Potentially signaling a reversal from the Trump administration, Education Department staff under the Biden administration is recommending removing recognition of the controversial Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Just three days into the Biden administration, the Education Department moved Friday to strip the controversial Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools of its powers to accredit colleges and universities.
The recommendation by department staff would represent a change of course and would reverse the Trump administration’s decision to restore the accreditor’s powers. The Obama administration had pulled its recognition of ACICS after it was criticized for its lax oversight of for-profit institutions like Corinthian Colleges.
ACICS continued to come under scrutiny after it was accused last year of accrediting Reagan National University in South Dakota, which, according to a USA Today report, has no faculty, staff or classrooms.
“The agency failed to demonstrate that it has competent and knowledgeable individuals, qualified by education and experience in their own right and trained by the agency on their responsibilities,” department staff said in its recommendation. The accreditor did not return a request for comment over the weekend