Center for American Progress

ADVISORY: Assuring College Quality: How Alternative Approaches Could Encourage Innovation and Protect Consumers
Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Assuring College Quality: How Alternative Approaches Could Encourage Innovation and Protect Consumers

Washington, D.C. — Accreditation agencies sit at the center of the U.S. higher education system, vetting colleges and universities on whether they deserve to be entrusted with $120 billion in federal financial aid each year. These once-obscure nonprofit organizations have increasingly come under scrutiny over whether they are up to the task. Do they hold institutions to rigorous standards? Do they protect students from schools that will do them more harm than good? Are they able to foster innovation and help find new models of low-cost, high-quality education? Are they successfully balancing issues of quality improvement and accountability?

On Thursday, October 6, the Center for American Progress will release, “A Quality Alternative,” a vision for a new system that could complement and compete with traditional accreditors by encouraging innovation and setting rigorous standards for quality. This report joins a chorus of other voices calling for reform and alternative forms of quality assurance.

CAP will host a panel discussion to explore alternative ways of encouraging access to federal aid for innovative new providers while better ensuring taxpayer dollars go to good use. The event will explore questions such as: How do we balance more innovation in higher education with the need for strong consumer protection? What strengths of the existing quality assurance system should be kept and what weaknesses should be fixed? And where do different solutions share common themes?

Members of the media can click here to RSVP.

Click here to bookmark the link to the livestream.


Introductory remarks:
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President, Policy, Center for American Progress

Ted Mitchell, Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education
Judith Eaton, President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Paul Freedman, Co-Founder and CEO, Entangled Ventures
Ben Miller, Senior Director, Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress

Moderated by:
Goldie Blumenstyk, Senior Writer, The Chronicle of Higher Education

A light breakfast and coffee will be served at 9:30 a.m.


Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.


Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss@americanprogress.or or 202.478.6331.