Accreditation Handbook—Chapter XIV: Standards Development and Implementation
As a recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the CAA is required to conduct a comprehensive review of its standards on a periodic basis, and does so every 5 to 8 years. The CAA has approved interim modifications to the standards, which were implemented in 2008 and last revised in 2014; however, the current process is more in-depth.
The purposes of accreditation standards are to:
- Promote excellence in preparing students to enter the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology
- Protect and inform the public by recognizing programs that meet or exceed accreditation standards
- Stimulate improvement of programs’ educational activities by means of self-study and evaluation
The goal of CAA’s standards review and revision process is to develop standards that focus primarily on academic quality and student achievement sufficient to successfully prepare individuals to enter professional practice. It is good practice to consider the dynamic, ongoing discussions in higher education and the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology to ensure that the standards are in alignment with the needs and goals of our stakeholders.
The CAA proactively engages stakeholders and communities of interest in the standards review process. These stakeholders include:
- Clinical educators
- CAA site visitors
- State credentialing authorities
- Association representatives, professional organizations, and professionals in audiology and speech-language pathology
Throughout the standards development process, the CAA seeks, receives, and uses comments and suggestions from the stakeholders and communities of interest to develop, validate, and clarify standards.
Interim Modifications to the Standards for Accreditation
The CAA has approved interim modifications to the standards, which were implemented in 2008 and last revised in 2014.
At its February 2013 meeting, the CAA approved:
- Changes to implementation language for three standards
- Minor revisions to implementation language of one additional standard
All changes for the implementation language went into effect January 1, 2014; no changes were made to the standards themselves. A side-by-side comparison [PDF] highlights the modifications and rationale for each change.
Revised Standards for Accreditation—August 2017 Implementation
Thank you to all individuals who responded to the peer review surveys in 2014-2015 with more than 1,000 comments. After careful review and consideration of all comments received, the CAA voted at its February 2016 meeting to approve the revisions to the Standards. All changes will become effective August 1, 2017. Programs submitting re-accreditation applications February 1, 2017, and programs submitting annual reports August 1, 2017, will do so under the new standards. New programs submitting Applications for Candidacy after January 1, 2017 will be required to file under the 2017 Standards for Accreditation.