Accreditation on the Edge in the Next Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

Higher education faces many challenges; lagging college completion rates and increasing student debt put millions at risk of financial ruin. One in 5 Americans owe a combined $1.5 trillion in student debt. As these challenges become more urgent, accrediting agencies—the gatekeepers to the billions in federal student aid dollars—are at a crossroads. Is accreditation on the edge of a policy precipice, unable to meet the challenges of today’s students, or is it on the cutting edge of a transformation of higher education?

Join the Center for American Progress in a conversation with contributors and responders of a new book, Accreditation on the Edge: Challenging Quality Assurance in Higher Education, in which they discuss an array of different perspectives—from accreditors and colleges to policymakers and consumer advocates—on the critical issues that efforts at reform need to address if accreditation is to remain relevant to the needs of higher education in the 21st century. This event will include discussions of ideas on efforts for reform and challenges for moving forward.

Introductory remarks:

Jacob Leibenluft, Executive Vice President, Policy, Center for American Progress

Featured panelists:
Susan D. Phillips, Professor of Education Leadership and Policy and former Provost, University at Albany; Leadership Fellow, SUNY SAIL Institute; former Chair and current member, National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity; Co-editor, Accreditation on the Edge: Challenging Quality Assurance in Higher Education

José Luis Cruz, President, Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York; former Provost, California State University, Fullerton.

Sylvia Manning, former President, Higher Learning Commission; Chancellor Emerita, University of Illinois at Chicago; Contributor, Accreditation on the Edge: Challenging Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Antoinette Flores, Associate Director, Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress

David A. Bergeron, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; former Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education; Contributor, Accreditation on the Edge: Challenging Quality Assurance in Higher Education


1333 H Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA

Additional information

Breakfast will be served beforehand.


Closed-captioned-enabled video will be posted following the conclusion of the event.
If you require ADA-related accommodations for your in-person attendance at this event, please email as soon as possible so that we may assist you.