Kelderman, E. (2009) Inspector General Warns Accreditor Over Online College, Raising Fears Among For-Profit Institutions Chronicle of Higher Education, December 17
From the article:
The inspector general of the U.S. Education Department has issued a harsh assessment of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the nation’s six regional accreditors, recommending that the secretary of education consider limiting, suspending, or terminating the organization’s status.
A worrying report which suggests that accreditation agencies may be punished for being flexible about approving online courses that do not match the face-to-face ‘contact hour’ criterion. However, there is really not enough information at this stage to make a proper judgement as to whether the U.S. Department of Education is going after online programming, or just the for-profit institutions, or one particular accreditation agency for allegedly sloppy work.
It is a pity because some for-profits (e.g. University pof Phoenix Online) have been doing excellent work in developing quality online programs, while others continue to give distance education and with it online learning a bad name.