(Washington, DC) –Judith Eaton, President of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), provided a colleague briefing on accreditation and student achievement on December 16 at the Fall meeting of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), the committee that advises the Secretary of Education on the recognition of accrediting organizations.
“CHEA’s concern and commitment to addressing student achievement dates back to 1998,” Eaton stated. “CHEA has engaged the issue of accreditation and student achievement in two ways. First, CHEA recognition of accrediting organizations addresses student achievement. Second, CHEA has, through a variety of publications, advisories and other efforts, encouraged and emphasized the importance of attention to student achievement in the work of accreditation.”
Recognition is the process by which accrediting organizations are scrutinized for quality. Along with the U.S. Department of Education, CHEA recognizes institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. Currently CHEA recognizes 62 accrediting organizations.
Eaton noted that accrediting organizations must meet CHEA’s standards in order to be recognized. “CHEA’s standards that address student achievement call for the accrediting organization to demonstrate that it requires the institutions or programs it accredits to routinely provide reliable information to the public on their performance, including student achievement. This information may include aggregate data regarding attrition and retention, graduation, licensure pass rates, job placement rates as appropriate, employment advancement as appropriate, acceptance into graduate programs and successful transfer of credit.”
Eaton said, “While more can be done, accreditation has made significant strides in assuring that accredited institutions and programs pay attention to ways to advance student achievement and inform the public about this important subject. CHEA will continue its work to advance accreditation’s focus on student achievement as part of quality improvement.”
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A national advocate and institutional voice for academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of approximately 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 62 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. CHEA is the only national association focused exclusively on higher education accreditation. For more information, visit CHEA's Website at www.chea.org