The Collaborative for Quality in Alternative Learning (CQAL), an effort spearheaded by the Presidents’ Forum and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) with initial funding from the Strada Education Network, is an initiative aimed at providing guidance and thought-leadership on quality assurance practices for the alternative learning sector of higher education. Its goal is to increase recognition and acceptance of alternative, innovative educational offerings as a means to save students time and cost to credential.
Founding members include: Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), Quality Matters (QM), Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), American Council on Education (ACE), Consortium for the Assessment of College Equivalency (CACE), MarylandOnline (MOL), Online Learning Consortium (OLC), and the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) .
Initial Purpose and Activities:
Read the CQAL white paper (PDF)
- Disseminate information about available quality review approaches to alternative programs or providers;
- Advance the discussion about the need for a set of national principles for quality and for quality review processes and work to create agreed-upon standards;
- Enhance credibility and confidence in alternative learning experiences that have met quality assurance standards;
- Establish shared thought leadership and expertise in the quality assurance field; organize stakeholder convenings;
- Provide support, develop policy initiatives, and acquire and distribute grant monies for member organizations to further quality assurance research and activities.