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Report 91-6: The State's Reliance on Non-Governmental Accreditation, Part Two: A Report to the Legislature in Response to Assembly Bill 1993 (Chapter 1324, Statutes of 1989)

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

April 1991

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The Commission has prepared this report in response to Assembly Bill 1993 Farr, 1989 which changed it to answer the question , how and to what extent, institutional accreditation might be utilized in lien of part or all of state licensing review of State policy with respect to nongovernmental accreditation that resulted in commission publication of a 1989 document by the same time, and thus this report stands as the second hale of a two part series.

In its 1989 report the Commission advised the Legislature that accrediting standards, procedures, and the rigor of their application were not consistent among institutional accrediting agencies and thus a blanket State policy exempting all accredited institutions from State review under its licensing all accredited institutions from State review under its licensing law was inadvisable. The Commission further advised that reliance on accreditation in lieu of State licensure should be considered only when an accrediting agency's standards substantially covered the standards and consumer protection requirements of the State's licensing laws and these standards were rigorously enforced. In response in response to this advice, the Legislature asked the Commission to indicate which agencies met these with agencies met these criteria.

During 1989 State enacted legislation that raised considerably the licensing standards for private postsecondary institutions. The Commission used these new State standards as a basis for examining the practices of 14 regional and national accrediting associations that accredit institutions in California and found that, as a whole, the State's statutory standards relating to institutional stability, institutional integrity, and consumer protection are more stringent than those required by the accrediting agencies.

As a consequence, in this report the Commission advises against the State's relying directly on regional and national accrediting agencies for maintaining the State's statutory standards. It recommends instead that the new Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education seek collaborate only with those accrediting agencies whose policies and resources enable them to cooperate with it in collecting and sharing information and whose record of accrediting California institutions has been found to be satisfactory by the Commission.

The Commission adopted this report at its meeting on April 28, 1991, on recommendation of its Policy Evaluation Committee.

Related Topics: Performance of Higher Education

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