American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Guide to Starting an Academic Program in
Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)

Section 4 - Seeking Accreditation: What You Need to Know

Documenting Standards Compliance and Development Plans

A program may use results from its feasibility study as well as applicable documentation developed during the internal and external proposal phases to support its application for candidacy to the CAA. The CAA will expect the program to highlight its schedule for implementation of various aspects of the program. It also should provide evidence demonstrating compliance and/or required progress at the time of application and at the time of CAA's site visit and decisions to award candidacy.

The following table presents the suggested documentation and materials to be provided at the time of submitting the application for candidacy as well as what should be in evidence and what should be available at the time of the candidacy site visit. The evidence or descriptions provided at the time of the site visit also will inform the CAA in its final accreditation decision about the applicant program. The CAA's Standards Compliance Continuum, describes details about the expected development and compliance levels. References to major sections of the Standards for Accreditation are in parentheses.

Recommended activities or source documents/materials Developed by time of submission Evidence at time of site visit/final decision

Copy of approval letter has been secured from institution.

X n/a

Copy of approval letter has been secured from authorizing body (e.g., state higher education agency or board of regents).

X n/a

Letter/document has been secured affirming, by program administrators and institutional representatives, in the application that (a) they will not enroll students into the applicant program until CAA has awarded candidacy status and (b) they fully understand that failure to comply with this condition shall have serious ramifications.

X n/a

Program director is in place and curriculum vita is presented (Section 1.0).

X

Nondiscrimination policies are in place and are appropriate to the program (Section 1.0).

X X

Student admission criteria (Section 4.0).

X X

Financial support (budget) is secured (Section 6.0).

X X

Organizational flowchart is available; this indicates academic independence of program and the program director's and faculty's access to upper administration (Section 1.0).

X X

Program's mission statement and strategic plan are written, including program goals; dissemination methods to students and faculty are outlined (Section 1.0).

X X

Faculty handbook is written and available for all faculty (Sections 1.0, 2.0).

X X

Curriculum is approved (Sections 1.0, 3.0).

X X

Evidence of sufficiency of curriculum, including (Section 3.0)

  • total credits required for the degree;
  • frequency and sequence of course offerings;
  • coursework that would provide for depth and breadth of scope of practice appropriate for the discipline;
  • identification of clinical education requirements and opportunities;
  • identification of research opportunities for students, as appropriate for program's mission/goals and institution's expectations for the degree.
X X

External practicum sites and supervisors have been identified; letters of agreement have been signed.

X

Methods and procedures have been developed for tracking student's academic and clinical progress-described in application; evidence is documented at site visit (Section 5.0).

X

Process has been developed to assess student learning outcomes-described in application; evidence is documented at site visit (Sections 1.0, 5.0).

X

Process to assess quality, currency, and effectiveness of program has been developed, as assessed by students, graduates, program, and employers-described in application; evidence is documented at site visit (Section 5.0).

X X

Faculty lines are approved and funding is secured for all new faculty lines, including clinical instructor positions; hiring plan is in place by time of site visit (Sections 2.0, 6.0).

X

Sufficiency of clerical and administrative staff is described in application; evidence of sufficiency is documented by time of site visit (Section 6.0).

X

Sufficiency of faculty is described in application; evidence is documented at site visit, including (Sections 2.0, 3.0)

  • academic course offerings
  • clinical supervision
  • doctoral-level faculty
  • academic advising
X

Mechanism has been developed for evaluation of academic and clinical competency of the faculty- described in application; evidence is documented at site visit (Sections 2.0, 5.0).

X

Mechanism has been developed for evaluation of effectiveness of program leadership by department chair-described in application; evidence is documented at site visit (Sections 1.0, 2.0, 5.0).

X

Physical facilities have been acquired, including adequate classrooms, administrative offices, faculty offices, computers and software, clinical and research equipment, student work rooms, and clinical space-described in application; facilities have been secured and are available for use at site visit (Section 6.0).

X X

Adequacy of library resources has been addressed-described in application; evidence is documented at site visit (Section 6.0).

X X

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