American Academy for Liberal Education

American Academy for Liberal Education

The American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) is a United States educational accreditation organization that provides two types of accreditation for higher education institutions that offer general education programs in the liberal arts. It provides institutional accreditation for universities and colleges that want AALE to be their sole accreditor and it provides program accreditation for liberal arts programs within higher education institutions that are institutionally accredited by another accreditor. [ [ Accreditation process] , AALE website (accessed December 7, 2007)] AALE was formed in 1992.

AALE accreditation of institutions of higher education is recognized by the United States Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education [] . As such, this accreditation enables institutions to participate in programs authorized under the Higher Education Act and other U.S. federal programs.

The American Academy for Liberal Education is also an accreditor of K-12 charter schools nationwide.

As of December 2006, the academy was the accreditor for eight U.S. institutions, including several colleges with a "great books" approach, and several programs outside the country.

On December 6, 2006, the U.S. Department of Education's National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which oversees higher education accreditation organizations, recommended barring the AALE from accrediting new institutions or programs for at least six months. The move followed a determination that the organization had been lax in not setting minimum standards for what students must learn at the colleges it accredits. As an additional punishment, the committee decided to postpone consideration of the academy's re-recognition for six months."Fears of Possible Federal Learning Standards Grow as Liberal-Arts Accreditor Is Penalized," [ Chronicle of Higher Education] , December 7, 2006 (subscription required).] In April 2007 Education Secretary Margaret Spellings upheld the advisory committee's action, stating in a letter that the AALE had "been cited consistently" for not having clear standards for measuring student achievement and not collecting and reviewing data to help judge achievement. [ Accreditor Loses Certification Power] , by Paul Basken, "The Chronicle of Higher Education", June 8, 2007] Earlier, advocates of quality control in U.S. higher education had publicly expressed concerns about the AALE's June 2005 decision to issue programmatic accreditation to the Tbilisi Campus College of the American University for Humanities, which appeared to be connected to the operator of the American University of Hawaii, an unaccredited institution that was closed by court order in January 2005 after the court found that it had issued degrees illegally. [ [ Institution Shut Down by Hawaii Is Operating Under New Name, With an Accredited International Campus] , by Paul Fain, "The Chronicle of Higher Education", August 28, 2006]

In the December 2007 meeting of the National Advisory Committee for Institutional Quality & Integrity (the committee that advises the U.S. Secretary of Education about recognition of accreditors), the recommendation was made and unanimously approved that the American Academy for Liberal Education be allowed to accept new applications for membership and accreditation.

ee also

*List of recognized accreditation associations of higher learning
*Educational accreditation
*Standards-based education reform


External links

* [ American Academy for Liberal Education Official Site]

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