For Team Members
PREPARING TO GO ON A CACREP VISIT
Whether this is your first or fourteenth CACREP site visit, you want to be prepared and arrive on site ready to go. The first step is to read the self-study the program has sent you and the accompanying correspondence with the CACREP office. A primary responsibility of the on-site team is the validation of the self-study and any other data submitted to CACREP for review. The validation process is carried out through interviews, visits to practicum and internship sites, classroom visits, review of documentation available in files, etc.
Although the initial reviewers have drawn attention to concerns they have about aspects of the program, you should review every standard and item to see if you have your own concerns to bring up. The Team Chair will often ask members to make a list of questions and concerns to bring to the first team meeting
CONDUCTING THE VISIT
In addition to discerning how the self-study narrative is actually put into practice, team members are asked to provide the CACREP Board of Directors with a thoughtful assessment of aspects of the program which cannot be evaluated fully from written documentation. Here, the team must recognize that programs may present variations in how they meet the standards and that excellence in quality and integrity may compensate for some perceived differences. Remember that accreditation is not policy enforcement, but a process used for making responsible and professional judgments with reference to program effectiveness.
CACREP on-site team visitors are guests of the institution and ambassadors for CACREP. They should not view themselves as “Watergate reporters.” Their goal is to attest that the CACREP standards are met in spirit rather than attempting to document, in a literal sense, every nuance of the standards. You may want to use sample interview questions that have been developed.
At the end of the visit, there will be an exit presentation in front of the faculty and other invited guests. This is usually conducted by the Team Chair and does not include questions, but summarizes the team’s findings.
WRITING THE REPORT
The Team Report
The final activity of the visiting team is writing the site review team’s report to the Board. This report communicates to the Board an understanding of how the program(s) meet the spirit of the CACREP standards as well as how effectively they meet their own educational and administrative objectives. Because the CACREP Board weighs the team’s recommendation for program accreditation very heavily in their decision-making, the report should reflect a consensus of the observations and opinions of all team members as well as create a clear image of the program so that they may render fair decisions. In noting accreditation requirements, team members must make reference to specific CACREP standards. In the report, the team must also make a final recommendation regarding accreditation of the program (2 years, 8 years, or denial). Copies of this report, without the final accreditation recommendations, are forwarded by the CACREP office to the institution’s CEO, dean of the college, department chair, and CACREP liaison prior to the Board’s final review.
Following the visit, team members are asked to complete a Fellow Team Member Evaluation for all members of the team.
Resources for Team Members
The Visitor Newsletter
Do You Know Someone Who Would Make a Great Team Member?, CACREP Reminders, Your Expertise is Valued: Please Contribute to the Development of Training Resources for New and Existing Team Chairs
Reviewing Counselor Education Programs with Online Education Components, Conducting Online Program Site Visits, So I've Been Asked to Mentor a New Team Chair. What Does That Mean?, What’s New at CACREP
Multi-Site Policy, Conducting Multi-Site Visits, Three P’s of a Successful Site Visit, Fall 2017: Site Visit Statistics and Thank You, What’s New at CACREP, Scheduling Travel for a Visit?
Becoming a CACREP Team Member
The first step to becoming a CACREP team member is to submit a complete application packet to the CACREP office. The qualifications and application procedures are available for review in the Team Member Application Form. After completing all the necessary paperwork please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. While CACREP will accept application submissions on a rolling basis, application reviews occur at the time of the next scheduled training session. Training sessions for new team members are scheduled on an as needed basis. You will be notified on the outcome of the application review around the time of the next scheduled training session.