US accreditors accused of being archaic in transforming sector

December 4, 2013

PSE accreditors in the US are facing criticism from those who say the accreditation process isn't adapting to a sector in transition, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Accreditors are perfecting the Pony Express as the telegraph wires are being strung," PSE lawyer Michael B. Goldstein told the Council for Higher Education Accreditation at a recent meeting. Critics of the well-established accreditation system say it is hindering the development of new models of higher education. “Accreditation focuses heavily on process, with no ability to analyze what and how much students are learning. But students and employers are thinking more about the skills and outcomes necessary to succeed in the workplace,” explains Richard A. DeMillo, Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities, at the Georgia Institute of Technology. However, accreditors argue that the well-established system is still relevant. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges head Belle Wheelan argues that “the financial model of PSE is broken, but it's not accreditors' job to fix that.” Wheelan does, however, admit that the accreditation process could move a little faster to accommodate innovations in education. Chronicle of Higher Education