College accreditation is popularly viewed as a process through which students are ensured a quality education. Acquiring an accreditation status recognized by the federal government is voluntarily chosen by many colleges because they and their students want access to certain government and private funding sources.
Research into the value of accreditation has demonstrated conclusively from research and experience that accreditation does not ensure quality (George Leef, Can College Accreditation Live Up to Its Promise?, American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Director of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, previous Vice President of the Locke Foundation).
For the past 20 years, home educating families have ensured the quality education of their children through their personal involvement and free market decisions. The Concourse is encouraging and enabling this same level of quality, which has been demonstrated through achievement testing to be 30 percentage points better than accredited schools.
During the last 100 years, institutions of higher education have collaborated with federal and state agencies to limit the awarding of degrees to accredited institutions in order to protect their market share with the effect of charging a high tuition for a low quality product. Honest reflection by most college graduates and employers will confirm this. In the pursuit of employment, they can be asked to look beyond the paper degree to learn of the genuine character and ability of the person applying for employment.
The fact that accreditation gives rise to the secularization and homogenization of even Christian college curricula, is of even more concern to Christian families.
Therefore, the Concourse encourages and enables families to accredit the specific programs of their own children. Where accreditation is desired for a particular program, families form a review board for each student consisting of the student's parent(s), pastor(s), academic advisor(s), and profession advisor(s). This essentially combines the value of a graduate school committee, accreditation team, and church leadership under the authority of the parents. Acknowledging the authority of the family and church are key to the highest quality and most effective accreditation.
The student may invite desirable employers to participate on their review board and choose to pursue apprenticeships, internships, coops, summer employment or entrepreneurship opportunities with their desired employers at any time.
The Concourse does not issue degrees because the role of the Concourse is to encourage and support private Christian parent-directed higher education. The authority for acknowledging student accomplishments remains with the parents. Just as with home schooling, parents may choose to acknowledge student accomplishments in a transcript or curriculum vita or portfolio that is also useful to employers. Concourse teachers and advisors provide helpful feedback to students within the context of their courses and activities.