From the Director – Winter 2020

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Happy New Year and all the best in 2020!!! Quite a few things have occurred since the Summer 2019 newsletter.

To begin, I am pleased to announce that Teresa Brininger, PhD, MBA, OT/L, has accepted the Director of Accreditation position effective January 21, 2020. She recently retired from the military at the rank of Colonel where she served as the Director of the Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program, Medical Research and Material Command, Fort Detrick, MD for the last 4 years. In this position, Dr. Brininger oversaw the planning, budgeting, and execution of the Defense Health and Congressional Medical Research Programs in extremity trauma, neuromusculoskeletal injury, pain management, and regenerative medicine. She has been a member of the Roster of Accreditation Evaluators (RAE) and was on ACOTE for 6 years.

ACOTE voted on a number of policies and program actions at the December 2019 meeting. Here are a few of the key highlights:

ACOTE’s Revised Policy Regarding Program’s Homepage
At the July 2019 meeting, ACOTE voted that programs display the cost of attendance for the OT/OTA program, which includes current tuition and fees as well as the total cost of attending and completing the occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant program on the program’s homepage (see Sample Webpage for Publication). At the December 2019 meeting, ACOTE voted to extend the compliance deadline to 2/1/2021 to allow for implementation. In addition, this can be displayed on the program’s homepage or with a link on the homepage. Please see policy changes section of the PD Newsletter for details. (See Sample Webpage for Publication).

ACOTE’s Interpretation of Standard A.6.3. Program Evaluation
Programs can demonstrate compliance with Standard A.6.3. Program Evaluation by utilizing and analyzing any combination of qualitative and quantitative information.

Slots for Candidacy Applications
ACOTE voted to expand the slots for submission of Candidacy Applications from 6 to 12 slots per cycle on a first-come first-served basis (based on the receipt date of the Letter of Intent) without categorizing the program as a new or transitioning program. The earliest that additional programs can be added with this option is the April 2020 submission date. Accreditation staff will contact programs that are currently on the waitlist to see if they want to be moved up prior to opening it up to all applicant programs once this option goes into effect. Please see policy changes section of the PD Newsletter for details.

ACOTE’s Additional Location Policy
ACOTE continues to review the Additional Location Policy; therefore, it is on hold and will be reviewed at ACOTE’s March 2020 meeting. ACOTE Policy on Developing Programs and Additional Cohorts
At the July 2019 meeting, ACOTE voted that programs that have been granted Candidacy Status, have submitted an initial self-study for ACOTE review, and are denied preaccreditation status must note denial of Preaccreditation Status on the program’s homepage. At the December 2019 meeting, ACOTE voted that if the developing program loses its program director in the candidacy or preaccreditation phase, the program may not admit a new cohort. Please see policy changes section of the PD Newsletter for details.

ACOTE’s Additions and Changes Policy
At the December 2019 meeting, ACOTE voted to change the Additions and Changes Policy to reflect that ACOTE retains the right to deny the requested addition or change if upon review, ACOTE determines that the addition or change would adversely impact current and/or prospective students. As part of the review, ACOTE will consider any outstanding areas of noncompliance and may also elect to conduct an abbreviated onsite evaluation to assess the significant addition or change and its impact on the program. Please see policy changes section of the PD Newsletter for details.