FROM THE DIRECTOR – September 2021

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Updates from the ACOTE® August 2021 meeting

POLICY CHANGES

ACOTE® POLICY IV.C. CLASSIFICATION OF ACCREDITATION CATEGORIES

ACOTE has modified the Classification of Accreditation Categories Policy to ensure compliance with USDE regulations (see Director’s update dated August 2021).

ACOTE® POLICY III. A.1. STEP ONE: THE APPLICATION REVIEW

ACOTE voted to include in this policy that a program must have a full-time, qualified capstone coordinator hired and on-site 6 months prior to submission of the Candidacy Application. This policy will be effective October 1, 2021. Programs currently in the process are exempt from this change.

ACOTE® POLICY V.A. FEES

Accreditation fees paid by educational programs help support costs attributed to the entire accreditation process. Transitioning programs complete the same process as new programs. Therefore, ACOTE voted to implement a fee structure for transitioning programs. This policy will be effective July 1, 2022. Programs submitting a Letter of Intent after July 1, 2022, requesting to transition to a higher degree level will be responsible for initial accreditation fees.

2018 STANDARDS INTERPRETATIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS

Standard A.5.5. Curriculum Design

ACOTE® voted to add an interpretation to the 2018 ACOTE® Standards and Interpretive Guide to clarify Standard A.5.5.To demonstrate compliance with this Standard, faculty must demonstrate awareness and understanding of how the program’s curriculum design is integrated into the program. ACOTE® was concerned with feedback from the on-site teams that faculty were not familiar with the program’s curriculum design. Understanding the curriculum design is essential and provides the basis for program planning, implementation, and evaluation. In addition, ACOTE® developed an optional template to assist programs. The template highlights all elements of the Standard with an emphasis on the instructional design The template can be found on the ACOTE® website under “Forms”.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACOTE Leadership and Council Member Update

Effective August 8, 2021, Lynn Kilburg, DHSc, MBA, OTR/L, started her term as Chairperson of ACOTE and Kelli Reiling Ott, OTD, OTR/L, assumed responsibilities as the ACOTE Vice-Chairperson. In addition, ACOTE recognized Doug Simmons, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, for his dedicated service to ACOTE and welcomed Sarah Nielsen, PhD, OTR/L, to the Council.

On-Site Visits

On-site visits scheduled in the fall are scheduled as an in-person visit (subject to change). However, ACOTE recognizes an in-person visit may not be possible. If the status of your program changes regarding on-site visitors, please notify the Accreditation Department. Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility.

Angelica Young, Program Manager, On-site Reviewer Support, no longer works for the Accreditation Department. Please send all inquiries regarding on-site visits to the accred@aota.org mailbox.

Self-Study Workshop

The Accreditation Department will be conducting 3 Self-Study Workshops per year. The workshop is designed to meet the needs of administrators, program directors and faculty preparing for an upcoming self-study review or who want to understand more about the accreditation process. The workshop includes didactic instruction and interactive sessions with a mock review of sample materials and interviews. Register for upcoming workshops here

Administrators New Program Preparation Workshop

The Administrators Workshop is designed to meet the needs of higher education administrators, who are considering or who have committed to developing an OT or OTA educational program. The workshop informs institutional representatives about ACOTE’s process, procedures, and the required elements needed for developing an OT or OTA educational program. The minimum expectations for achieving Candidacy and Pre-accreditation Status and an in-depth review of Section A of the 2018 ACOTE Standards will be discussed. For dates and registration, please click here.

RESOURCES

GENTLE REMINDERS

  • Ensure the program director and faculty licenses in the “FACULTY” tab in the eAccreditation portal are current.
  • The program director is responsible for remaining current with the most recent Standards Interpretive Guide and ACOTE® policies located on www.acoteonline.org. Updates to these documents are reported on the ACOTE® website after each ACOTE® meeting.

Please submit all questions to accred@aota.org.