General Accreditation Questions
- Does CACREP accreditation expire?
- What does it take to become a CACREP accredited program?
- We think we have a good program. How do we know if we are ready to apply for CACREP accreditation?
- How long does the CACREP accreditation process take?
- Who makes accreditation decisions for CACREP?
- Upon what criteria will the accreditation decision on our program be based?
- How often does the CACREP Board meet to render accreditation decisions?
- How long is a CACREP accreditation cycle?
- Are programs with a two-year accreditation on probation of some kind?
- What if we have students who graduate before our program is accredited?
- Does CACREP have approved consultants?
- Does CACREP accredit psychology programs?
- Our program is housed in a Psychology Department but prepares students for licensure as professional counselors. Is our program eligible to apply for CACREP accreditation?
- Does CACREP accredit online programs and, if so, are there separate Standards?
- Does CACREP accredit programs for non-degree seeking students that lead to Certification or Licensure?
- Does CACREP have a candidacy status for programs prior to the actual accreditation review?
- Can we use the CACREP logo on our website and in our publications?
- What is the best way to stay informed about CACREP?
- The school in which our program is housed is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). What does this mean in terms of CACREP accreditation?
Standards and Policies
- Where can I find the course requirements for a CACREP accredited institution?
- What subject areas comprise the counseling curriculum?
- Ours is a newly developed counseling program. When can we apply for CACREP accreditation?
- The Clinical Standards for Practicum and Internship specify a minimum number of Direct Service hours. What is meant by Direct Service?
- After students complete the requisite 100 hours in Practicum, can they begin accumulating hours for Internship?
- What can we do if practicum and internship sites are reluctant to allow taping of client sessions?
- Can our program use technology to provide supervision?
- Does our program have to operate a counseling clinic?
- Our program includes counseling and non-counseling components in the required curriculum. What are the implications for the core faculty credit hour requirements?
- Can we include non-core faculty in the calculation of full-time equivalent (FTE) students to FTE faculty (Standard 1.T)?
- Where can I find more information regarding the expectations around program evaluation and assessment of students?
Applying for Accreditation
- Who initiates the accreditation process?
- What is a self-study report?
- How do I submit required documents for accreditation review?
- How many copies of the self-study should I submit?
- Where do I mail the self-study?
- Can the self-study report be submitted on-line?
- Our program operates at more than one campus location. Can we submit one application for all sites or do we need to apply separately for each site?
- When will we receive an accreditation decision?
- Can I call the CACREP office following the CACREP Board meeting to find out what the accreditation decision is?
- When are accreditation decisions added to the CACREP website?
- What is an adverse decision?
- What decisions can be appealed?
The Accreditation Review
- Based on the results of our initial review, we are required to submit an Addendum to the Self-study before approval can be granted for an on-site visit. Does this mean there are major problems with our program or the accreditation review?
- What happens if my institution withdraws its application from the accreditation process?
Preparing for a Site Visit
- How do I schedule my on-site visit?
- What is a conflict of interest (COI)?
- How many members comprise a Site Visit Team?
- What does the fee for the on-site visit cover?
- Do we pay for the site team’s accommodations?
- Do we send the self-study to the team or does the CACREP office?
- We would like to provide a meal or meals to the team. Will CACREP reimburse us for these expenses?
- Can we provide feedback on the site team?
- When should my program submit its self-study for reaccreditation?
- If our program is accredited, do I need to report to CACREP anytime we want to make changes to our program?
- What is the current accreditation cycle for my program?
- Our program received a two-year accreditation and now we need to submit an Interim Report. What is an Interim Report and can you provide guidance on preparing the report?
- Once accredited, what are our obligations to maintain our accreditation?
- What outcomes information should we be reporting on our departmental website each year?
- How much does CACREP accreditation cost?
- Does CACREP accept credit card payments?
- Is the application fee refundable if we choose to withdraw our program from the review process or if an on-site visit is not authorized?
- Are the fees the same for a reaccreditation review?
- Who pays for accreditation site visits?
General Accreditation Questions
Does CACREP accreditation expire?
