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«Introduction The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing ...»

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Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs

in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Approved February 2016

Effective August 1, 2017


The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of

the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) accredits graduate programs that

prepare individuals to enter professional practice in audiology or speech-language pathology.

The CAA and its predecessors were established by ASHA, which authorized the CAA to function autonomously in setting and implementing standards and awarding accreditation. The CAA is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and by the U.S.

Secretary of Education as the accrediting body for the accreditation and pre-accreditation (accreditation candidate) of education programs leading to the first professional or clinical degree at the master's or doctoral level and for the accreditation of these programs offered via distance education, throughout the United States.

To maintain recognition by the U.S Secretary of Education and the CHEA, the CAA continues to meet the Department of Education (ED) Criteria for Recognition and the CHEA Recognition Standards, provides periodic reports on its success in meeting those standards, and undergoes periodic reviews to demonstrate continued compliance.

The CAA operates within a set of core values that are used to guide decisions to ensure excellence in graduate education. Because the CAA has been entrusted to act on behalf of the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology, the Council’s actions and decisions must be credible and trustworthy. Members of the CAA, in conducting the business of

accreditation of academic programs, act with:

● honesty and integrity, ● accountability, ● fairness and validity, ● clarity and consistency, ● recognition of the role of creativity and innovation in meeting the established accreditation standards.

The Council is committed to using a peer-review process that is facilitative and transparent and supports programs in delivering a high quality educational experience. Graduates of CAAaccredited programs enter the workforce prepared to meet the expectations of the public and the professions and to achieve the credentials required to practice. The CAA is responsible for evaluating the adequacy of an applicant program's efforts to satisfy each standard. Compliance with all standards indicates that the program meets the expectations of the CAA for accreditation, regardless of mode of delivery, including distance education. The CAA evaluates August 2017 Standards for Accreditation Page 1 of 42 programs to ensure that there is equivalence across all modes of delivery, that students enrolled in distance education or other modes of education delivery are held to the same standards as students in residential programs, and that students enrolled in all modes of education are afforded equal access to all aspects of the education program, including courses, clinical practicum opportunities, supervision, advising, student support services, and program resources.

Accreditation by the CAA indicates that a program is committed to excellence and ongoing quality improvement so that students and the public are assured that graduates are prepared to meet the challenges they will face when entering the workforce.

Preamble The CAA recognizes that programs are responding to a range of pressures from within their institutions (e.g., to increase enrollment) and outside the institutions (e.g., to provide more employment-ready, highly educated professionals to fill the vast need for practitioners). Not only is there a demand for more professionals, but—in the changing health care and educational arenas—these new professionals are expected to be able to function in complex, interdisciplinary, and collaborative models of service delivery. They also must be prepared to meet the need to provide efficacious service based on a strong base of evidence to all individuals who seek the services of audiologists and speech-language pathologists. Further, they must have at least introductory preparation to provide clinical education to future professionals.

The Council recognizes the diversity of models of educational delivery, institutions providing these programs, and missions of the education programs. At the same time, the CAA is committed to excellence in educational preparation, while assuring the public that graduates of accredited programs possess a core set of knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for state and national credentials for independent professional practice. Further, the CAA acknowledges that there are distinct sets of knowledge and skills and methods of service delivery required of individuals who will become audiologists or speech-language pathologists and, thus, has different expectations with regard to the curricular elements of the programs that educate future audiologists and speech-language pathologists.

Understanding the impact of these many challenges, the CAA designed the accreditation standards to ensure the provision of high quality educational experiences. These standards are not prescriptive because the CAA values the variety of ways that high quality education can be achieved. The standards and each program’s implementation of them should allow for consistency in the quality of graduates from the accredited programs. At the same time, each program should be innovative, flexible, and creative in meeting the standards, in congruence with its individual mission and goals.

To that end, the accreditation standards have been written to address six essential components.

The standards are designed to ensure that, when programs are in full compliance, their graduate students are prepared to function in the complex and ever-changing service provision (or delivery) arenas.

The components are:

● Standard 1.0: Administrative structure and governance ● Standard 2.0: Faculty ● Standard 3.0A: Curriculum (academic and clinical education) for audiology programs

–  –  –

Standards for accreditation appear in bold. Following each standard, the Requirement for Review provides interpretations or explanations of the standard.

A Glossary is provided following the standards with definitions to assist in interpreting the accreditation standards.

