Frequently Asked Questions: CAA Site Visitor Application, Activities, and Expectations
Application and Training
What information needs to be included when submitting a site visitor application?
- Curriculum vitae for past five years
- Names of two (2) personal references who can attest to the applicant's qualifications to be a site visitor including professional competency, interpersonal skills, and ability to critically analyze, verbalize and record pertinent objective data.
- Personal statement of the qualifications regarding experience in accreditation, clinical education, standards development, site visits, professional competence, university governance, etc.
- Statement of the applicant's availability to conduct site visits
- Signature of applicant that signifies knowledge and adherence to the terms of agreement and conflict of interest statements as described in the Accreditation Handbook (Chapter VII, "Site Visitors").
How often is site visitor training offered?
The Site Visitor Training Workshop is offered once a year by the CAA. The Council trains 25–30 persons each year.
Are attendees participating in the training automatically assigned to site visits?
All trainees are evaluated during the workshop to determine whether they have sufficiently demonstrated essential skills to serve as CAA site visitors. Trainees who successfully complete their initial training will participate as a trainee on a live site visit to complete their training within the first year of service. If a trainee's skills are not found to match those required of a CAA site visitor, the individual will not be invited to serve as a site visitor but may re-apply in future.
How long is the training workshop and where will it be held?
The CAA's Site Visitor Training Workshop is conducted over two and one-half days at the ASHA National Office in Rockville, Maryland.
Are continuing site visitors expected to complete training?
Yes, but not for every new term for which they have been
re-selected. Current site visitors selected to serve a new, consecutive 4-year
term may complete two consecutive terms of service and then will be required to
participate in the training workshop to begin their next term of service,
(e.g., after two terms/8 years or service, after 4 terns/16 years of service,
etc.). Training maybe is identified as part of a remediation plan at any time
during a site visitor's term of service if warranted.
Are there other required educational expectations for site visitors?
Yes. The CAA expects all site visitors to complete annual calibration or professional development sessions offered to maintain their status as a site visitor. These sessions may be provided in a webinar or online format, or as face-to-face sessions such as those offered at the ASHA Convention.
What is the average number of site visits in which one would be required to participate in a given year?
The CAA asks that all members of the site visitor pool agree to be available for 2 site visits per year, e.g. usually one site visit per semester. The Terms of Agreement are outlined in the Chapter VII, "Site Visitors" in the Accreditation Handbook.
Which times of year are site visits typically conducted?
Visits are scheduled during the academic year-in the Fall and Spring semesters. Programs that submit applications in February will have a site visit conducted between September and November of the same year (fall). Programs that submit applications in August will have a site visit between February and May of the next year (spring).
On occasion site visits are scheduled during the summer months, but the majority of visits are scheduled during the academic year. It is important for the site visit team to have opportunity to visit when the students and faculty are on-campus and in the normal rhythm of the academic term.
When I have agreed to participate in a site visit, how many days should I expect to be away from home/work?
The conduct of a typical site visit takes 2 full days (Monday–Tuesday or Thursday–Friday). Site visitors are expected to arrive on-site mid-afternoon/early evening the night before the visit to allow time for the team to meet in preparation for the visit that begins the next day. However, the length of the visit may be extended an extra day to accommodate the review of more complex programs.
Besides the time committed to conducting the site visit itself, are there other time commitments of which I need to be aware?
Site visitors should expect to allocate time in advance of the site visit to review the program's application and any other related materials. The program's application materials (the program's self-study) are made available at least 6 weeks in advance of the visit. Additional information provided by the program in response to the CAA's initial application review will be available no later than 30 days prior to the site visit. The team chair works with the program on developing its agenda and the team chair often consults with the rest of the site visit team on this activity as well.
A site visit report is generated by the team and is due 30 days after the site visit. You should allow time after the visit to write, edit, and review the report before it is submitted to the Accreditation Office.
If selected as a site visitor, how long would the commitment be?
Site visitors are selected for 4-year terms (academic years) and are evaluated annually. The CAA reserves the right to excuse individuals from service if they no longer qualify to serve in this capacity or fail to meet the expectations as outlined in Chapter VII, "Site Visitors" of the Accreditation Handbook. Site visitors also may opt out of this volunteer activity.
Do site visitors receive an honorarium?
No. CAA site visitors are considered volunteers and are not paid for their participation on site visits.
Who pays for the hotel, travel, and other expenses related to the site visits?
All site visit expenses, including airfare and hotel, are covered by ASHA in accordance with ASHA's travel and reimbursement policies. The initial 2-day training expenses are also covered by the CAA/ASHA.
How many people serve as site visitors for the CAA?
The CAA maintains a pool of 50–60 academics and 60–70 practitioners that have completed the training and are active site visitors. Site visitors serve a specified term to provide a mechanism for new site visitors to rotate into the pool on a systematic basis. The current list of site visitors is posted on the ASHA website.
Will I be assigned to programs in my home state?
No. Site visitors are not scheduled to participate in visits in their home state or those programs which they attended or were employed, as outlined in the Team Composition sections of Chapter XVIX, "Site Visit Planning" of the Accreditation Handbook.
What if during your 4-year term as a site visitor you enroll in an institution of higher education (i.e., pursue a PhD)?
If your site visitor status as an academic faculty, clinical faculty, or practitioner changes, you would need to notify the CAA of this and a decision would be made with you about whether or not you would still meet the qualifications for service. Chapter VII, "Site Visitors" of the Accreditation Handbook outlines the requisite qualifications for each site visitor category. Also, due to the CAA's policy on conflict of interest, you would not be able to serve as a site visitor to the program seeking (re)accreditation at that institution.
How are site visit chairs appointed?
Academic faculty members of the site visitor pool become eligible to serve as a site visit team chair once they have completed the initial training, a training visit, two additional site visits and receive positive evaluations, as described in Chapter VII, "Site Visitors" in the Accreditation Handbook. Academic faculty members are expected to assume this role once all requirements have been met. Newly appointed chairs are assigned to a team that includes an experienced chair who serves as a mentor. Additional resources are also available to support the activities of the newly appointed chair.
If selected as a site visitor, are you obligated to accept or do you have the right of refusal?
The CAA notifies all applicants whether or not they were selected to participate in the site visitor training and ultimately as a site visitor. If selected, the CAA asks you to indicate whether or not you accept the appointment and if so, to verify your availability for the training dates. In addition, annually the CAA will verify your eligibility, qualifications, and willingness to continue service as a CAA site visitor, as outlined in Chapter VII, "Site Visitors" in the Accreditation Handbook.