Yes, accreditation can expire. It is granted for a specified period of time. A full CACREP accreditation cycle is eight years. A program may be accredited for either the full eight- year cycle or receive accreditation for two years of the full cycle, necessitating further reporting on specified program elements. Once a program has been approved for the full cycle, prior to the accreditation expiration date, a program must submit an application and self-study for reaccreditation and go through a full accreditation review for another cycle of accreditation.
A program seeking accreditation engages in a self-study process as to how it is meeting the CACREP Standards. The program then submits a comprehensive Self-study Report documenting how it is meeting each standard. This document, and possibly an addendum to the Self-study Report, is reviewed during an initial review process and subsequently during a peer review on-site visit. Ultimately, the CACREP Board of Directors reviews all of the accreditation documents, including the self-study, addendum to the self-study (if the program developed one), the report from the site team, and the program’s response to the team’s report. The Board then renders an accreditation decision. Depending on the decision, a program may need to submit an additional report(s) to the CACREP Board addressing specified program elements. All accredited programs submit a report midway through the accreditation cycle indicating changes that have occurred since the original review in areas such as faculty, curricula, and operations. If significant changes occur before or after this midway point, programs submit reports detailing the substantive changes to the CACREP Board for review and approval.
The sole reference points for CACREP accreditation decisions are CACREP’s Policies and Standards. A good starting point for programs interested in seeking CACREP accreditation is to conduct a comparison of the existing program with the CACREP Standards and Policies to determine which standards are being addressed, which are being partially addressed, and which are not being addressed. The results of this program ‘cross-walking’ with the standards and policies should provide a good picture of where the program is in terms of its readiness to seek CACREP accreditation.
The accreditation process generally takes 12-18 months from the time an application is received. On rare occasions it can take up to 2 years depending on when the application is received, whether or not an addendum to the Self-study Report is required, and when the review process is completed in relation to a CACREP Board of Directors’ meeting. The CACREP Board meets twice a year, in January and July, to render accreditation decisions.
The CACREP accreditation process is a multi-stage process involving initial reviewers, site team visitors, and the CACREP Board of Directors. All reviewers provide input into the process at the various stages of review. The ultimate authority for the rendering of accreditation decisions rests with the CACREP Board of Directors.
All levels of the multi-stage accreditation review process, from the review of the initial Self-study Report to the CACREP Board’s final review of the documents from the various review stages, are conducted in relation to the CACREP Policies and Standards. These policies and standards are publicly available on the CACREP website.
The CACREP Board meets twice a year, in January and July, to render accreditation decisions.
A full cycle of accreditation is 8 years. This status is granted to programs that, in the professional judgment of the CACREP Board of Directors, meet all the standards in a satisfactory manner. Programs that have substantially met the requirements for accredited status but need to address relatively minor standards-related deficiencies are granted accreditation for 2 years of the full cycle. The CACREP Board of Directors confers two-year accreditation to a program when there is a belief that the program can correct the deficiencies within the two-year period. Within the two-year period, the program is required to submit an Interim Report providing the requested information. Acceptance of the Interim Report results in accreditation for the remainder of the eight-year accreditation period.
Programs with two-year and eight-year accreditations both hold accredited status with CACREP. The full accreditation cycle is eight years. Programs that have a two-year accreditation have received the first two years of the accreditation cycle and need to submit a follow-up report addressing relatively minor standards-related deficiencies. The CACREP Board confers two-year accreditation to a program when there is a belief that the program can meet the specified deficiencies within the two-year period. Many programs begin an eight-year cycle by receiving accreditation for a two-year period.
As per CACREP Policies Governing Recognition of Graduates 5.a.- Program Graduate Qualifications for Initial Accreditation, Students in a program seeking accreditation shall be considered graduates of a CACREP program if they receive their degree within eighteen (18) months prior to when accreditation is conferred, and if the program can verify that the student completed the CACREP program requirements. Therefore, if a program is accredited in July 2017, graduates of the program who completed the requirements of the program that was put forward for accreditation review would be considered graduates of a CACREP-accredited program if they graduated between January 2016 and July 2017. CACREP strongly encourages programs to clearly convey the implications of timelines and information about where a program is in terms of applying or in the review process so that students do not have unrealistic or inaccurate expectations in terms of being potential graduates of a CACREP-accredited program.
