Higher Education: Accreditation Rites and Rituals with André Foisy


Accreditation in the U.S. is unique in many ways — one reason why understanding how it works across all the various levels is so important.

We spoke with André Foisy, Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning Analytics at Excelsior University, regarding his time as a recent CHEA Fellow to get an inside look at how the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) develops, initiates, and enforces various policies and requirements. Though CHEA is the accreditor of accreditors, institutions are also their members who they serve and support as well. According to André, embracing an anthropological lens to understanding the nuances of accreditation can help educational establishments better understand what accreditation means, how to achieve each standard, and how to best leverage accreditation for positive outcomes.

Join us as we discuss:

  • How institutional accreditation is interpreted, negotiated, and leveraged as a vital tool
  • The importance of Linda Suskie’s five dimensions of quality and the influence of these on André’s work with signals of quality
  • The impact of AALHE on the assessment community

André Foisy


J. André Foisy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Educational Policy & Leadership at the University of Albany and the Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning Analytics at Excelsior University. Foisy was a 2021-2022 Council for Higher Education Fellow and the 2020-2021 President of the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education. Foisy has served in roles supporting assessment and accreditation for more than fifteen years. His dissertation research explores how institutional accreditation is a policy-guided negotiation.

Podcast Info

Host: Amy Dykens, CEO, Weave

Guest: André Foisy, Executive Director, Excelsior University

Episode #: 19