Regional Accreditors Issue Statements on Negotiated Rulemaking, Submit Comments to Department of Education

The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) submitted comments on Sept. 12, 2018, to the U.S. Department of Education on several accreditation-related policies that will be discussed as part of the department’s negotiated rulemaking.

Barbara Gellman-Danley, chair of C-RAC and president of the Higher Learning Commission, said, “The negotiated rulemaking presents an important opportunity to reassess regulations that could affect accreditors’ ability to promote institutional improvement and meaningful innovation while also assuring adequate protections for students and taxpayers. Higher education is evolving rapidly to meet the needs of modern students; allowing adequate flexibility to develop novel programs and initiatives is vital to success. It is the Council’s hope that this process will help build a stronger and more agile postsecondary education system that encourages diversity, promotes innovation, and demands accountability for students and the public. We look forward to playing an active role in the rulemaking.”

Dr. Elizabeth Sibolski, vice chair of C-RAC and president of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, said, “A number of the issues raised by the department are long overdue for robust stakeholder discussion, including policies around competency-based education, third-party education providers, and distance learning. However, we are concerned that the breadth and complexity of some of the issues included in the negotiated rulemaking, such as regulations related to state authorization, could necessitate additional time and consideration. The Council welcomes the ensuing discussion on these and many other critical higher education issues and hopes the department will consider establishing additional committees to allow the robust discussion necessary for consensus.”

To view the comment letter, click here.

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The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) is a collective of seven regional organizations responsible for the accreditation of roughly 3,000 of the nation’s colleges and universities. To learn more, visit