What's Happening @ ACICS
It was great to see so many of you at the ACICS Annual Conference May 8-10 in Crystal City, VA. This year’s theme was one I am particularly excited about - "Ensuring Quality through Transparency and Accountability" – and see it as an opportunity to work collaboratively to shape the future of our sector.

The conference complemented the new strategic plan recently finalized by the ACICS Board of Directors. In designing the strategic plan, we set out to address three key organizational pillars:

  • Customer service: meeting the needs of ACICS schools

  • Organizational effectiveness: meeting the obligations as an accreditor

  • Institutional integrity: ensuring the operational capacity of the organization

The plan, finalized by the Board, will shape our work for the next two years, beginning July 2019. Some of the highlights include:

  • Survey member institutions to identify current needs and areas for future improvement and, based on the findings, develop programs that foster collaborative learning and quality improvement;

  • Survey evaluation teams and schools to identify current needs and areas for improvement in order to enhance the effectiveness of evaluation teams and ability of schools to comply with a robust evaluation process; and

  • Develop, analyze and publish Key Operating Statistics as part of our ongoing effort to promote institutional quality, transparency and accountability.

The strategic plan is both ambitious and timely. At the same time, we recognize that ACICS and the accreditation field at large are at a crossroads. We have a number of important milestones ahead and the ACICS team working hard to be prepared for each step along the way:

  • June 2019: ACICS appears before CHEA committee on recognition - decision by January 2020

  • November 2019: ACICS submits compliance report to ED for two remaining findings

  • July 2020 (approximately): ACICS appears before NACIQI re: compliance report

  • July 2021 (approximately): Negotiated Rulemaking - resulting changes to criteria will mean all accreditors must submit a full petition to ED

  • February 2022 (approximately): ACICS appears before NACIQI

The future will require ACICS and our member schools to redouble our efforts to create quality educational opportunities for our students while ensuring our institutions are guided by the highest standards. I believe we can do just that, and I look forward to working with each of you to implement the important work outlined in both the Annual Conference and the Strategic Plan.  

Michelle Edwards
President & CEO
2019 Annual Conference Highlights
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