As many of you may know, WGU achieved regional candidacy status last November. WGU is the only university to hold candidacy status with four separate regional accrediting agencies. Note that although a committee (IRAC) was formed to oversee the process, regional candidate status was awarded by the individual agencies. There is nothing "funny" or odd about the nature of the status. It is normal standard regional candidacy. IRAC was a convenient tool, nothing more. Begs the question, though: why multiple regional accreditation? Perhaps "regional" in cyberspace is an oxymoron and the Regionals recognize it. They may be trying to accommodate the new distance learning paradigm: education without geographical constraints. It is also noteworthy that this is the first exclusively online university to be approved by the Western Association (WASC), or so I believe. In "another distance ed news board" some have argued that candidacy status might not be that big a deal (Chip?), and indeed that the probability of a candidate for regional accreditation actually becoming regionally accredited was not high. This is at odds with my understanding of the facts. a) Candidacy status is an significant achievement and a major step for an institution, and, b) that institutions achieving candidacy status have a very good shot historically of subsequently becoming fully accredited. Does anyone have actual numbers on this last point, I wonder. The most important aspect of WGU's success in achieving candidacy status is that it is an overt endorsement by the Regionals of the principle of awarding graduate degrees *entirely* on the basis of prior learning. Now clearly, the validity of the prior learning must be tested (by written and oral exam, and by other assessment methods), but there is absolutely no requirement whatsoever for new learning (I'm laboring this point since it was disputed elsewhere). Well, so what? Well, this is the first time a fully assessment based university has gained regional association sanction. It is now possible to gain a master's degree from a regionally endorsed (but not yet accredited) institution by simply passing a series of exams or assessments. One can, walk in, sit down, take the exams**, present any materials (portfolio), and walk out with a graduate degree, in record time and at minimal cost, thank you very much. For the first time the Regionals are saying learners are due credit exclusively for what they know, not how they learned what know, not where they learned what they know, BUT that they *do* know. ............................................ ** As the first ever WGU master's student to write an exam (any exam - more than a year ago now), I can tell you that it IS possible to do nothing other than walk in, sit the exam and pocket the credits.