Ed Dept repackages accreditor guidance

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Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Education Department on Thursday released a handbook outlining oversight rules for accreditors seeking recognition, updating the previous version issued in 2012.
  • Critics say the handbook’s release is premature, coming just a week after the department put its proposed new rules on accreditor oversight up for public comment.
  • In a statement, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the new handbook provides “clearer, more concise requirements” for what and how much information accreditors should submit for compliance.

Dive Insight:

The handbook update comes as the department awaits comments on its 400-plus pages of proposed rules on college accreditation. In all, the rules ease oversight of accreditors while giving them a wider berth when deciding whether to take action on an institution. It also makes it easier for colleges to get programs approved.

The department says the handbook is based on current rules, but critics worry they conflate the department’s rulemaking priorities, which are still out for comment.

 

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