What is Involved?

Review the Self-Study Report

In late summer, program evaluators assigned to accreditation review teams begin their work by reviewing the self-study report prepared by the program seeking accreditation. The self-study report contains information about the institution, as well as detailed information illustrating how the academic program meets the evaluation criteria. You review this information and, if necessary, communicate with the program directly to resolve ambiguities or to answer questions raised by the report. Learn more about the self-study report.

Participate in the on-site visit

During the fall (typically between September and December), each accreditation review team, consisting of two or more program evaluators and an evaluation team chair, travels to the campus and spends approximately 2.5 days investigating their assigned program with the help of the program’s chair and faculty. On-site activities include:

  • verifying the information provided in the self-study report
  • observing classes
  • interviewing students, faculty members, administrators, staff and external stakeholders
  • visiting classrooms, labs and other key facilities
  • reviewing textbooks, course syllabi, student work and assessment materials

Based on a review of the self-study report and observations made on campus, the program evaluators collaboratively prepare a draft report describing how well the program has met the 51 criteria. This draft statement is provided to the institution at the conclusion of the campus visit. Learn more about the on-site visit.

Improve the evaluation process

In addition to submitting a travel expense report, program evaluators returning from on-site visits also complete a survey evaluating the performance of their team members. A program evaluator may also respond to additional questions from the team chair who is finalizing the team’s report.

Once we receive your travel expense report, we will reimburse your travel expenses for the on-site visit.

How much time do I need to commit?

12–20 hours online and 1.5 days of Simulated Visit Training

The online portion of program evaluator candidate training typically takes 12–20 hours and requires written work and the completion of three end-of-module quizzes, as well as attendance at simulated visit training.

2-3 hours online Recertification Training every 5 years

In addition to initial training and annual service, a comprehensive web-based Recertification Training is offered every five years to keep program evaluators current on 51 criteria, processes and procedures.

About 6-9 days a year - extended over July-November

Once you have received your initial program evaluator training, you will typically spend:

  • 3 hours per year in web-based visit preparation
  • 2-6 days reviewing program materials
  • 3 days for the on-site visit, plus 1-2 days of travel

The time required to review materials and conduct campus visits is spread over three to six months, from July through September or December. Training and materials review do not need to be completed during a single session.

You won’t necessarily receive an assignment every year

Scheduling is based on the demand for accreditation services contributed by each professional society and on the availability of individual program evaluators.