When City College of San Francisco was given a year to rein in a massive debt, fix deteriorating facilities, and bring its academic courses up to standards, it wasn’t state or federal regulators threatening to close the college if it didn’t respond.
Nor was it parents, legislators, or impatient bankers.
The shutdown warning came from an obscure organization probably unknown to most of the 80,000 students who attend the huge community college: the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, one of six regional accreditors that license two- and four-year institutions.
These regional accrediting agencies, and some of the 52 national accreditors that regulate religious, online, career, and other specific types of schools, have started to crack down on universities and colleges in the face of increasing pressure from Congress, the White House, and education reformers—and threats that the government could step in to take over their roles if they don’t. <Read more.>