On September 17, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill No. 2247. As explained by the Senate Bill Digest, this law “requires all campuses of every public and private postsecondary education institution in California that receives state or federal financial aid funding to make available on the institution’s Internet Web site” specified final accreditation documents.
Codified as Section 66014.8 of the California Education Code, the law specifically requires publication of the final version of any:
- accreditation visiting team reports;
- accreditation agency action letters following an accreditation agency’s action relating to an initial accreditation, reaffirmation, comprehensive review, special visit, or
- any sanction or adverse action taken against an affiliated institution.
An earlier version of the bill also required publication of a institution’s self-study, a provision that was strongly opposed by the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU).
The law applies to public colleges and universities in California, as well as “Private Postsecondary Education Institutions” (a “private entity with a physical presence” in California that “offers postsecondary education to the public for an institutional charge”) and “Independent Institutions of Higher Education” (“nonpublic higher education institutions that grant undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, or both, and that are formed as nonprofit corporations in this state and are accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education”). Some consumer advocates, such as Robert Shireman, the former Deputy Undersecretary of Education at the US Department of Education, have previously called for increased disclosure of accreditation documents for all institutions of higher education.