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Press Release – Standards Available for Public Comment

By Carol Rava
September 19, 2023

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aspiring accreditor, the Postsecondary Commission, releases its draft accreditation standards for public comment

Focus on economic return, transparency and accountability is evident throughout

Boston, MA – The Postsecondary Commission (PSC) today posted for public comment its proposed accreditation standards. PSC is an aspiring accreditor for higher education institutions that deliver measurable economic returns for their students. The standards are available for review on PSC’s website.

PSC Founder and President, Stig Leschly, noted that the standards uniquely center outcomes in an accreditation model. “We have been working intently for more than eight months to draft standards that reflect our commitment to measuring and holding institutions accountable for economic mobility,” Leschly said.

The organization collaborated and consulted with almost two dozen accreditation experts and practitioners during the writing process. This included attorneys, economists, educators, existing accreditor staff, and higher education leaders. 

The standards reflect an expectation that PSC-accredited institutions will provide economic returns for their students. This return is defined as the difference between the actual wages that students experience after they exit an institution and the wages they would have experienced if they had never enrolled in the first place. PSC calls this the ‘value-added earnings’ of an institution.

“Students want to know that their investment in higher education will pay off,” said Leschly. “The Postsecondary Commission will use an evidence-based measure to hold colleges accountable for providing value-added earnings to their students.” 

The standards state that PSC will require institutions to produce wage gains for most students that allow students to recoup their college costs in a reasonable timeframe. There are also stringent disclosure requirements, especially related to an institution sharing its value-added earnings. And finally, PSC expects to accredit institutions with a wide range of approaches and designs that grant certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees.

PSC’s Board of Commissioners approved the standards for release for public comment. The open comment period continues until October 31, 2023 and all comments must be submitted using the online public comment web form here.