- In a letter released this week, the Education Department flagged potential “compliance concerns” with the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), a troubled accreditor that has previously come under fire for its allegedly shoddy operations.
- A department official wrote to ACICS last month requesting information about its oversight of two private colleges, San Diego University for Integrative Studies and Virginia International University.
- The latest review of ACICS is likely to renew debate around whether the department should sanction the accreditor. The Obama administration revoked its federal recognition in 2016, but the department restored the group’s status last year.
Democratic lawmakers and higher education pundits have long criticized ACICS for poorly monitoring the institutions under its purview.
ACICS managed two high-profile for-profit college chains, Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute, which collapsed in 2015 and 2016, respectively. This launched a federal crackdown of the industry, which the current administration is attempting to roll back and has pushed some of these schools to consider alternative operations.