Learn more about our work as an aspiring accreditor.
A New Accreditor Focused on Outcomes
The Postsecondary Commission will accredit institutions that produce strong economic returns for their students, are transparent about their results, agree to be held accountable for the wage gains they provide to their students, and are innovative in their work.
1 – Economic Mobility
Students and families choose higher education for a variety of reasons, but economic returns are repeatedly named the number one reason students pursue higher education. PSC prioritizes economic mobility for this reason.
PSC measures economic mobility in the following two ways.
Value-added Earnings: PSC requires institutions to produce wage gains for all of their entering students (including both eventual completers and non-completers) that exceed the costs they charge those students. PSC measures wage gains as the difference between the actual wages of students and a baseline estimate of the wages those same students would have experienced if they had not enrolled in the institution.
Absolute Earnings: In addition, to protect students who encounter very low wages in the job market, even after they benefit from the wage gains that PSC requires under its value-added earnings policy, PSC requires institutions to have graduates who, at a minimum, have wages that exceed 150% of the federal poverty line in the first three years after graduation.
2 – Transparency
PSC will require its institutions to disclose to prospective and existing students as well as to the general public a wide range of information that can help those stakeholders understand and evaluate institutions’ designs and outcomes. Beyond federally required performance and financial data, PSC institutions will disclose the economic mobility outcomes of their students, helping consumers make more informed choices about their higher education investment.
3 – Accountability
PSC will hold institutions accountable for delivering strong student outcomes, particularly strong economic outcomes. PSC is committed to holding institutions accountable for student outcomes as a way to protect students who invest time and money in higher education and taxpayers who, via their state and federal governments, finance higher education.
4 – Innovation
PSC anticipates that its institutions will often utilize innovative educational models in their search for strong student outcomes. Examples of such designs include high-dosage student tutoring and advising, designs that maximize flexibility for students in scheduling and pacing their course work, and designs that engage employers in the delivery and design of programs.
More on the Postsecondary Commission’s process to become an accreditor can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.