Government severs ties with for-profit colleges accreditor
WASHINGTON >> Hundreds of for-profit colleges could close, leaving up to 600,000 students scrambling to find other schools, after the Education Department withdrew recognition of the nation’s largest accreditor of for-profit schools.
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools said it would appeal Thursday’s decision to Education Secretary John B. King Jr.
In a statement, ACICS Interim President Roger Williams said the council would “continue diligent efforts to renew and strengthen its policies and practices” to meet the department’s criteria for accreditors.
The accrediting agency has been accused of lax oversight of its schools, which included those once owned by the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges Inc. and the recently shuttered ITT Technical Institute.
The department’s decision was announced in a blog post on its website.
In a letter to the council released later Thursday, Emma Vadehra, King’s chief of staff, wrote that “ACICS’ track record does not inspire confidence that it can address all of the problems effectively.”
Vadehra said the department found fundamental problems with the council’s work as an accreditor. Her decision followed staff and advisory panel recommendations to sever ties with the council.