Accreditation Handbook—Chapter VII: Site Visitors, Chapter XVIX: Site Visit Planning and Conduct, Chapter XX: Site Visit Report
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:
- Verify the accuracy of information provided in the application and resolve questions/concerns that arose from review of the application
- Directly observe program resources and space on campus and interact with program faculty, students, and leadership
- Document that compliance with accreditation standards was verified, consistent with CAA’s expectations
- Facilitate the CAA’s decision making for programs by providing a written report of the visit
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.
Upcoming Site Visits
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.
Spring 2020 Site Visits Postponed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The CAA postponed the site visits scheduled for Spring 2020 beginning March 12, 2020. The CAA has been closely monitoring conditions across the country related to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are aware that many universities decided to cease face-to-face activities on campus for the current semester. In light of these activities, the evolving situation, the fact that many universities and employers are restricting travel, and the recommendations to limit social interactions and travel, the CAA made this decision to reduce any risk to those individuals participating in accreditation activities. It is expected that all site visits will be rescheduled during 2020.
As of April 15, 2020, the CAA reassessed the current COVID-19 situation and determined that spring 2020 site visits will remain unscheduled due to continued uncertainty regarding safety risks, including access to campus and travel restrictions. At this time, all attempts will be made to reschedule spring visits during this calendar year. Programs will retain their current accreditation status (i.e., accredited, candidate, applicant) until the CAA has acted on the program’s application.
The CAA is currently developing parameters for the conduct of virtual site visits. Please note that the U.S. Department of Education requires recognized accrediting agencies like the CAA to develop policies and procedures prior to implementing virtual site visit protocols. Once policies and procedures are finalized, programs that may be eligible for a virtual site visit will be contacted directly by the accreditation staff.
For programs that anticipate a visit in fall 2020 or spring 2021, there is a possibility that the site visit may be rescheduled; however, accreditation staff will reach out to those programs directly with that information. Staff have initiated the process to schedule fall 2020 site visits. We continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as those become available.
Questions can be directed to the Accreditation Office at email@example.com.