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Accreditors, the federal government, and states form a triad charged with shared accountability for the institutional quality of postsecondary, degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States. As part of that triad, The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) urges that laws and policies related to accreditation reflect the following principles:
  • Promote Shared Accountability. We ensure that institutions engage in continuous improvement, and we take seriously our responsibility in the regulatory triad to hold institutions accountable for meeting rigorous standards.

  • Improve Federal and Other Data. We continue to rely on data to ensure quality and student success at our institutions. We are active partners around data development and analysis and invite opportunities to determine the most appropriate federal data indicators and other information that will help improve the assessment of quality and performance of our institutions, including meaningful outcomes for students.

  • Inform and Protect Students. We recognize the necessity to assure accurate and complete information to students and other stakeholders, especially at such key points as enrollment and in the event of closure or significant institutional change.

  • Support Transparency. We remain committed to collaborating with institutions, policymakers, and the public to promote transparency and understanding of institutional performance and the accreditation process. 

  • Encourage Innovation. Policies should ensure that we are able to continue to support the rapid pace of change and innovation across higher education while avoiding burdensome requirements that could constrain innovation, increase costs of accreditation for institutions, and distort the necessary balance between efficiency and oversight.

  • Maintain Peer Review System. Our nation’s system of higher education greatly benefits from the peer review process, the cornerstone of accreditation. Through peer review, knowledgeable volunteers with significant expertise representing higher education, the public, and the business community provide a comprehensive review of institutions and help drive institutional quality for students.

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