As of this fall, visiting accreditation teams have a valuable new tool for training and preparing for their visits. Teams meet virtually at least once prior to arriving on-site, and the visiting team chair now has an improved presentation template that can be used to guide these meetings. This presentation provides consistent information to set the context of the site visit, including roles and responsibilities of each team member, an overview of the visit schedule, and the CEAB accreditation criteria and procedures.
Typically, the visiting team meets via teleconference and follows a similar teleconference agenda for all visits. The team meets again on the Saturday night before the visit, and the chair’s presentation is used to guide the meeting. Previously, however, the presentation template included outdated information and was missing several key pieces of information, such as how to track and document issues. Additionally, within the accreditation cycle, the presentation’s roll-out tended to be too late to be fully effective.
These considerations, combined with feedback from Accreditation Board members, visiting team chairs, and program visitors, played into the revamp of the presentation. One key change is that the presentation is now split into two sections, to be delivered at different times during the visit cycle. The first occurs well before the team arrives on site, leading them through the information they need to know as they review the pre-visit documentation. The second occurs during the visit, highlighting CEAB criteria, tips and tricks on how to conduct a visit, and an overview of the development of the visiting team report to the CEAB. Ideally, this updated format will offer a consistent, repeatable, and iterative training opportunity for visiting teams. This means that team chairs will be better able to perform their roles as trainers, mentors, and leaders of a visiting team.
The new presentation has been rolled out for six 2018/2019 visits, and initial feedback from users is positive. In general, visiting teams report they are now able to prepare more effectively, making better use of screen sharing and digital tools for pre-visit meetings than in the past. Visiting teams also report that they have been better able to discover any gaps in documentation and formulate questions for HEI representatives in advance of arriving on site.
As for next steps, the presentation template will be made publicly available on the Accreditation Resources page of the website. We will continue to seek user feedback as visiting teams use the presentation in the 2018/2019 visit cycle. As part of our continual improvement process, the presentation will be updated on a regular basis in response to user feedback and any necessary content changes.