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.
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.