Guidelines for program accreditation site visits

Program accreditation is a valuable process of self and peer assessment for the purpose of establishing, evaluating and monitoring quality and accountability among multiple degree programs at VCU. The Office of the Provost and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences (OSVPHS) are committed to supporting academic program accreditation and have established the following timeline to ensure appropriate communication with academic departments concerning the accreditation process.

The following guidelines are intended to ensure that the staff in the Office of the Provost and, for Health Sciences programs, the OSVPHS, are able to provide necessary support for degree programs seeking accreditation from national organizations. In preparation for submission of the program accreditation self-study report and on-site campus visit, academic programs must complete the following steps by the designated time.

Please note: Units preparing for an upcoming specialized accreditation review must make the provost office aware by filling out our review notification form below.

Notify the provost office of an upcoming review »

Timeline

Four weeks prior to submission of self-study to accrediting body

Submit a complete draft copy of the self-study report to the provost, and for Health Sciences programs send an additional copy to the senior vice president for health sciences (SVPHS). If not already included as part of self-study report, append an Executive Summary of the self-study report for review. Include self-study report submission deadline in Executive Summary.

For an example of Executive Summary organization and content guidance, see the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) “Guidelines for the Preparation of the Self-Study Report Utilizing the 2017 ACEN Standards and Criteria,” p. 5-6.

Upon on-time submission of self-study report to accrediting body

Send a final copy of the complete self-study report to the provost and, for Health Sciences programs, an additional copy to the SVPHS.

Two to three weeks prior to site visit

Self-study director, program director, department chair, academic associate dean and dean (or others as determined by unit) meet with the provost and SVPHS (for Health Sciences programs only) to review the accreditation process. (Note: Self-study director may replace program director or department chair at this meeting.) This meeting should include a short presentation to the provost and SVPHS with the following information: a review of the accreditation process, expectations for the site visit, self-study highlights, strengths and weaknesses or potential concerns and anticipated questions during the visit.

Immediately following site visit

If any concerns were noted by the external reviewers during the site visit, program director, department chair, academic associate dean and dean should schedule a meeting with the provost and SVPHS (for Health Sciences programs only) to review the initial feedback. This meeting is necessary only if the external reviewers indicated concerns.

Within two weeks of receipt of accreditation report

Program director, chair, academic associate dean and dean (or others as determined by unit) schedule a meeting with the provost and SVPHS (for Health Sciences programs only) to review accreditation decision.

Contact us

Please direct questions about this process to Dr. Deborah Noble-Triplett, senior vice provost for academic affairs, at nobletriplett@vcu.edu.