Accreditation on the block as lawmakers look to innovation — from EvoLLLution NewsWire


Accreditation and federal financial aid policies are in line to be overhauled as lawmakers start to debate the possibility of mainstreaming some of higher education’s most recent innovations.

During a recent hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, numerous federal senators pointed toward competency-based education and hybrid models of online education as examples of strategies that could revolutionize higher education. However, they were concerned by the role of federal financial aid rules and regional accreditation boards in keeping these innovations from reaching the wider higher education marketplace.

It is expected that a number of bills will be introduced in the coming days to overhaul the regulatory systems that govern American postsecondary education.  Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) plans to unveil a bill to move accreditation responsibilities from the region to the state. This would allow greater market access to non-institutional education providers, which are typically unaccreditated and cannot compete with traditional institutions on an even footing.