Amid Accusations of Lax Oversight, Accreditor Gets Tough With ITT

As it endures criticism for what is seen as faulty oversight of for-profit colleges, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has told ITT Educational Services Inc. to demonstrate that its accreditation should not be revoked.

In a corporate filing on Wednesday, ITT said it had received the show-cause letter that day, instructing the company to show “why its current grants of accreditation should not be withdrawn by suspension or otherwise conditioned” at the accreditor’s next meeting.

ITT has been the subject of much scrutiny by federal and state bodies in recent years, and it’s unclear why the accreditor is just now piping up.

In a statement to The Chronicle, a spokesman for the council said its Board of Directors had “been monitoring ITT’s performance data intensely” and decided to send the letter on April 6 .

The accreditor has been through the wringer in recent weeks, with 13 state attorneys general calling for its federal recognition to be revoked over its failed oversight of for-profit colleges, including the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges Inc. This week the accreditor’s president, Albert C. Gray, was replaced by its Board of Directors.

“The company strongly believes that the facts it provides in response to ACICS’s request will continue to demonstrate the company’s and institutions’ compliance with regulatory and accreditation criteria,” ITT said in its disclosure. “The company is confident that it has and will continue to meet the ACICS accreditation standards.”

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