Accreditation Handbook—Chapter VII: Site Visitors
Average Number of Site Visits
The CAA asks that all members of the site visitor pool agree to be available for 2 site visits per year (usually one site visit per semester). Assignments are based on the number of programs to be visited in a given semester, composition needs for the teams, alignment of site visitor availability, and requested dates from the program.
Timeframe of Site Visits
Visits are scheduled during the academic year—during the fall and spring semesters. Programs that submit applications in February will have a site visit conducted between September and November of the same year (fall). Programs that submit applications in August will have a site visit between February and May of the next year (spring).
On occasion, site visits are scheduled during the summer months, but the majority of visits are scheduled during the academic year. It is important for the site visit team to have opportunity to visit when the students and faculty are on-campus and in the normal rhythm of the academic term.
Length of Site Visits
All site visitors are expected to be present for the duration of the site visit, which usually requires 3 days away from home and/or work. A minimum of 2 full days is required to review the program (Monday–Tuesday or Thursday–Friday). Site visitors are expected to arrive on-site mid-afternoon/early evening the night before the visit to allow time for the team to meet in preparation for the visit that begins the next day. However, the length of the visit may be extended by an extra day to accommodate the review of more complex programs.
Additional Time Commitments
Site visitors should expect to allocate time in advance of the site visit to review the program’s application and related materials. The program’s application materials (the program’s self-study) are made available at least 6 weeks in advance of the visit. Additional information provided by the program in response to the CAA’s initial review of the application will be available no later than 30 days prior to the site visit. The team chair works with the program on developing its agenda and the team chair often consults with the rest of the site visit team on this activity as well.
A site visit report is generated by the team and is due 30 days after the site visit. You should allow time after the visit to write, edit, and review the report before it is submitted to the CAA Accreditation Office.
Terms for Site Visitors
Site visitors are selected for 4-year terms (academic years) and are evaluated annually. The CAA reserves the right to excuse individuals from service if they no longer qualify to serve in the site visitor category for which he/she was originally selected or fail to meet the expectations as outlined in the Accreditation Handbook. Site visitors also may opt out of this volunteer activity.