WSCUC President Testifies before Congressional Committee on Value of Accreditation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 27, 2017

WSCUC President Testifies before Congressional Committee on Value of Accreditation

ALAMEDA, CA – WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) president Mary Ellen Petrisko today testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Education and the Workforce Committee during a hearing entitled, “Strengthening Accreditation to Better Protect Students and Taxpayers.” During her testimony, Dr. Petrisko provided an overview of the role the nation’s accreditors play in assuring postsecondary quality, and shared information about WSCUC initiatives, such as the Graduation Rate Dashboard, to better support students and protect the public’s investment in higher education.

Dr. Petrisko also presented the committee with recommendations to improve the accreditation, noting: “While I believe accreditors largely do a good job in protecting students, I also believe steps could be taken in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act to create a stronger accountability system and therefore better serve students.”

In addition to suggestions to enhance transparency in postsecondary education and reduce costly and burdensome regulations, Dr. Petrisko underscored the fact that changing student demographics will require a renewed commitment to innovation and flexibility.

Dr. Petrisko said, “As our regional undergraduate population demonstrates, the majority of students today do not go to one institution full-time and finish within four years. Many are part-time, many transfer, many are adults with family and job responsibilities that they must balance while earning a degree. I hope the reauthorization will keep these changing student demographics in mind.”

To read Dr. Petrisko’s testimony, click here. To view an archived webcast of the hearing, click here.

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