CACREP does not have a formal consultant program. The CACREP staff is available to advise programs about the accreditation standards, policies, and processes. CACREP does maintain a list of independent consultants who have prior experience serving as chairs of multiple CACREP site visit teams. These consultants are all independent. CACREP can offer no formal endorsement of their qualifications and the hiring of a consultant from the list is not a guarantee of future accreditation or reaccreditation for a program. All arrangements, including financial, are directly and solely between the institution and the consultant. The list can be obtained by contacting the CACREP office.
CACREP does not accredit any type of psychology programs. CACREP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit masters and doctoral degree programs in counseling and its specialties that are offered in colleges and universities in the United States and throughout the world. Psychology is a separate discipline from counseling. The purview for the accreditation of psychology programs rests with the American Psychological Association (APA).
CACREP accredits counseling programs in alignment with the definition of counseling that is infused throughout the CACREP Standards. In order for your program to be eligible for CACREP accreditation, the program must hold a distinct counseling identity within the overall department in terms of having an appropriate title and degree, a core faculty for the program that evidence a clear counseling professional identity, a curriculum aligned with the counseling identity in the CACREP Standards, designated resources to support the development of future counselors, and program autonomy for curricular, admissions, and program development activities.
CACREP does accredit online counseling programs. Most online programs accredited to-date are more accurately described as hybrid programs as they require some degree of in-person instruction. CACREP reviews all programs against the same set of standards. The CACREP Directory includes a search function that will provide a listing of programs that self-identify as online programs.
CACREP only accredits degree programs. Many CACREP accredited programs do offer non-degree options for students needing to complete specific requirements to be endorsed for counselor certification or licensure. While not accredited by CACREP, these options do interface with any accredited degree programs. The CACREP Board, therefore, developed a guiding statement for programs about these options. The guiding statement is available on this website under the Program Resources tab.
CACREP does not have a candidacy status. The CACREP accreditation or reaccreditation process begins when a program submits an application and self-study for review.
CACREP no longer allows programs to use the CACREP logo on their websites, but encourages accredited programs to use the CACREP certification mark to proudly communicate their accredited status. Accredited programs must obtain permission prior to using the CACREP certification mark, which is trademarked. Permission may be obtained by submitting a written request to the CACREP office, through email to [email protected]. Unauthorized use of the certification mark is subject to legal action.
The CACREP website is updated on a regular basis. Through the website, you may sign up to receive E-Updates, including the CACREP Connection newsletter, view CACREP’s Annual Report, as well as follow CACREP on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, CACREP regularly conducts informative sessions at counseling conferences. For program considering applying or seeking reaccreditation, CACREP conducts a self-study workshop several times a year. Information on the next available workshop is posted on the CACREP website when the workshop is scheduled.
CACREP is identified by CAEP as a specialized accreditor that meets the requirements for a reduction in the amount of evidence a CACREP-accredited program would need to present during the course of a CAEP review of the school.
Standards and Policies
The CACREP Standards do not stipulate specific courses. There are, however, curricular standards that must be addressed within whatever required curriculum is presented for review. The CACREP Standards include core curricular standards applicable to all programs regardless of specialization, and specialization-specific curricular standards. The accreditation review focuses, in part, on whether or not a program’s curriculum adequately addresses the core and applicable specialization-specific curricular standards.
The eight core curricular areas in the CACREP Standard applicable to all programs regardless of specialization (e.g., Addiction Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling) are: Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice, Social and Cultural Diversity, Human Growth and Development, Career Development, Counseling and Helping Relationships, Group Counseling and Group Work, Assessment and Testing, and Research and Program Evaluation. There are also specialization-specific curricular standards.
Program representatives are encouraged to contact the CACREP staff for assistance in determining a timeline for applying for accreditation as there are many factors that may influence this determination.