–  –  –

1.1 The sponsoring institution of higher education holds current regional accreditation.

Requirement for Review:

● The institution of higher education within which the audiology and/or speech-language pathology program is housed must hold regional accreditation from one of the following

regional accrediting bodies:

o Middle States Commission on Higher Education;

o New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education;

o North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission;

o Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;

o Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges;

o Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

1.2 The sponsoring institution of higher education must be authorized to provide the program of study in audiology and/or speech-language pathology.

Requirement for Review:

● The sponsoring institution of higher education must be authorized under applicable laws or other acceptable authority to provide the program of post-secondary education.

● The sponsoring institution of higher education must have appropriate graduate degree-granting authority.

1.3 The program has a mission and goals that are consistent with preparation of students for professional practice.

Requirement for Review:

● The mission statement and the goals of the program (including religious mission, if relevant) must be presented.

● The program must describe how the mission statement and program goals are used to guide decision making to prepare students for entry level into professional practice in audiology or speech-language pathology.

1.4 The program faculty must regularly evaluate the congruence of program and institutional missions and the extent to which the goals are achieved.

Requirement for Review:

● The program monitors its mission and goals to ensure that they remain congruent with those of the institution.

● The program periodically reviews and revises its mission and goals.

● The program systematically evaluates its progress toward fulfillment of its mission and goals.

● August 2017 Standards for Accreditation Page 4 of 42

1.5 The program develops and implements a long-term strategic plan.

Requirement for Review:

● The plan must be congruent with the mission and goals of the program and the sponsoring institution, have the support of the administration, and reflect the role of the program within its community.

● The plan identifies long-term goals, specific measurable objectives, strategies for attainment of the goals and objectives, and a schedule for analysis of the plan.

● The plan must include a mechanism for regular evaluation of the plan itself and of progress in meeting the plan’s objectives.

● An executive summary of the strategic plan or the strategic plan must be shared with faculty, students, staff, alumni, and other interested parties.

1.6 The program’s faculty has authority and responsibility for the program.

Requirement for Review:

● The institution’s administrative structure demonstrates that the program’s faculty is recognized as the body that can initiate, implement, and evaluate decisions affecting all aspects of the professional education program, including the curriculum.

● The program faculty has reasonable access to higher levels of administration.

1.7 The individual responsible for the program of professional education seeking accreditation holds a graduate degree with a major emphasis in speech-language pathology, in audiology, or in speech, language, and hearing science and holds a fulltime appointment in the institution.

Requirement for Review:

● Individuals with graduate degrees in areas other than those listed in the standard typically do not satisfy this standard. In such cases, the individual’s qualifications must be evaluated by the CAA to determine appropriateness for the program director to provide leadership in teaching, research, and clinical areas.

● A department chair who is not serving as the program director need not meet this standard.

1.8 The institution and program must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders prohibiting discrimination towards students, faculty, staff, and persons served in the program’s clinics. This includes prohibitions on discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

Requirement for Review:

● The institution must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination, including laws that cover harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship, and status as a covered veteran.

● The program must adhere to its institutional policies and procedures—including nonharassment policies, internal complaint procedures, and appropriate educational programs—to ensure that the program complies with all applicable nondiscrimination statutes and that all staff and faculty are made aware of the policies and the conduct they prohibit.

–  –  –

1.9 The program provides information about the program and the institution to students and to the public that is current, accurate, and readily available.

Requirement for Review:

● Websites, catalogs, advertisements, and other publications/electronic media must be accurate regarding the program’s accreditation status. The program must indicate the program’s CAA accreditation status in accordance with the language specified in the Public Notice of Accreditation Status in the CAA Accreditation Handbook, as required under federal regulations.

● Websites, catalogs, advertisements, and other publications/electronic media must be accurate regarding standards and policies regarding recruiting and admission practices, academic offerings, matriculation expectations, academic calendars, grading policies and requirements, and fees and other charges.

● The program must make student outcome measures available to the general public by posting the results on the program’s website via a clearly visible and readily accessible link.

● The program must make public the number of expected terms for program completion for full-time and part-time students.

● At a minimum, the following results of student outcome measures for the most

recently completed 3 academic years must be provided:

o number and percentage of students completing the program within the program’s published time frame for each of the 3 most recently completed academic years, o number and percentage of program test-takers who pass the Praxis® Subject Assessment examination for each of the 3 most recently completed academic years (programs need report only the results once for test-takers who take the test more than one time in the reporting period), o number and percentage of program graduates employed in the profession or pursuing further education in the profession within 1 year of graduation for each of the 3 most recently completed academic years.

● Student outcome measures must be labeled “Student Achievement Data” or “Student Outcome Data.” o If both the audiology and the speech-language programs are accredited, separate data tables must be provided for each program.

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