CAA Reporting in the HES Frequently Asked Questions: Documenting Compliance
Why are addenda required when CAA makes changes in the Standards for Accreditation?
The CAA routinely reviews its Standards for Accreditation to ensure the standards support quality education in the professions and that the implementation language clearly reflects CAA's expectations for complying with the standard. When the CAA makes changes, it sometimes requires programs to provide additional information to document continued compliance. However, if the question set does not appear in the HES online, the CAA will develop an addendum for programs to submit until those modifications can be made in the system.
For the Standards for Accreditation revisions that will be implemented January 1, 2013, all programs are required to complete an addendum to document continued compliance with the following standards:
- Standard 1.6: Programs must describe how they adhere to all institutional policies related to non-discrimination, non-harassment, and similar matters and affirm that it keeps records of complaints, charges, and litigation.
- Standard 3.1: Programs must identify for which state and national credentials the program is preparing its graduates, as it relates to the program's purpose and goals.
- Standard 5.3: Programs must describe the plan for improving program completion rates, Praxis pass rates, or employment rates when the 3-year average does not meet the CAA's thresholds.
What documentation is acceptable to support continued compliance with Standard 1.1 regarding degree granting authorization?
As communicated to programs in October 2012, all accredited programs are required to file evidence [PDF] by February 1, 2013, that the institution has received degree granting authority specific to the degree(s) being offered in the accredited program. The program may submit either
- a copy of the authorization from the appropriate entity (e.g., state higher education office) or
- a letter signed by the provost or other institutional representative attesting that the institution is authorized under applicable law or other acceptable authority to provide the program of post-secondary education and has appropriate graduate degree-granting authority. The letter must specify the name of the official entity, its web address or other contact information, and the specific graduate degrees included in the authorization related to the audiology or speech-language pathology program.
Programs that are offered through a consortium must provide this information for each institution that has the degree granting authority for the specific degree(s) of the accredited program.
Programs that have applied for candidacy status with the CAA after January 1, 2007, do not need to furnish the authorization information, as it was collected at the time of that application.
Regional accrediting agencies (e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) do not provide degree granting authority except under very rare circumstances. Over 98% of the universities in the United States, including public institutions and nonpublic institutions that have some kind of formal authorization to offer degrees, are sanctioned through state governments.
Which standards are cited the most by CAA?
The CAA closely monitors the citations that result from its reviews. A summary of these trends are updated annually on the website. The following guidance is offered on standards that have been most cited in recent years:
- Standard 1.3 Long Term Strategic Plan: When providing your response to this standard, be sure to include in your discussion(s) steps that have been or will be taken to implement the strategic plan and the process to regularly assess the plan that leads to ongoing quality improvement as it relates to the program's mission and goals.
- Standard 1.7 Accuracy of Public Information: Information about the program must be current, accurate, and readily available to the public. When providing URLs that contain the Praxis pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates, you should test each link to be sure it provides access to the desired content. The CAA requires programs to make sure these data, updated by January 1 each year, reflect current and accurate information. Please refer to the CAA's Outcome Data Table Sample for guidance.
- Standard 2.2 Faculty Sufficiency: The CAA assesses the sufficiency of faculty based on total FTE, individual qualifications, full-time appointments, and other institutional support/resources that ensure sufficiency to offer the breadth and depth of the curriculum, including its scientific and research components, so that students can complete the requirements within a reasonable time period and acquire the expected knowledge and skills.
When completing the faculty detail for each faculty member, be sure you have reported FTE that accurately represents the amount of contribution to the accredited graduate program. Do not use the "Combined + Other Mode of Delivery" column in the FTE table to total the FTE breakout. The HES system is designed to calculate all totals. This column is intended to be used when the program offers courses to a remote location simultaneous to the offering at the residential campus and using distance technology. Use of this column to report a total of the FTE breakout overstates (doubles) the FTE contribution for the individual faculty member. This will be apparent when you generate the PDF file for the Faculty Summary and review each individuals total FTE.
When completing the series of questions in Section 2.2 of your online report regarding sufficiency of faculty, please provide the rationale for the sufficiency of faculty to teach, advise, and conduct research. While the CAA does not prescribe a student-to-faculty ratio, it is important that the program provide a clear explanation of why faculty are sufficient and identify steps the program is taking to fill faculty vacancies or take similar measures.
- Standard 5.1 Program Assessment of Students: When providing examples of formative and summative assessments, please be sure your examples are proper representations of these types of assessments:
- Formative Assessment—ongoing measurement throughout educational preparation for the purpose of monitoring acquisition of knowledge and skills and improving student learning
- Summative Assessment—comprehensive evaluation of learning outcomes, including acquisition of knowledge and skills, at the culmination of an educational experience (e.g., course, program)
Programs are advised that the Praxis exam is designed to be taken by individuals who have at least completed all academic and clinical work and often are in longer-term clinical placements or clinical fellowships (i.e., graduates of the program, rather than students). This philosophy was set forward by the Educational Testing Service in a letter to programs in 2007 along with an attachment on proper use [PDF]. Therefore, programs are advised that use of the Praxis exam as a summative assessment may not be appropriate.
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