The site visit is an essential and unique step in the accreditation process. Conducting a site visit on a campus during an accreditation review is one of several mechanisms used by the CAA to determine a program’s compliance with the Standards for Accreditation. The CAA sends trained site visit teams to:
The site visit enables the program’s faculty to provide context about the program that is often not conducive in a written description and that can be obtained only by direct observation.
View upcoming site visits. Programs anticipating a CAA site visit are required to provide opportunity for public comment in advance of the site visit. In addition, programs will host a public meeting with the CAA site visitors during the visit.
Over the past two years, the CAA has been closely monitoring conditions across the country related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its more recent variants. Many universities restricted or ceased face-to-face activities on campus during the 2020–2021 and 2021–2022 academic terms, thus the CAA postponed in-person site visits between March 12 and April 30, 2020 to reduce any risk to those individuals participating in accreditation activities. During that time, all site visits were conducted virtually, with notification to programs that a required follow-up in-person site visit would occur once restrictions are lifted. Programs retain their current accreditation status (i.e., accredited, candidate, applicant) until the CAA has acted on the program’s application.
In June 2020, the CAA approved an emergency policy to conduct virtual site visits [PDF] during the pandemic. Please note that the USDE required recognized accrediting agencies like the CAA to develop policies and procedures prior to implementing virtual site visit protocols. Programs that were anticipating a CAA site visit during the pandemic were advised of the CAA’s emergency policy and all site visits during 2020–2021 and 2021–2022 academic tersm (N=109) were conducted as virtual site visits. The CAA is required by USDE to conduct an on-campus follow-up site visit for all programs for which a virtual site visit was conducted. Parameters for the follow-up visits are outlined in Chapter XIX Site Visit Planning and Conduct in the Accreditation Handbook.
Planning guidelines and resources for conducting site visits are available on the Program Preparation for Site Visits webpage.
The CAA began conducting the first several required in-person, follow-up site visits in May 2022, and will continue to conduct follow-up in-person site visits over the next two years. Programs that had virtual site visits in fall 2020 and spring 2021 will be prioritized. Programs will be scheduled based on campus policies, ASHA policies, and site visitor availability. More information about follow-up site visits can be found Chapter XIX Site Visit Planning and Conduct in the Accreditation Handbook.
Questions can be directed to the Accreditation Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.