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

Standards for Accreditation

Accreditation standards identify basic elements that must be included in all accredited graduate education programs but allow for flexibility in the manner in which programs pursue excellence. Quality education can be achieved in a variety of ways, and the CAA supports programs in achieving the highest standards possible.

The CAA conducts assessments of applicant programs based on its Standards for Accreditation in order to award an accreditation status such as "accreditation candidate" or "accredited." The standards are organized to address the following six areas:

  • administration and governance
  • faculty
  • curriculum (academic and clinical education)
  • students
  • assessment
  • program resources

The CAA requires applicant programs to demonstrate that they provide a comprehensive program of study and supporting resources to allow students to acquire appropriate knowledge and skills for independent professional practice. The CAA requires programs seeking an accreditation status to conduct a self-study and mandates periodic review of accredited programs to ensure that compliance with the standards is maintained.

Programs interested in pursuing an accreditation status with the CAA should review carefully the CAA's Accreditation Manual and Candidacy Manual. New graduate programs in the process of development, including new consortia, may be eligible to submit an Application for Candidacy.

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