INSIDE HIGHER ED. JUNE 17, 2013. The Education Department is hoping to streamline its process for reviewing and recognizing accrediting agencies to focus more on what it considers key criteria -- 25 of the 95 factors that include accreditors' standards and how they are applied, as well as the agencies' fiscal health. While the streamlined standards won't be in effect for another two years, they're likely to be a relief to accrediting agencies, who have grumbled in recent years that the department has grown increasingly "granular" in evaluating accreditors for official recognition.
"This will result in a better, more targeted process that is simpler and less burdensome for accrediting agencies, NACIQI and the federal government," Martha Kanter, the under secretary of education, wrote in a blog post. "It is our hope and expectation that these improvements will also enable the postsecondary institutions they accredit to focus additional time and effort on quality enhancement and value."