Florida legislation would require colleges to grant credit for unaccredited courses

April 11, 2013

Florida lawmakers advanced a bill this week that would allow state officials to accredit individual courses on their own, including classes offered by unaccredited for-profit providers. The Florida bill is similar to one in California; both would force public PSE institutions under some circumstances to award credit for work done by students in online programs unaffiliated with the schools. The Florida bill would first create "Florida-accredited courses" -- anyone could create a course and seek "Florida-accredited" status. The vagueness of the language worries faculty unions and other state lawmakers, with one warning it was inviting "scam artists." The second major part of the legislation is a new regime of state-wide tests for K-12 and undergraduate students to get credit for certain general education requirements based on their knowledge rather than taking any specific course. Florida International University's provost says both key parts of the bill are "certainly concerning" because they take the university out of the picture: faculty would not offer the instruction and not design nor administer tests. Inside Higher Ed