Long-Term Plan (Standard 1.3)
Is CAA applying a specific definition of “long-term” related to planning? How comprehensive does the plan need to be?
The CAA has not established a specific number of years to define “long-term,” but does believe that a plan should be longer than one year. The CAA does expect that the time frame used by a program would be consistent with its university’s planning period and allow for the planning to be comprehensive.
How will the CAA or site visitors assess the plan?
The CAA expects that a program can provide documentation that a long-term plan has been developed, that administration and faculty are aware of the plan, and that it is used as a guide for quality improvement. The CAA and site visitors are not assessing the specific content of the plan itself. The focus of the standard is on the process of development and evaluation and resulting documentation to support these activities.
Evaluation of Program Director (Standard 1.5)
Does there need to be a separate process for review of the program director, or can the institution’s regular employee/faculty review process suffice in meeting this standard?
Depending on the institution’s regular faculty review process, there may or may not need to be a separate review. Regular evaluation of the program director’s effectiveness in advancing the goals of the program and institution and in leadership and administration of the program must be documented. The results of the review should demonstrate how the assessment informs the effectiveness of the program director in leading and administering the program, in addition to other job responsibilities. In some institutions, there may be an opportunity for faculty to also assess the effectiveness of the program director in leading and advancing the goals of the program.
*Note: As one of the most frequently cited standards for partial or non-compliance, programs should ensure that the plan for review of the program director’s effectiveness is clearly documented.
Nondiscrimination Policies (Standard 1.6)
Can you clarify what is meant by “internal” and “external” complaints?
An internal complaint uses program or university grievance procedures. An external complaint is initiated outside of the university (e.g., a lawsuit).
Public Information (Standard 1.7)
How many methods should a program utilize to publicize their information?
Programs have flexibility in the methods (web, catalogue, brochure) used to publish program information. It is expected that the mechanisms used are clearly visible and readily accessible to the general public. The CAA requires programs to publish its student achievement information clearly on the graduate program website and recommends that it be labeled “Student Achievement Data” or “Student Outcome Data.”
Further, programs are expected to publish a statement about their accreditation status on their website, as stipulated in CAA’s Public Notice of Accreditation Status policy (Accreditation Handbook—Chapter XI: Informing the Public). Language is outlined in that policy to ensure that programs provide accurate and complete information to the public about their accreditation status and CAA’s contact information.
If programs are offered in both professional areas and/or through multiple delivery modes (residential, satellite, and/or distance education), should student achievement data be differentiated when made publicly available?
Yes. The CAA requires the program publish student achievement data on the program website and to differentiate data specific to the degree program and delivery mode used. Thus, programs that include a distance education or satellite component as part of their accreditation must post all of the student achievement data separately for each modality and each professional area. Reporting should reflect delivery modes only if the program meets the conditions.
*Note: As one of the most frequently cited standards for partial or non-compliance, programs should ensure that they not only provide current, accurate, and readily available public information about the program and/or institution, but that there is a plan for regular review and updating of this information. Programs are expected to update at least the student achievement data to always reflect the most recently completed academic year’s data.
Also see questions under Standard 5.3 Program Effectiveness.