Commission on Accreditation NewsletterAugust 2022
Greetings from ABHE!
I hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer filled with family, friends, rest, and renewal. This has been a very busy season for the ABHE Commission on Accreditation. Please check out the many updates below!
New Associate Director
We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Michael Jackson has joined ABHE as a full-time Associate Director for the Commission on Accreditation. Michael has been serving part-time with the Commission since 2018, so he hit the ground running on July 1, and has already made a significant positive impact at ABHE and the institutions we serve. Among other responsibilities, Michael is your direct contact for questions related to substantive change at email@example.com.
On July 20, the ABHE Commission on Accreditation appeared before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) to complete the next step in the USDE recognition reaffirmation process. After a 90-minute hearing, NACIQI voted to recommend ABHE for renewal of recognition for five years with no required reporting in alignment with the Department of Education’s recommendation. The decision is not yet final. The final step in the process is a decision by the Senior Department Official, which we anticipate in September. We will let you know when we receive final word!
U.S. Department of Education July 19 Dear Colleague Letter
If you have been watching the news out of Florida, you already know about new legislation requiring Florida public institutions to seek a new accreditor each cycle. This legislation prompted the U.S. Department of Education to send a Dear Colleague letter to all Title IV institutions on July 19, 2022, clarifying steps that institutions must take prior to changing or adding an accrediting agency. The Dear Colleague letter affects all institutions, not just those in Florida. You can review the Dear Colleague letter HERE.
ABHE Commission Policy Changes
The ABHE Commission adopted one new policy and one policy change at its June 2022 meeting. The new Policy on Instructional Modalities replaces the old Policy on Alternative Academic Patterns, and the amended Policy on Conflicts of Interest clarifies potential conflicts of interest related to private consulting. You can review these new policies in the updated COA Manual posted at https://www.abhe.org/accreditation/accreditation-documents/.
Earlier this week, you received notification of our new partnership with WEAVE to enhance the member experience! We are rolling out a new Member Directory, Fact Sheets, and annual reporting, with substantive change applications and other accreditation services to follow. The good news is…the cost of this platform is included in your annual fees. Here are just a few benefits you can expect THIS FALL:
- ABHE PORTAL powered by WEAVE for all member institutions
- DIRECTORY and FACT SHEET updates with institutional information PRE-POPULATED!
- Revised ANNUAL INSTITUTIONAL UPDATE (formerly the Annual Report) with enhanced functionality
- DISCOUNTS on WEAVE Plus for all ABHE Member institutions. WEAVE Plus includes access to modules for academic and administrative assessment, curriculum mapping, strategic planning, faculty credentials, and program review in addition to the free accreditation tools. Normally priced at $6,500 annually, ABHE’s partnership with Weave makes our institutions eligible for a discounted price of $4,500 annually. Click HERE for more information.
Be looking for an email soon with instructions for setting up your ABHE PORTAL in preparation for the Directory/Fact Sheet update due September 23. We look forward to serving you even more effectively through our partnership with WEAVE!
Commission Staff Representatives (CSRs)
You may be aware that a Commission Staff Representative (CSR) is assigned to each applicant and candidate institution to coach them through the accreditation process and answer questions that emerge on the accreditation journey. We want to provide the same support for accredited institutions, so we have recently assigned CSRs to all ABHE-accredited institutions. Our prayer is that this will strengthen relationships between institutional liaisons and Commission staff and give institutions a direct link to a senior professional staff member to get questions answered. Be looking for an email from your assigned CSR in the coming weeks!
ABHE conducts a comprehensive review of its Standards for Accreditation every ten years, and we would like your help in this review cycle! We are seeking volunteers and nominations for seven taskforces to review standards over the next several months. Ideally, taskforces will engage a broad range of individuals—trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and practitioners.
Please help us by volunteering or nominating and recruiting individuals to serve on taskforces in the following areas:
- Graduate Education (Conditions of Eligibility + All Standards)
- Programmatic Accreditation (Conditions of Eligibility + All Standards)
- Distance Learning (All Standards)
- Mission/Institutional Effectiveness/Ethical Practice (Conditions of Eligibility + Standards 1, 2, 3)
- Governance/Administration/Resources (Conditions of Eligibility + Standards 4, 5, 6)
- Enrollment/Student Services (Conditions of Eligibility + Standards 7, 8)
- Faculty/Learning Resources/Academic Programs (Conditions of Eligibility + Standards 9, 10, 11)
Please use this LINK to volunteer and/or submit nominations by September 15, 2022.
We have a great conference line-up for Fall 2022. If you haven’t already registered for one or more conferences, check out the options HERE