Direct Service is the supervised use of counseling, consultation, or related professional skills with actual clients (can be individuals, couples, families, or groups) for the purpose of fostering social, cognitive, behavioral, and/or affective change. These activities must involve interaction with others and may include: (1) assessment, (2) counseling, (3) psycho-educational activities, and (4) consultation. The following would not be considered direct service: (1) observing others providing counseling or related services, (2) record keeping, (3) administrative duties, (4) clinical and/or administrative supervision.
The CACREP Board recognizes that different institutions have different lengths for academic terms (e.g., a 10 week quarter; a 15 week semester; a 6 week summer session). Standard 3.F. specifies 10 weeks as the minimum term length allowable for the practicum experience. The practicum experience should not consist of less than 10 weeks, and if the standard term is longer than 10 weeks the practicum experience should extend across the full standard academic term. CACREP Policies Governing the Pre-Application and Application Review Stages 1.h. – Duration of Practicum specifies:
The duration of a student’s supervised practicum experience is to extend across a full academic term to allow for the development of basic counseling skills and the integration of knowledge. Practicum is completed prior to internship. Therefore, CACREP standards do not allow for extra hours obtained during the practicum to be counted toward the 600 clock hour internship requirements.
Audio/video recordings are an essential part of supervision for beginning counselors and allow better feedback than student self-report. Clinical experiences should definitely involve intensive, direct observation-based supervision. Not every site, however, has to allow taping. If a site will not allow taping, it may be acceptable for the student to have placements at more than one site with at least one allowing taping. Although it does not allow the student to observe themselves, the Standards do allow for live supervision (i.e., direct observation of the counseling interaction by a supervisor). In addition, some sites may be more open to taping if they know the tapes will not leave the premises. In these instances, the site may be amenable to the faculty supervisor and/or student viewing the tape on site for supervision purposes.
Programs may use technology applications (e.g., videoconferencing, Skype) to facilitate supervision. In doing so, programs should make use of best practices in distance supervision.
Programs do not have to operate counseling clinics. Standard 1.I. includes the term “counseling instruction environment. The counseling instruction environment is the space allocated for modeling, demonstration, supervision, and training purposes. These facilities are primarily utilized for the pre-practicum training that students receive in basic individual and group counseling skills. Some programs also utilize these facilities for practica and/or internships.
Such a situation may arise, for example, in a counseling program based in a seminary, in which students are required to take both counseling and seminary courses in their program of study. The core faculty credit hour delivery requirement (Standard 1.S) applies to the entire program of study. If the faculty teaching the seminary courses do not meet the core faculty requirements, these credits would fall under the designation of being delivered by non-core faculty.
Yes, the FTE ratio calculation can include both core and non-core faculty. The non-core faculty are generally factored in to the equation in relation to the percentage of a full-time teaching load their contribution equals. Additional considerations in regard to the FTE ratio are available at http://www.cacrep.org/articles/a-reasoned-approach-to-fte-faculty/.
The CACREP Board developed a guiding document entitled, “Guiding Principles for Program Evaluation and Student Assessment – Section 4 of the 2016 CACREP Standards. The document is available on the CACREP website: http://www.cacrep.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Guiding-Principles-for-Program-Evaluation-and-Student-Assessment-with-masthead.pdf.
Applying for Accreditation
The counseling program initiates the accreditation process by submitting an application and self-study document to CACREP.
Programs seeking accreditation or reaccreditation develop self-study reports. These comprehensive reports provide an overview of the program(s) for which accreditation is sought and include narrative responses and supporting documentation indicating how the program is meeting the specifications of the CACREP Policies and Standards. The review of the Self-Study Report constitutes the first phase of the CACREP accreditation review process.
