I hope everyone is well and safe and looking forward to students returning in the fall either virtually or in person. A few updates from Accreditation:
- ACOTE has a new website at: acoteonline.org. The website contains information for developing programs, transitioning programs, and programs that are going through the process of reaccreditation. I encourage you to take the time to explore the website. Feedback is welcome! Click on “Contact Us” under the “About” tab and let us know what you think.
- The Program Director Newsletter has been replaced. The director and the accreditation team will post accreditation updates and information on our website (acoteonline.org) under “News & Updates.” You should receive an email blast when new information is posted. The goal is to allow programs to use the search function on the website to easily locate needed information, such as policy changes, form updates, tech tips, etc.
- ACOTE meetings and program actions. ACOTE meetings have not been cancelled or delayed. The meeting in March was virtual and the meeting in August will be virtual. Program actions will continue as scheduled.
- Self-study due dates remain as scheduled per your program timeline. Programs are expected to submit complete documentation demonstrating that all Standards are adequately addressed in the self-study report. If certain information is unavailable or incomplete due to the temporary impact of the COVID-19, a detailed explanation describing how the institutional actions impeded your ability to document full compliance with the Standards must be provided. Site visit team members will work cooperatively with programs and programs will have the ability to demonstrate compliance prior to or during the on-site visit.
- On-site visits. We continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on travel restrictions. The top priority is the safety and well-being of our stakeholder programs and volunteer site visitors. ACOTE is working diligently to complete on-site visits during the 2020-2021 academic year, and asks that programs remain flexible during these unprecedented times.
- Virtual on-site visits. Although the goal is to conduct in-person site visits, ACOTE realizes that this may not be feasible due to the current environment, and developed a virtual on-site policy (posted on acoteonline.org). A virtual on-site visit may be necessary for initial programs to assure that the students graduate from an accredited program and are eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam. Additionally, virtual site-visits may be implemented for programs that are transitioning or have a lower 3-year aggregate NBCOT pass rate outcome. If a site visit is conducted virtually, ACOTE is required by USDE to follow up with an in-person visit in a reasonable amount of time. Those follow up visits are currently being scheduled in spring 2021.
- ACOTE seeks new accreditation evaluators. The application deadline is August 20, 2020. See https://acoteonline.org/acote-seeks-new-accreditation-evaluators-application-deadline-august-20-2020/
- Coronavirus updates are posted on the ACOTE website at acoteonline.org. We continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses from the US Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the Association of Specialized and Programmatic Accreditors (ASPA), and those of our peer health care accreditors. ACOTE remains committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our stakeholders and volunteers and appreciates your ongoing commitment to student learning and quality assurance.
- Resources for returning students to the classroom. The following steps should be considered when returning students to the classroom: