Accrediting Commission International

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Accrediting Commission International
TypeUnrecognized higher education accreditor
John F. Scheel

Accrediting Commission International (ACI), also known as Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries, possibly associated with International Accrediting Commission (IAC), also known as International Accrediting Commission for Schools, Colleges and Theological Seminaries,[1][2] is an unrecognized educational accreditation corporation in the United States. It primarily accredits religious schools, including seminaries and Bible colleges, and also offers accreditation to non-U.S. schools that offer business education programs. It is on a 2009 list of accreditation mills in College and University, the journal of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.[3]


In 1982, International Accrediting Commission for Schools, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries (IAC) was established in Missouri.[1] In October 1988, Missouri's Attorney General created a sting operation in which it set up the "Eastern Missouri Business College" with deliberately substandard faculty and curriculum for less than a week. An accreditation visit from the IAC resulted in civil fraud charges.[4] IAC was ordered to pay the state of Missouri $15,0000 and cease operation in the state of Missouri in the fall of 1989.[1][2][5]

ACI was established in 1989 in Beebe, Arkansas.[1] It offered immediate acceptance to IAC members.[6]


ACI is not recognized by the United States Department of Education, the institution responsible for recognizing educational accrediting institutions in the United States.[1] ACI says that credits from member schools may not be accepted by industry or non-member schools.[7]

The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization includes ACI in its list of unrecognized accreditation agencies stating that, "any so-called 'accreditation' by these bodies is meaningless in Oregon and in some other states."[8] In 2007, the St. Petersburg Times quoted Alan Contreras, the leader of Oregon's Office of Degree Authorization (an organization that follows questionable accrediting agencies) as saying, "Anything accredited by ACI in Beebe, Ark., is either fake or substandard, as far as I know."[9]

In 2017, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Education said that a diploma issued by Georgia-based, ACI-accredited Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School did not appear to meet South Carolina's diploma-issuing criteria.[7]

In 2019, Ashley Moody, Florida Attorney General began proceedings against ACI-accredited Ellenwood Academy after multiple complaints of diplomas not being accepted by employers or the State University System of Florida.[10] The organization employed no faculty and offered an "accredited online high school diploma"; it charged $195 and used an online multiple choice test which could be taken until a passing grade was achieved.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bear, John (November 13, 2004), "Great Moments in Accreditation: The Case of IAC, ACI, and The Three Stooges",, retrieved 2019-06-12
  2. ^ a b Roach, David (October 24, 2006). "Pastor's resignation sparks discussion of accreditation". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  3. ^ Ezell, Allen (Fall 2009), "Recent developments with degree mills" (PDF), College and University, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 40–50, retrieved 2019-06-12
  4. ^ Jennings, Lisa (February 15, 1989), "Accreditor Was 'for the Birds,' State Found", Education Week, retrieved 2019-06-12
  5. ^ Jennings, Lisa (January 1, 1990), "Anatomy Of A Sting", Education Week: Teacher, retrieved 2019-06-12
  6. ^ Bear, John (April 24, 2012). Degree Mills: The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas. Prometheus Books. pp. 316–7. ISBN 978-1-61614-508-8.
  7. ^ a b Harris, Amanda (June 4, 2017), "York mom, 59, celebrates earning high school diploma",, retrieved 2019-06-11
  8. ^ “Accrediting” entities not recognized by the State of Oregon Archived 2010-10-15 at the Wayback Machine, Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, Oregon state government
  9. ^ "Degree inspires little faith". St. Petersburg Times. 2007-10-27. Archived from the original on 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  10. ^ "Florida Attorney General wants Brandon 'diploma mill' to shut down", Fox 13 News, March 25, 2019, retrieved 2019-06-11
  11. ^ Fink, Jenny (March 25, 2019), "Florida AG wants to shut down high school with no faculty, classes that was handing out diplomas", Newsweek, retrieved 2019-06-11

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