It’s amazing that so many people were surprised at the Council on Chiropractic Education’s (CCE) recent proposal to essentially strip chiropractic education of everything chiropractic. But for those of us who have watched the CCE closely over the years know full well what a corrupt and depraved organization it truly is and what contempt it has for both the accreditation process and the US Dept. of Education.
Throughout the history of CCE, it has been at odds with those chiropractic schools that upheld those principles on which the chiropractic profession was founded. Being the only agency certified by the United States Department of Education to offer accreditation to chiropractic colleges, CCE has subtly (in some cases) and not so subtly in others imposed its will on chiropractic teaching institutions for almost four decades. During that time the cost of chiropractic education has soared. Coincidentally, so have student loan default rates. Also in recent times, the organization has illegally taken one school’s accreditation only to have it restored in Federal court.
One of the justifications for CCE taking the accreditation of Life University in 2002 was that the school failed to adhere to CCE standards. Obviously, one of CCE’s standards was NOT honest and forthright representation as the organization had manipulated its corporate structure and bylaws to put itself in a position to yank Life’s accreditation while the school had no representation on either the CCE Board of Directors or its Council on Accreditation. At the time, Life University graduates accounted for 20% of all practicing chiropractors. Yet, one school on the COA had graduated fewer than 100 chiropractors and did not even have a human dissection lab. Other schools represented on the COA and Board of Directors were under severe financial stress, benefited from the exodus of students from Life AND even had a role in the decision to remove Life’s accreditation.
So at the very least, CCE has tainted both its own credibility and that of the US Dept. of Education from whom CCE gets its authority.
In a hearing in June of 2006 by USDOE’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, CCE was admonished by the members of the Committee to make its processes more transparent to both the public and the profession and to make certain that CCEs reputation (and reality) of bullying its schools was curtailed.
Well, CCE has not failed to disappoint those of us that know it well. Just in the last few months, CCE has authorized one of its schools to offer degrees “equivalent to” the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Further, in its latest proposed changes, CCE has removed everything from chiropractic education that makes the profession chiropractic. While those chiropractic schools that attract the most students are the more conservative schools that continue to teach the founding principles, CCE continues to push the profession’s schools in a direction shunned by the market for chiropractic education.
What a bold move for CCE! In less than a year, it will be back in front of the USDOE to have its status renewed as the sole accrediting authority for the chiropractic profession, the organization has tried to sneak these changes through with a minimum of time available to the profession for input. However, the proposed changes were discovered in time for literally thousands of responses from a broad spectrum of the profession. I don’t know what CCE will do with those proposed changes, at this time. I DO know that if left to its own devices, CCE will seek more opportunities to force its will on the profession by way of the institutions it controls with an iron fist.
There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from CCE’s continued aggressive moves on chiropractic education. That conclusion is that CCE has nothing but contempt for both the US Department of Education and the entire accreditation process. It has literally spit in the face of those bureaucrats in Washington, DC who are dedicated to ensuring quality education through through the accreditation process. CCE has threatened the health of the public, the profession and the American taxpayer. CCE has run up the cost of chiropractic education beyond the typical graduate’s ability to pay, forced courses on programs that most practitioners will find illegal to use in their practice thus causing student loan default rates (among virtually EVERY chiropractic school) that dwarf those of other health professions.
Many will disagree. But personally, I believe CCE cannot be fixed, that it should lose its certification by the US Dept.. of Education and that either an alternative accrediting authority be formed or that chiropractic teaching institutions continue their accreditation by regional agencies like SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) until a credible alternative accreditation agency can be formed. In this case, nothing is better than what we now have.