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June 24, 2016

Somerville’s Lincoln Technical Institute is one of the institutions accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools. (Steven Senne/Associated Press)

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), responsible for overseeing accrediting agencies, recommended on Thursday that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) should no longer be a recognized accreditor, bringing the agency one step closer to closing down.

This decision comes a week after the Department of Education also suggested an end to ACICS for failing to meet federal standards.

The council came under fire in recent years for continuing to accredit the for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges, even after revelations the chain misled students and lied about graduation rates.

“Accreditation is one of the more complex governmental activities there is," said Mark Nemec, the Dean of the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

Earlier: Nation's Largest Accreditation Agency Itself Faces Deaccreditation

Nemec says a diverse group of national and regional college accreditors has been one of American higher education's greatest strengths.

"On the other hand, sometimes, with diversity come outliers,” he said. “I think most people would argue that the for-profits is an outlier that didn't fit the model of other higher education institutions."

Related: Elizabeth Warren Calls For "Aggressive Action" On College Accreditor

In a statement released on Friday, ACICS said it "will continue to exhaust its opportunities to inform the [Senior Department Official of the U.S. Department of Education] before the record is closed."

Federal education officials now have 90 days to decide if they will terminate the accreditor. 

On Campus intern Shirley Wang contributed to this report. 

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