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Fri, Nov. 15

Embry-Riddle responds to accreditation agency’s concerns

An aerial photo of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus taken recently. (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Courtesy)

An aerial photo of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus taken recently. (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Courtesy)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott has promised its students, faculty and staff that it is seeking to quickly correct an accreditation agency warning related to program length for its accelerated path for students seeking to earn a combined undergraduate and graduate degree.

Only six students on the Prescott campus are now impacted by what is new criteria set forth by the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges, according to a story that appeared in the Arizona Republic on Thursday.

Embry-Riddle is an internationally renowned, private university focused on aerospace and aviation, although it offers numerous other degree programs, particularly in engineering and the cybersecurity fields. The university enrolled 3,000 students this year. Expected cost to attend this university for the 2017-2018 school year was just over $50,000, with additional costs for those taking flight lessons.

Embry-Riddle officials notified parents, faculty and alumni of the recent notification from the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges. The warning pertains only to this issue, and does not impact the university’s accreditation, officials assured. University leaders addressed the issue to the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education last week.

Officials have addressed concerns, and hope the issue will be resolved at the accreditation agency’s December meeting. The university received the warning in June.

Embry-Riddle’s Director of Communications Jason Kadah said late Thursday afternoon that detailed information has been forwarded to the accreditation agency, and the university is awaiting its decision. Embry-Riddle has every expectation that this matter will be successfully resolved.

As this is a pending matter, Kadah said university officials do not consider it appropriate to comment any further at this time.

The crux of the issue appears to be a change in the accreditation agency’s criteria for credit hours, but details were unclear, according to the Republic story.

Embry-Riddle officials suggest there appears to be some misunderstanding about how their accelerated program works, with undergraduate students asked to take higher level, more rigorous courses that are then credited toward their degree, the story explained.

“Embry-Riddle is taking the notification very seriously, and we are working diligently with SACSCOC to ensure compliance with the SACSCOC Core Requirement,” the letter said.

Anyone with any questions related to university accreditation can contact the university’s office of Academic Assessment and Accreditation at (386) 226-7373 or (386) 226-7612.

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