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Who Accredits the Accreditors?

” The most important questions are how do they arrive at those criteria and standards and how do they continue to update them according to the changing needs of society and the economy? “

With regards to the famous muddy question of “Who accredits the accreditors?” in education, the superficial answer is: the education department of the respective countries. But what are the criteria and standards to accredit a learning institution? According to Marvin C. (1952), the standards used in accrediting are largely quantitative and superficial, and insistence on common “standards” puts educational institutions in a conventional straight-jacket, destroying the freedom of faculties. The most important questions are how do they arrive at those criteria and standards and how do they continue to update them according to the changing needs of society and the economy? 

 The truth is that accreditation has not always produced or improved the educational quality in many countries. While many observers of higher education remark that the U.S. has the best colleges and universities in the world, that status is being put at risk by startling examples of deficiencies in collegiate instruction, academic rigor and student success.

 

The following snapshots from various assessment instruments provide a glimpse into how some students in the U.S. are faring at colleges and universities today:

Student Learning

36% of students did not demonstarte any significant improvement in learning over four years of college (Arum & Roksa 2011)

Academic Rigor

Each semester, 32% of students did not take any course with more than forty pages of reading assigned a week (Arum & Roksa 2011)

Student Engagement

According to the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), students study less than four hours per week (required is six hours)

Workforce Skills

Only one-third of American business leaders agree that higher education institutions are graduating students with the skills and competencies their businesses need

References:
Marvin C. (1952), The problems of accreditation https://www.jstor.org/stable/20332261?seq=1

Course-Size Accreditation: a growing clamor is calling for an accreditor to oversee the quality of college-level learning that occurs outside of college
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/02/accreditor-emerging-models-higher-education

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