California Attorney General Kamala Harris thinks the largest national accrediting agency for degree-granting institutions should lose its accreditation.
Harris has written the U.S. Department of Education, urging it to revoke federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which among its other accomplishments accedited the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which left tens of thousands of students with useless degrees and millions of dollars in debts.
“The predatory scheme devised by executives at Corinthian Colleges, Inc. was unconscionable. And despite enforcement actions by the California Department of Justice and the federal government against Corinthian, ACICS continued to accredit Corinthian, hurting thousands of students in the process,” Harris said. “Students relied on Corinthian’s accreditation status, believing they were obtaining a high quality-education with real job prospects."
ACICS boasts of accrediting more colleges than any other agency but a quick perusal of its roster finds that most of them are small vocational training institutions, offering certificates and associate degrees in such fields as dental assistance and office management.
Harris joins 13 other state AGs who are opposing the renewal of ACICS as an accreditation agency. Harris and 10 other AGs are also calling for tougher standards for college recruiters on military bases.