MSCHE Removed from ACICS Recommendation Report

The U.S. Department of Education officially announced Nov. 21, 2018, that it had restored recognition for the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The restoration followed a September 2018 report that had recommended ACICS be given an opportunity to come into compliance and regain its recognition by the Department. An initial version of the September 2018 report erroneously included references to a letter of support provided by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) to ACICS.

“We were surprised to be included in that initial report,” said Dr. Heather Perfetti, J.D., MSCHE Senior Vice President for Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff. “At no time did the Commission or its staff representatives provide verbal or written support to the U.S. Department of Education endorsing ACICS as such endorsements are beyond the scope of our agency’s responsibilities.”

Through conversations with the Department, it was learned from Diane Auer Jones, Principal Deputy Under Secretary, that the inclusion was an editorial error. The Department has since issued a correction but not before the Commission received a letter from several U.S. Senators asking for an explanation. The Commission responded to the Senators’ request.

“We are satisfied that the Department of Education has corrected this error and removed the reference to a letter of support from us,” said MSCHE President Dr. Elizabeth Sibolski.