All documents being submitted as part of the accreditation or reaccreditation process should be submitted to the CACREP office in read-only format on CDs or USB Drives. The formatting guidelines for accreditation materials are specified in Policies Governing the Pre-Application and Application Review Stages 1.m.- Electronic Submission. As the CACREP office receives submissions from many different programs, please ensure that each copy of the CD or Thumb Drive is clearly labeled with the full name of the institutions, the type of report (e.g., Self-study, Addendum to Self-Study, Interim Report), and the date. To facilitate the accreditation review process, programs should submit four (4) copies of each report on separate CDs or USB Drives.
Applicant programs should submit four (4) copies of the Application and Self-Study Report on clearly labeled CDs or USB Drives in a read-only format. Programs are not required to submit a hard copy version of the Self-Study Report in addition to the electronic versions. However, programs should maintain copies of all documents and materials included in the Self-Study Report should any problems develop with the electronic versions. Please note that the copies submitted to the CACREP office are for office use only. The office copies are not sent to the site visitors. The program sends additional copies of the Self-Study Report and Addendum (if developed) to the site team members once an on-site visit has been approved and a team selected.
All accreditation-related reports should be mailed to the CACREP office.
1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
CACREP does not currently accept on-line submissions of Self-Study Reports. All primary documents created during the accreditation review process (i.e., Self-Study Report, Addendum to Self-Study, Institution’s Response to the Site Team’s Report) should be mailed to the CACREP office on clearly labeled CDs or USB Drives, in a read-only format.
If over 50% of the required curriculum is offered at more than one site, then the program must demonstrate that it is meeting the requirements specified in Policies Governing the Pre-Application and Application Review Stages 1.o.- Programs Offered at Multiple Sites, in order to apply as a single program at multiple sites. Otherwise, each campus location would need to apply individually for accreditation.
The CACREP Board meets twice a year, in January and July, to render accreditation decisions. Programs will be notified of the decision in a formal letter sent within 45 days following the conclusion of the CACREP Board meeting.
All accreditation decisions are communicated in writing in a formal letter to the President/CEO of the institution. The Dean of the School/College in which the counseling program is housed, the Department Chair, and the CACREP Liaison all receive a copy of this letter. CACREP Staff cannot provide information to callers on the accreditation decision until the individuals mentioned above have received the formal written notification.
Within 60 days of notification to institutions, CACREP Staff will release information regarding accreditation decisions to the public via the CACREP website. The publicly available information will include the following: 1) the accreditation status of the program and/or specialty areas, 2) the end date for the most recent accreditation decision made on the program and/or specialty areas, and 3) a summary of the reasons for which the Board made the decision.
An adverse decision is the denial or revocation of program accreditation. When a program is denied accreditation, the program will be provided 30 days to either submit a rejoinder to the denial summary or provide a written statement of notice of intent to appeal. If a rejoinder is provided, it will be posted on the CACREP website with the summary statement. If the program entered into an appeals process no information will be posted until a final decision is made at the completion of the appeal. Neither a two-year accreditation decision nor a voluntary withdrawal from the accreditation review process is considered an adverse decision.
An institution may appeal the following adverse decisions:
1) denial of initial accreditation
2) revocation of accredited status
Should an institution appeal a Board decision to revoke accreditation, the institution’s accreditation will remain in full effect pending a decision by the Appeal Panel and a possible subsequent decision by the Board. Please refer to Policies Governing Accreditation Decisions 3.e – Appeals Policy and Procedures for procedures on the appeals process.
The Accreditation Review
Based on the results of our initial review, we are required to submit an Addendum to the Self-Study before the reviewers will consider recommending an on-site visit. Does this mean there are major problems with our program or the accreditation review?
CACREP utilizes an intensive initial review process before scheduling an on-site visit. A requirement to submit an Addendum to the Self-study Report is a relatively common requirement for programs in the review process and does not necessarily indicate there are any major problems. The initial review serves to identify areas in the Self-study Report where reviewers have questions about what a response means, want additional clarification, or note standards for which documentation has not been provided. An Addendum is required when the reviewers determine it would be helpful to obtain the necessary clarification and documentation prior to determining whether to recommend an on-site visit. Even if not required, it is recommended that all programs develop an Addendum to the Self-study Report. The overall purpose of the initial review is so that when an on-site visit is approved for a program, the site team will be able to enter as fully informed about the program in relation to the CACREP Standards as possible.
