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Presentation on theme: "ACCREDITATION PURPOSE AND VALUE Michale S. McComis, Ed.D., ACCSC Melissa Wade, Chair, COMTA."— Presentation transcript:


2 As a starting point, tell us about your schools. 3 Strengths of your school/program 3 Challenges to operating your school Accreditation Overview

3 Accreditation: Purpose and Value

4  The Regulation of Education in the U.S. is a Decentralized System  The Triad – Federal, State, and Accreditation Oversight  Federal Level  Higher Education Act of 1965 – Established Federal Financial Assistance  U.S. Department of Education Established in 1970s  Provides Student Funding – Grants and Subsidized Loans  Provides Recognition of Accreditation Agencies as Reliable Authorities  State Level  Licensure  Consumer Protection Regulations  Institutional Funding (Public Institutions)  Student Funding  Accreditation  Voluntary  Institutional and Specialized  Institutional Accreditation Required for Access to Federal Student Financial Aid  Accrediting Agency Must be Recognized by Federal Government Accreditation Overview

5 Postsecondary Education Oversight in the United States Federal Government State Government Accreditation The Regulatory Triad Information Sharing Cooperation Overlap Conflicts Duplication

6 Accreditation Defined A process to evaluate and recognize an institution for meeting peer developed standards established for the purpose of promoting quality education Accreditation Overview

7 Key Components of Accreditation:  Institutional or programmatic in nature  Each accrediting agency sets its own standards in conjunction with its members  Standard are developed and institutions are assessed in a peer review process  Program objectives are set by the institution  Self-evaluation is the foundation for assessment  Institutional success is measured by the success of meeting institutional objectives (e.g., student success)  Efforts toward continuous improvement essential  Vocational accreditors require student learning/competency/ achievement assessment – although not in uniform ways Accreditation Overview

8 Key Components of Accreditation:  Verify that an institution or program meets established standards  Create goals for self-improvement of weaker programs and stimulating a general raising of standards among educational institutions  Involve the faculty and staff comprehensively in institutional evaluation and planning  Assist prospective students in identifying acceptable institutions  Establish criteria for professional certification and licensure and for upgrading courses offering such preparation  Help to identify institutions and programs for the investment of public and private funds  Provide one of several considerations used as a basis for determining eligibility for Federal assistance. Accreditation Overview

9 Accreditation is not:  Governmental  Although credible agencies are recognized as meeting USDE regulations  A police force  A “Rubber Stamp”  Easy  In order to have value the process of accreditation must challenge institutions to show success Accreditation Overview

10 Types of Accreditation  Regional or  National  Institutional or  Programmatic Accreditation Overview

11 Higher Education Accreditation in the United States - Institutional NWCCU WASC NCA Regional in Scope MSCHE SACS NEASC

12 Higher Education Accreditation in the United States - Institutional ACCSC National in Scope ACICS ACCET ABHES COE DETC COMTA NACCAS

13 Accreditation in the United States – Programmatic Oriental Medicine Programmatic Accrediting Agencies Sample Areas National In Scope Not Required for Federal Funding Pharmacy Allied Health Liberal Educ. Law Family Therapy Medicine Funeral Science Midwife Dental Dietetics Occ. Therapy Optometric Osteopathic Physical Ther Podiatric Psychology SLP / Audiology Veterinary Religion Healthcare Mgmt Nursing English Massage Therapy Anesthesiology Chiropractic Public Health Naturopathy Radiology Montessori Ed. Cosmetology Art / Design Dance Music Theater Teaching Nursing Engineering Business Physician Assist. Consumer Sci. Construction Culinary ArtsLibrary Sci. Aviation Industrial Tech. Clinical Lab. Social Work Planning Forestry Rec. & Park Woman’s Health

14 The Accrediting Process (Generally)  Standards: The accrediting agency, in collaboration with educational institutions, establishes standards.  Self-study: The institution or program seeking accreditation prepares an in-depth self- evaluation study that measures its performance against the standards established by the accrediting agency.  On-site Evaluation: A team selected by the accrediting agency visits the institution or program to determine first-hand if the applicant meets the established standards.  Grant of Accreditation: Upon being satisfied that the applicant meets its standards, the accrediting agency grants accreditation status and lists the institution or program in an official publication with other similarly accredited institutions or programs.  Monitoring: The accrediting agency monitors each accredited institution or program throughout the period of accreditation granted to verify that it continues to meet the agency's standards.  Re-evaluation: The accrediting agency periodically reevaluates each institution or program that it lists to ascertain whether continuation of its accredited status is warranted. Accreditation Overview

15 Licensure, Certification, and Accreditation Each has a different meaning, process, and oversight  License – Typically given to a school by a state governmental agency to operate a business/school and to confer postsecondary credentials in the state.  Accreditation – A peer review non-governmental process whereby a school’s operations and success are evaluated against established standards of practice.  Employment Certification / License – A credential typically given to a graduate after certain conditions are met as established by a governing board (e.g., a passing score on an exam or a prescribed number of internship hours are fulfilled). Accreditation Overview

16 The Value of Accreditation Accreditation: Purpose and Value

17 Value to the School  Improvement in the quality of the institution/program through the process  Establish goals and benchmarks in relation to peer institutions  Benefits in state licensure for students and the institution  Marketing/competitive advantage  Financial Aid Opportunities Accreditation Value

