Mingle with Marcy: Under Review Ourselves

Mingle with Marcy: Under Review Ourselves

Written by: Marsal Stoll, EdD, MSN, RN
ACEN Chief Executive Officer

Published: May 2022

In 2016, I wrote an article entitled What Does It Take for an Accrediting Agency to Earn Recognition? At that time the ACEN was undergoing its periodic re-recognition review with the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), which occurs every five years. Recognition is similar to accreditation and involves a multi-layered process to determine whether an accrediting agency is in compliance with USDE requirements.

The ACEN has held recognition with the USDE for 70 years—since 1952 when the USDE started recognizing accrediting agencies. In 1952, the ACEN was one of the 15 original accrediting agencies recognized by the USDE and has proudly held continuous recognition since then.

Once again, the ACEN is undergoing its periodic re-recognition review (now the 15th time since 1952) with the USDE. At this point in time, we have completed about 50% of the process, which will conclude in Spring 2023.

It takes a village for every review process—whether it is a nursing program undertaking initial or continuing accreditation with the ACEN or whether it is an accrediting agency undertaking initial or re-recognition with the USDE. The ACEN village involved everyone on staff with a special acknowledgement to Christine Favole for organizing our Self-Study Report evidence, adding evidence citations to the Self-Study Report narrative, and uploading our report and evidence into the USDE web portal. Doing so was no easy achievement, which entailed a 107-page Self-Study Report plus 532 individual pieces of evidence—representing 6.45 gigabytes!

The ACEN is an incredible organization for many reasons most, especially due to the 800+ individuals that volunteer their time as peer evaluators and the incredible team on the ACEN staff. It is truly a privilege to be part of this educational-quality-focused, program-oriented, growing, and exemplar accrediting organization. I look forward to a very positive outcome with the USDE and will report back to you soon on the results.