A program may withdraw its application at any time during the process before a decision has been made. If a program chooses to withdraw its application from the accreditation review process it will no longer be listed on the CACREP website under Programs in Process, and the status will be changed to Withdrawn, which is not publicly posted. If the program was already accredited and chose to allow their accreditation to lapse, the specialty area will be listed in Previously Accredited Programs.
Preparing for an On-Site Visit
Once your program has been approved for an on-site visit, the CACREP office will send to the Program Liaison a site visit scheduling template and a list of potential team chairs and members. The Liaison works with the faculty and administration to determine possible visit dates, keeping in mind that it takes a minimum of 12 weeks to assemble a team. In addition to identifying possible visit dates, the faculty will need to go through the lists of potential team chairs and members carefully in order to identify actual and potential conflicts of interest. The liaison should include on the template all possible visit dates as well as the names of all potential visitors that should be excluded from the visit for conflicts of interest. Once the dates are set and a team has been assigned, the Team Chair will work with the Program Liaison to develop an agenda for the visit.
Individuals potentially involved in accreditation decisions and with potential conflicts of interest (COI) should examine the extent of the COIs and not participate if the COI could potentially lead to biases on the part of the reviewer or call into question in any way the objectivity of the decision-making process. Some examples of COIs include an individual being a former employee of the institution or having sought or having been offered a position at the institution. CACREP Policies Governing Conflicts of Interest 13.b.- Conflict of Interest Policy for CACREP Team Members addresses COIs for CACREP Team Members and potential visitors are asked to indicate if any potential COIs exist before agreeing to serve on a particular visit. Similarly, institutions that will be hosting an On-Site Visit are asked to identify possible COIs among prospective site visitors prior to the selection of the visiting team.
Site teams consist of a minimum of three members (one team chair and two members) for a full review. The number of site team members may increase depending on the number of programs being reviewed and the number of sites at which the program is offered.
CACREP charges institutions a flat fee for the on-site visit. This fee covers lodging, food, and travel expenses for the site team members.
The cost for the team’s lodging is included in the flat fee charged to institutions for the on-site visit. However, it is the institution’s responsibility to arrange for appropriate lodging in the area for the site team in advance of the visit. As the team does not generally have its own means of transportation, lodging choices should include consideration of proximity to the campus and places to eat, as well as available transportation options. The Program Liaison should ensure that reservations have been made for individual rooms for all site team members. Each member can then pay for their room at the conclusion of the visit and be reimbursed by CACREP. On occasions, some institutions have direct billing arrangements for reduced cost rooms with local hotels. If this is the case, the institution can pay for the hotel rooms and submit for reimbursement by CACREP.
Once you receive notice that the team has been established, you should send a copy of the Self-Study Report and any Addendum that has been developed to each team member. The content of the self-study and addendum materials should match that of what was sent to the CACREP office for review. Please note that if an Addendum was not required but you have developed one and are sending it to the site team, you should ensure that four copies of that same Addendum are sent to the CACREP office.
CACREP reimburses team members for all meals so it is not necessary for the institution to provide any meals. Should any meal be provided, it would be provided on a gratis basis. This would be up to the institution. It is strongly recommended that the program liaison consult with the team chair prior to making any such arrangement.
The CACREP Liaison is provided a Team Member Evaluation Form to distribute to individuals participating in the visit. The completed forms can be sent to the CACREP office upon completion of the visit. CACREP appreciates feedback from both programs and team members on the overall conduct of the visits.
Programs should plan to submit their reaccreditation self-studies at least a year prior to the CACREP Board meeting at which an accreditation decision is expected to be rendered. The CACREP Board renders accreditation decisions twice a year at meetings held in January and July. CACREP utilizes expiration dates of March and October to ensure adequate decision and data processing time following each meeting. Thus, if your program’s expiration date is, for example, in March 2017, you should plan to submit your self-study around January 2016 as an accreditation decision would initially be planned for January 2017. Similarly, if your program’s expiration date is, for example, in October 2017, you should plan to submit your self-study around July 2016 as an accreditation decision would initially be planned for July 2017.