18 A Student Centered Approach to Institutional Assessment Program Objectives & Length Recruitment Admissions Faculty Qualifications Education Resources School As a Whole: Leadership, Management, & Administrative Capacity Student Success On-going Assessment and Evaluation Community Input and Validation Employer / Market Needs Student Progress Student Services

19 Value to the Student  Access to greater financial aid opportunities (e.g., Federal Title IV student financial aid)  Improved educational quality and consistency  Value of external validation and the need for assessments and improvements  Opportunity to register grievances with third party Accreditation Value

20 Value to the Graduate  Exemptions to licensure requirements in certain states  Advantages when seeking reciprocity and transfer of credits  Seal of approval regarding the quality of the institution or program Accreditation Value

21 Value to the Employment Community  Opportunity to engage with schools more directly (i.e., Program Advisory Committees)  Consistency in skills among graduates  Recruiting opportunities with the institution  Assurance that curriculum and equipment is current and industry- appropriate. Accreditation Value

22 Value to the MT Industry  Improves the quality of graduates and therapists  Greater recognition as a health-care profession  Brings a level of consistency to the massage therapy/bodywork profession in lieu of a national standard Accreditation Value

23 Choosing the Right Agency Accreditation: Purpose and Value

24 Which agency is best for your school / program  Philosophy  Mission / Vision / Values  Service  Process and the Standards  Timeline  Cost Choosing an Agency

25 Short-term goals  Average length of accreditation process  Actual process involved and workload  Cost verses benefits  Initial fees and annual sustaining/membership fees  User fees  Audited financial statements  Infrastructure additions (i.e., more staff) Choosing an Agency

26 Long-term goals  Create a long term positive and collegial relationship with the agency  Importance of informed decision  Contact each agency and talk to the staff  Ask a lot of questions about the agency and the process  Does your school/program “fit” and will you be happy?  Does the agency offer sufficient support services?  Will your school always be a single program operation? Choosing an Agency

27 External factors to consider  Current and potential competition  Institutional licensing issues in your state  Certification/licensing issues for your graduates Choosing an Agency

28 Important Aspects of the Accreditation Process Accreditation: Purpose and Value

29  Do your homework  Choose your agency  Once you start, do not look back  Once you start, do not stop  It will seem hard (it is)  It will be worth it (it really is!) Accreditation Process

30 Sample Accreditation Process  Attend Accreditation Workshop  Submit Application for Accreditation  Submit Self-Evaluation Report  Undergo Orientation on-site evaluation  Make revisions  Undergo Full-Team on-site evaluation  Receive Team Summary Report  Respond to Team Summary Report  Review at next available Commission meeting  Average time to complete the process 18-24 months  Sample direct cost for initial applicant - $9,900 Accreditation Process

31 School Perspective  Workload and delegation – it can be daunting to think about  Get everyone involved!  Importance of documentation  Say what you do and do what you say  Your school will be better Accreditation Process

32 Commission Perspective  Importance of the self-evaluation process (be honest)  Importance of continuous institutional improvement efforts (not a one-time showing)  A school must demonstrate compliance with standards  Team evaluations and the institutions response  Commission deliberations and decisions Accreditation Process

33 Once accredited – Now What?  Staying accredited  Continuous compliance / improvement efforts  Substantive changes  Annual Reporting  Annual Dues  Access to Title IV funding  Preparation for growth and enhanced scrutiny Accreditation Process

34 The Higher Education Act and Title IV Federal Student Financial Aid Accreditation: Purpose and Value

35 If you think accreditation is hard… Federal Financial Aid

36 Applying for and obtaining federal funding  Financial ratios  Eligibility and certification process  Administrative capability Federal Financial Aid

37 Title IV and other funding sources  Grants, Loans and Federal Work study  State programs and Veteran’s benefits  Alternative funding sources Federal Financial Aid

38 Title IV eligibility advantages  Funding for students  Marketing and competitive advantages  Potential increase in student enrollment Federal Financial Aid

39 Title IV eligibility disadvantages  Heightened scrutiny  Costs of administering Title IV  Liabilities of not administering Title IV correctly Federal Financial Aid

40 The Higher Education Act  Overview of upcoming and proposed changes  Negotiated Rulemaking  Potential impact on Title IV institutions  Potential impact on non-Title IV institutions Federal Financial Aid

41 Issues Impacting the Massage Therapy/ Bodywork Profession Accreditation: Purpose and Value

42 National standardization of licensing and testing requirements  Nursing and Acupuncture issues  Other industries facing standardization  Competing tests for massage therapists Issues for MT/BW

43 National standardization of curriculum requirements  Potential impact of the Body of Knowledge  Fragmented standards among states  Unlicensed states and licensing by county Issues for MT/BW

44 State licensing boards deferring to / relying upon accreditation  Licensing of institutions – “Licensure by Means of Accreditation”  Licensing of practitioners  Advantages and disadvantages for the industry Issues for MT/BW

45 ACCREDITATION PURPOSE AND VALUE Michale S. McComis, Ed.D., ACCSC Melissa Wade, Chair, COMTA

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