AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the research paper The Case for Escape Hatches from Higher Education Accreditation.

“Accreditation in higher education is a barrier to innovation because it insists on a recipe of inputs and processes which may or may not actually be tied to producing results for students,” said Andrew Gillen, senior policy analyst with the TPPF’s Center for Innovation in Education. “Escape hatches for colleges and programs that meet high thresholds for learning and labor market outcomes can allow some innovative colleges to circumvent the accreditation system.”

Key Points:

  • Higher education accreditation does not work because it asks accreditors to be consultants and regulators at the same time.
  • The two biggest problems with accreditation are that it does not provide adequate quality assurance and it mandates a recipe that colleges must follow in terms of inputs and processes, rather than focusing on outputs and outcomes.
  • The recipe that accreditors require colleges to follow necessarily suppresses innovation in higher education.
  • While there is widespread dissatisfaction with accreditation, there is (justifiably) little consensus regarding potential replacements.
  • Escape hatches would allow programs with excellent learning or labor market outcomes to operate outside of the accreditation system, helping to unleash innovation in higher education.

To read The Case for Escape Hatches from Higher Education Accreditation in full, please visit:

https://files.texaspolicy.com/uploads/2020/04/08112552/Gillen-Escape-Hatches-from-Higher-Ed-Accreditation.pdf