By Jeffrey W. Alstete (auth.)
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In looking at the various websites of the six regional accrediting agencies, some similarities in goals and objectives can be seen, but there are also large differences in methods, strategies, support, and organizational style. Despite these differences, this book will explore effective practices for helping to successfully manage regional and specialized accreditation from the perspective of a typical college or university that is striving to achieve public recognition and internal renewal of their institution.
Not surprisingly, the regional accreditation associations were fundamentally not in favor of joining or being forced to join a national accreditation system (Bloland 2001). Subsequently, regional accreditation associations then formed the National Committee of Regional Accrediting Agencies (NCRAA), with the goal of assisting their members and to address the issue of the explosion in the number of national accrediting agencies. A Brief History of College Accreditation ● 19 The development then continued as the NCRAA became the Federation of Regional Accrediting Commissions of Higher Education (FRACHE), representing the eight postsecondary commissions of the six regional associations.
Specifically, legislators sought to address criticisms regarding the supposed problems with the current accreditation system, particularly the pressure to standardize accreditation across the country, increase standards, address changing technology, track transfer students, and generally provide more information than a “yes” or “no” decision to the public regarding the quality of colleges and universities. Other options for the way in which the evolution of accreditation may turn include maintaining the current system (status quo) of current self-governance with moderate federal oversight and coordination, or perhaps a less-likely shift toward more autonomy by institutions of higher education with new approaches to self-regulation.