American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Revised Eligibility Policy for Accreditation of Audiology Programs

(June 2004)

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) again has revised the policy statement that defines eligibility for programs that seek accreditation for post-baccalaureate education programs. Specifically, these revisions address eligibility of programs in audiology. The revised policy statement is effective immediately, and supersedes the policy statement published in March 2004.

In an effort to support the revised ASHA certification standards in audiology that will require applicants to have earned a doctoral degree in 2012 and ease the program's shift from offering a master's degree to a doctoral degree, the CAA had agreed to continue to accredit graduate education programs in audiology between January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2012 that offered a minimum of 75 semester credit hours of post-baccalaureate education, pertinent to the field of audiology and that culminated in a either a master's or doctoral degree. All CAA-accredited programs would have needed to meet the academic and clinical credit hour requirements of a doctoral program, although the degree granted might be at the master's level.

Recently the United States Department of Education, as well as other professional groups and individuals, have raised serious questions regarding the appropriateness of accrediting these transitional master's degree programs. Applying accreditation standards designed for doctoral programs to programs that grant a master's degree is considered inappropriate and masks the distinctions between the master's and doctoral degrees. Therefore the CAA is rescinding its eligibility statement (March 2004) allowing for the accreditation of master's degree programs that have expanded their curriculum to offer 75 semester credit hours and 12 months' full-time equivalent clinical experiences. The Council's revised position is that after December 31, 2006, the CAA will award candidacy, initial accreditation, or reaccreditation only to doctoral level programs in audiology.

Revised Eligibility Statement

The complete eligibility statement for CAA's accreditation can be found as part of the introduction to the current Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. The relevant excerpt of the newly revised Eligibility Statement states:

The institution must offer master's and/or doctoral degree programs that are specifically designed to prepare students for entry into professional practice as audiologists or speech-language pathologists. The applicant institution must apply for accreditation of all graduate entry-level preparation programs whether at the master's or the doctoral level that it offers in either or both professions (i.e., both master's and doctoral entry-level programs in audiology or both master's and doctoral entry-level programs in speech-language pathology).

After December 31, 2003, the CAA will award Candidacy or initial accreditation only to those graduate education programs in audiology that offer a minimum of 75 graduate semester credit hours that includes

  1. academic course work pertinent to the field of audiology,
  2. a minimum of 12-months' full-time equivalent supervised clinical practicum, and
  3. opportunities for student research consistent with the host university(ies) requirements.
Currently accredited master's programs in audiology will continue to be eligible for reaccreditation through December 31, 2006.

After December 31, 2006, the CAA will award Candidacy, initial accreditation, or (re)accreditation only to doctoral level programs in audiology that offer a minimum of 75 graduate semester credit hours that includes

  1. academic course work pertinent to the field of audiology,
  2. a minimum of 12-months' full-time equivalent supervised clinical practicum, and
  3. opportunities for student research consistent with the host university(ies) requirements. Master's level programs in audiology will no longer be eligible for accreditation by the CAA after this date.

CAA Actions Resulting from Implementation of Revised Policy

As a result of the eligibility policy, the CAA is reviewing the current accreditation cycles of master's level programs in audiology and will amend the dates of currently accredited programs as directed by the policy. The Council will notify each master's level program in audiology that is affected by this policy by letter to confirm its current accreditation cycle. Any changes to the accreditation cycles also will be reflected the CAA's published list of accredited programs and through the Online Guide to Graduate Education.

Programs are advised to announce to students and other constituents any changes in their accreditation status or cycles. See the list of Programs.

Related Modifications to Implementation Language in Current Accreditation Standards

In order to further clarify the curriculum requirements for doctoral programs in audiology, the CAA has revised the implementation language for accreditation standard 2.1 to specifically identify the expectations for faculty in a doctoral level program and accreditation standard 3.1 to specifically identify the knowledge and skills areas that must be addressed by programs applying for accreditation in audiology. The revised eligibility requirements and additions to standards 2.1 and 3.1 are included in the Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Questions about this policy or the changes in the implementation language of the accreditation standards should be directed to accreditation@asha.org.

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