Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that ACICS member institutions were barred from receiving federal financial aid disbursements under U.S. Department of Education sanctions.
- Colorado Heights University in Denver will close in next year, citing the federal banishment of the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and falling enrollment as the primary reasons for its demise.
- The non-profit institution serving just over 500 students with specialties in business and liberal arts was a part of the ACICS, which is facing heavy scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Education over its alleged lack of review of for-profit member schools — though the ACICS has appealed the department's latest decision.
- School officials say they will remain focused on helping students to complete degrees or to transfer to other institutions for continuing education.
These stories will become more frequent in the coming months, even as a new presidential administration is expected to reverse many of the policies established over the last eight years for institutional accountability in postgraduate metrics.
For college leaders who may be facing similar outcomes from federal action against accrediting agencies, or even for those with metrics which may position them for heightened cash monitoring or sanction from the department, the time for advocacy may have already passed. What lies ahead is the work of redesigning academic enterprise to meet new standards of workforce development, industrial pairing and affordability while saving students costs and time.