Accreditation Handbook—Chapter XVI: Procedures for Achievement and Maintenance of Candidacy Status
Candidacy is available only to applicant programs that:
- Are newly developed graduate degree programs, including stand-alone programs or those offered through a consortium, AND
- Have no students currently enrolled
Candidacy Milestones and Timelines for a Typical Program
The CAA has designated specific reporting milestones and timelines to assist in planning for new programs that are seeking candidacy status. New programs that are preparing an Application for Candidacy [DOC] must submit its application at least 18 months in advance of the proposed student enrollment date.
Beginning January 1, 2017, new programs must submit candidacy applications under the 2017 Standards for Accreditation.
Changes to Candidacy Review Processes and Compliance Expectations—January 2019
The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) recently completed a comprehensive review of its current candidacy processes. The two-year review included opportunities for input from programs that had participated in the candidacy process. Based on the results of this study, the CAA voted to modify two features of its candidacy review processes, which will go into effect January 1, 2019.
Second (Consultative) Readiness Review: The CAA eliminated the second (consultative) readiness review of the candidacy application process and related decision options. This change affects only programs making application for candidacy status beginning January 1, 2019. The CAA’s analysis of the review results indicated that removing this second readiness review would provide a more consistent timeline from the time of application to CAA’s decision in the anticipated 18 months. The CAA believes these changes will better support the program in its ability to enroll students and recruit and hire faculty in a more reliable time period, and make the overall process more streamlined and efficient.
Revised Terminology and Definitions for the Standards Compliance Continuum: The CAA revised its candidacy compliance continuum key and definitions, changing the terminology from “implemented” to “initiated” to better reflect and clarify its compliance expectations for developing programs. This change affects all programs applying for, but do not hold, candidacy status and programs that hold candidacy status for all decisions made, and applications and reports submitted, after January 1, 2019.
Specifically, the updated continuum key and definitions are as follows:
- Planned (P): Compliance with the standard is planned; a comprehensive development plan, timelines, and adequate support for continued development are evident and sustainable.
- Initiated (I): The plan is initiated; review requirements of the standard are in progress, and adequate and sustained support for development is evident.
- Maintained (M): Review requirements of the standard have been met, compliance demonstrated and maintained; program improvement is initiated. Adequate and sustained support for development is evident.
The CAA is currently reviewing and updating all candidacy documents, including the Standards Compliance Continuum, and expects that materials will be available in October 2018.
Standards Compliance Continuum
Although compliance with all standards is not required at the time of award of candidacy, the CAA’s decision to award candidacy status is based on the program’s submission of a comprehensive development plan (candidacy application) and the program’s and institution’s demonstrated commitment and ability to implement the program fully. New programs are expected to continue to develop throughout its candidacy cycle, and the CAA developed a standards compliance continuum to highlight its expectations for a program’s development and achievement as related to the Standards for Accreditation.
Programs are expected to demonstrate, at a minimum, the designated level of development as outlined in the compliance continuum. The CAA will apply this compliance schedule for its review and decision on a program’s candidacy application and reports. For example, decisions to award candidacy to an applicant program will be based on the expectations listed in the column, “CAA’s award of candidacy.”
With the CAA’s transition to the 2017 Standards for Accreditation, applicant and candidate programs must use the 2017 standards compliance continuum [PDF] to guide their preparation and documentation. The CAA will use the same continuum in its review and actions on candidacy applications and annual progress reports.