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Prepare for Review

The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) conducts two types of reviews: candidacy status review and accreditation review. Candidacy Status review is reserved for unaccredited programs which meet PAB’s five preconditions to accreditation. The process for seeking candidacy status is outlined in the Get Accredited page. Accreditation reviews are for programs either granted candidacy status or with an accreditation term about to expire.

Before beginning the accreditation review process, programs should thoroughly review the Accreditation Standards, the Self-Study Report manual, and applicable templates (see Accreditation Resources page). Once a program is familiar with the underlying concepts the review process is designed to address, it should begin the process gathering evidence to demonstrate compliance. This should be done as early as possible in the accreditation review process.

The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) conducts two types of reviews: candidacy status review and accreditation review. Candidacy Status review is reserved for unaccredited programs which meet PAB’s five preconditions to accreditation. The process for seeking candidacy status is outlined in the Get Accredited page. Accreditation reviews are for programs either granted candidacy status or with an accreditation term about to expire.

Before beginning the accreditation review process, programs should thoroughly review the Accreditation Standards, the Self-Study Report manual, and applicable templates (see Accreditation Resources pages). Once a program is familiar with the underlying concepts the review process is designed to address, it should begin the process gathering evidence to demonstrate compliance. This should be done as early as possible in the accreditation review process.

Self-Study Report Preparation

  • One Year before SSR submission: Assemble your strategic plan and outcomes assessment data; assess what, if anything is missing; and set a timeline to fill the gaps; then fill them.
  • 6 Months before SSR submission: Divide sections among your faculty/staff/student leaders for discussion draft; request staff to compile c.v.’s and syllabi.
  • 4 Months before SSR submission: Review what you and your faculty have drafted; edit; discuss; share with faculty, students, alumni and administration (others?).  Assemble other appendices.
  • 2 Months before SSR submission: Compile first full draft; discuss key points with key administrative officers.
  • 30 Days before SSR submission: Proposed final goes to dean, provost, president for signatures.
  • Due Date: Submit draft SSR to PAB (June 15 for Fall Site Visit dates, September 15 for Spring Site Visit dates)

Site Visit Preparation

  • One Year before Site Visit:  Set the dates with PAB and with your administration. Schedule entrance and exit meetings with upper administration and dean. Notify Program faculty to hold dates.
  • 6 Months before Site Visit:  Hold the date notices to employers, alumni, APA Chapter reps, key campus participants.
  • 4 Months before Site Visit: Invite and confirm key participants. Provide access to SSR as appropriate. Discuss SV with student leadership and/or student body; faculty; staff. Book SV hotel and other travel accommodations. Begin gathering examples of student work.
  • 45 Days before Site Visit:  Draft SV schedule to PAB staff for review
  • 30 Days before Site Visit: Revised draft SV schedule to PAB staff. All participants lined up. Hospitality arrangements made. Program faculty and staff discuss process and objectives. Brief students about the process and their role.

Other Helpful Materials for Program Administrators

Accreditation Process and Standards Training Videos

Videos include Accreditation Purpose and Process, Accreditation Standards, and Outcomes Assessment.
While the videos may be geared towards Site Visitors, we encourage programs to review them.

Program Administrator Orientation (March 2021)
This document provides guidance on the accreditation process and preparing a good Self-Study Report.

Annual Report Overview (November 2019)

This video is an overview of the annual report due January 31.