Accreditation Primer

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Accreditation Primer

The purpose of this page is to support decision making by OSE regarding its plans to work within the educational system of the US.This includes technical school, college, certificate programs, GI Bill, H3 Visas, and more.

Overview of Accreditation Landscape in the US

The big purpose, not ever stated for accreditation, and relevant to the effort, is the distributed protection of federal money from misuse. The feds give student aid, either from department of ed or veterans benefits or tuition assistance for active military and they want it to only be spent on accredited programs.

Institutional Accreditation

Accreditation is done by accreditors who themselves are accredited through a central organization CHEA (council of higher ed accreditation). They maintain a list of department-of-ed approved accreditors. Those accreditors in turn accredit colleges and universities which thereby gives those institutions authority to administer financial aid funds. The Higher Learning Commission has a page on the process.

Veterans Administration Approval

The VA still needs to approve an institution for aid, as well, and relies on their own rules and the existence of accreditation for that institution. State Approving Agencies provide approval.

State Approval

Accreditation depends on state approval of an educational provider. The state's interest has been to protect the consumer and regulate the programs at the state's public colleges and universities to ensure that public money is spent the ways the state (and its politicians) want it to be divided up among the public colleges. The protection of students is about the for-profit and private colleges, and Missouri has a separate branch to regulate "career colleges" which includes private, not for profit, like OSE wants to be. A money making presence in MO for an institution requires it to be approved to operate. Whether that extends to a service-providing contractor, I'm not certain. The agency in Missouri is called MHEWD (Missouri Higher Education and Workforce Development).

Visas via Student and Exchange Visitor Program Approval

The approval to offer various educational visas is granted through the Department of Homeland Security and called the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. It grants authority to an institution to offer F and M status visas. The M status may work best for OSE since it is for vocational programs. The expedient route is through partnership with a SEVIS-approved institution.

Programmatic Accreditation

An additional wrinkle in the landscape are the programmatic accreditors, like ABET - the accrediting board for engineering and technology - that accredit specialized degree programs. These are not a requirement for OSE, but may be for potential partners of OSE. Assuming the need for speed, partnering is recommended for OSE.

Accredited Partnerships

UMKC is approved as a public college in Missouri. That qualifies them to participate in accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, the largest of the regional accreditors which happens to cover 17 states and over 1000 institutions. HLC initially accredited and multiply reaffirmed UMKC's accreditation and hence ability to offer financial aid.

An approved partnership between UMKC and OSE depends on the form of the arrangement. Missouri approval may be needed ,,![check this] and working with a non-accredited partner would require UMKC to notify and possibly seek approval with HLC.

HLC list the approval options to consider for a contractual arrangemet.

OSE Agency - Getting Hired by a University

  • Bob Berkebile]] suggest retaining autonomy by not getting hired by a university.
  • From Jon Miller of Outlaws Inc:
  • Specific legal agreements are hard with Universities
  • But, specific arbitration agreement - is easy
  • Standalone certificate for engineering students -
  • From State Approving Agency, it's about ownership - who is taking a check?
  • If that works out, then there is not certification. If a course offered falls under UMKC. So I must be an UMKC professor. Hi, I'm working for UMKC.
  • Dean Truman, please hire me. Know their process for creating elective courses that give a certificate. If you are a vetaran, and want X, and don't want a 4 year degree - here is an option for you that we can give you. It ties into getting college credit. House Builder Social Entrepreneurship. We are giving a 3 month program - we are grounding college degree with 3 months of immersion, integrated learning across diverse disciplines that you don't find anywhere else. Hire me, let's formalize this in your curriculum, and go live.
  • Take what you know and start solving problems, instead of find an engineering firm and look at drawings all day.
  • Do you want UMKC engineers to be leaders the day graduate? Measure it! How many affordable homes did you build in KC.
  • Employment - how many jobs will I create that are not tied to bureaucratic red tape?
  • Risk - getting bogged in all the good we can do to the world. Dean lives in a practical space, but has seen many people with ideas but not execta
  • Practice - we create curriculum, and Jon helps. Structuring bunch of info. It has to be approved by UMKC. Support person from an admin person at UMKC.
  • Safety liability piece - travel out there. For the summer it's not an issue - work will be local. We want to fall under every UMKC umbrella that we want. Safety review. Visual workshop and safety review. Special operating procedures. Mitigate risk of things not going as planned.
  • From UMKC - no idea what we will stir up in peoples' minds!