Wednesday, May 3, 2017

J-Schools Drop Accreditation - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Accrediting agencies are facing intense scrutiny from academics, policy makers and the general public, with the latest salvo being the decisions by Berkeley and Northwestern University’s schools of journalism and communications to ditch their accreditor. Much of the broader conversation about accreditation revolves around institutional accreditors, both national and regional, that serve as the gatekeepers for federal financial aid. Criticism tends to focus on whether the agencies are doing enough to prevent fraud and to push colleges to improve graduation and job-placement rates. Yet specialized accreditors have felt heat as well. And the tension over innovation at Medill is familiar to most accreditors, as their role of by-the-books regulators of quality often conflicts with encouraging innovation. “This is part of a re-evaluation that’s happening in the education space and in accreditation,” said Judith Eaton, president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which recognizes ACEJMC. “The focus on innovation is there across the board.”

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