By Doris Gordon This article is a part of the January/February 2017, Volume 29, Number 1, Audiology Today issue. As we think about the year to come, let’s renew our focus on achieving excellence in higher education by rigorous accreditation. You have heard members of the ACAE Board and myself repeat this concept again and again, but let me reiterate on why it is important and what can happen when it is not a top priority. Education is facing new and more intense scrutiny. Why is this happening now and why should we be concerned? The federal government spends more than $180 billion (in today’s dollars) to support higher education, as noted in major news publications over the past few years, and, more recently, in an article by a member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times on October 20, 2016. This includes many aspects of higher education, including student aid. With such a huge investment, it makes sense that the Department of Education (DOE) would want to know whether or not this money was spent wisely. Their valid concern is the quality of academic programs, competency of degrees offered, student attrition, graduation rates from the college or university, debt incurred by students, and, most importantly, the accreditation standards with which institutions and programs must comply. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!