If our program is accredited, do I need to report to CACREP anytime we want to make changes to our program?
Higher education programs are continually evolving and changing. The decision to modify a program is an institutional prerogative and responsibility. Most changes, such as routine and reasonable personnel changes and/or adding, modifying, and dropping courses, fall within the nature and scope of the program and typically do not affect accreditation status. Such changes are, however, one reason for the periodic reexamination required of all accredited programs, including annual Vital Statistics Reports, Mid-Cycle Reports, and reaccreditation reviews. Other changes, however, significantly affect the nature of the program, including mission and objectives, educational curricula, professional identity of the faculty, and the allocation of resources. Such substantive changes initiated subsequent to the most recent evaluation (i.e., accreditation review, Mid-Cycle Report, or Interim Report) are not automatically included in the institution’s accreditation and necessitate the submission of a Substantive Change Report prior to the change, in accordance with Policies Governing Program Changes Mid-Cycle 8.e.- Substantive Change in an Accredited Program. Programs should consult with CACREP staff on whether or not a Substantive Change Report would need to be submitted for a change being planned.
The full accreditation cycle for your program is indicated in the original accreditation decision letter sent to the institution. The accreditation expiration date indicated in the CACREP Directory reflects either the two-year accreditation end date or the full cycle end date depending on the current accreditation status of the program. If you have any question about the cycle end date or when reports are due, please contact the CACREP staff.
Two-year accredited status is granted to programs that substantially meet the requirements for accredited status but which need to address relatively minor standards-related deficiencies. The interim report only needs to address the standards and/or policies cited in the accreditation decision letter. It is essentially a mini self-study providing narrative responses and documentation demonstrating how the program addresses the deficiencies noted in relation to the cited standards and/or policies.
CACREP accredited programs assume ongoing reporting responsibilities. These reporting responsibilities may include submission of an Interim Report(s) to correct minor standards-related deficiencies associated with the accreditation, a midpoint Mid-Cycle Report to provide updates on changes to the program since the original accreditation, and completion of annual data reports on areas such as number of enrolled students, number of graduates, and student and faculty demographics. If the program is planning to make changes that will significantly affect the nature of the program, including educational curricula, professional identity of the program, and the allocation of resources, the program may need to submit a Substantive Change Report for review. In addition, CACREP accredited programs pay an annual accreditation maintenance fee. Towards the end of an accreditation cycle, accredited programs must submit an application and self-study report to begin the process for reaccreditation.
As required in CACREP Standards and Policies, each year counselor education program faculty are required to post on their department’s website the following information for each entry-level specialty area and doctoral program: (1) the number of graduates for the past academic year, (2) pass rates on credentialing examinations, (3) completion rates, and (4) job placement rates on their website. This information is to inform prospective students and the public about the program. This outcome data should come from the program’s the most recent Vital Statistics Survey.
The current schedule of fees is available on the CACREP website. Programs seeking accreditation should expect to pay an application fee, a site visit fee based on a flat fee per visitor, and an annual accreditation maintenance fee should accreditation be conferred. The annual accreditation maintenance fee is invoiced to programs every April. Newly accredited programs will receive prorated invoices for the fee following the accreditation decision. Please be aware that late fees are assessed for annual maintenance fees and the submission of annual reports.
CACREP accepts credit cards payments for accreditation manuals, student graduation certificates, and workshop registration fees. All other accreditation fees must be paid by check. As the annual maintenance fee must be paid by check, programs should allow adequate institutional payment processing time to ensure that the payment can be received by the due date to avoid the need to pay a late fee.
CACREP fees are non-refundable.
Yes, the fees are the same, whether for a new program or a reaccreditation, as each review cycle is independent of previous review cycles.
Programs seeking accreditation or reaccreditation assume the financial responsibility for paying for on-site visits. CACREP has a per visitor flat fee structure in place that covers transportation, lodging, and meals.