises colleges on how to improve, enforces a minimum level of quality, provides needed information to policy makers, and protects colleges from government intrusion. It does all this with only a few hundred employees, and a few thousand volunteers. Indeed if accreditation actually […]

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A University With No Students?

A story in the March/April issue of the Washington Monthly about the demise last year, after its accreditation was pulled, of the financially and academically troubled Southeastern University in Washington, D.C., hit close to home. My home, actually, because I live just four blocks away from Southeastern’s decrepit single-building campus in Washington’s sleepy Southwest quadrant […]

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Are Ed Schools Failing?

The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) seems finally to have perceived what was in plain view to many people: that most of America’s ed schools are mediocre at best, offering curricula that mix lightweight courses, ivory-tower ideology, and minimal clinical exposure of student teachers to real-life classrooms. NCATE has revised upwards […]

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Are Accreditors Running The Colleges?

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is at it again. In the latest set of rulings to come from this regional accreditor’s Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, fifteen institutions find themselves in various states of probation or warning or show cause. No school is shut down; the federal dollars keep flowing. And […]

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The Future Of Accreditation?

Many in the One Dupont Circle crowd talk a good game about the “Federal Ministry of Education” and the threat of nationalized standards. (See “The Future of Accreditation” in Inside Higher Ed by Judith Eaton, president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation – a meditation on what accreditation will look like in 2014.) But […]

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Ed School Politics – Still A Problem

Beware the words “social justice” and “dispositions” when used by schools of education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). These apparently harmless terms lay the groundwork for politicizing the training of teachers and giving the ed schools an excuse to eliminate conservatives from their programs. The news this week is that […]

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St. Andrews Runs Afoul Of Accreditors

ACTA comments on an accreditation tussle afflicting St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College. It seems that the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (there’s a mouthful) is less-than enthusiastic about the college’s current expansion plans – and has placed it on an accrediting probation. ACTA is skeptical as to whether the commission […]

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