Mini Manual 6: Program Responsibilities for Maintaining CACREP Accreditation
Once accredited, CACREP programs have responsibilities in order to maintain their accreditation. For example, program faculty must submit an Interim Report if they were accredited for a two-year period and have minor standard-related deficiencies cited that require follow-up. Other reporting responsibilities include submission of the following reports by all accredited programs: 1) an annual updating of program-related outcomes on the program’s website, 2) the preparation of a Mid-Cycle Report during the 4th year of the 8-year accreditation cycle for review by the CACREP Board, and 3) completion of an annual Vital Statistics Report survey. In addition, annual verification of the program liaison and other personnel contact information is requested when the annual maintenance fees are invoiced. This section will highlight what the program faculty must do to maintain their accredited status.
A program that was granted accreditation for a two-year period must submit an Interim Report prior to the end of the two-year period addressing the standards and/or policies cited in the accreditation decision letter. An Interim Report is a report that provides narrative responses and documentation demonstrating how the program addresses the deficiencies noted in relation to the cited standards and/or policies. The following format is recommended for the Interim Report:
- Identify and restate the standard that the Board has marked as “not met”;
- State the Board’s requirement for each standard marked as “not met”; and
- State the institution’s response for each standard marked as “not met”, including additional supporting documentation as warranted.
Submit a copy of the Interim Report through our online submission page. The file should be labeled with the institution’s name, date the report was created, and indicated as the Interim Report.
The CACREP Board of Directors will review the Interim Report at the next scheduled meeting and make one of three decisions:
- Continued accreditation to the end of the eight-year cycle with all standards-related deficiencies removed
- Continued accreditation for an additional two-year period with one or more standards-related deficiencies remaining in effect
- Denial of continued accreditation
If the Board decision is for continued accreditation for an additional two-year period, the program faculty are required to submit a second Interim Report prior to the end of the additional two-year period addressing any remaining standards-related deficiencies. If a program fails to address satisfactorily all standards cited in the accreditation decision letter by the end of the four-year period following initial accreditation, denial of continued accredited status for the program will automatically occur, unless the institution chooses to voluntarily withdraw the program from further review.
Update of Program-Related Outcomes on the Program’s Website
As required in Standard 4.E, 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. CACREP staff will send a reminder to the program liaison in April each year for the URL. Once the CACREP office receives the URL to the Program Outcomes Report, staff will add that link to the program information found under the “program description” tab beside each program on the Directory of Accredited Programs.
Annual Vital Statistics Survey
Each accredited program is required to complete the Vital Statistics Survey each year and submit it to the CACREP office by December 31. CACREP uses the information provided in the form to update the CACREP program databases and the Directory of Accredited Programs. Data on program student and faculty numbers, demographic information, and answers to questions on how the program addresses particular curricular considerations assists CACREP in tracking information used for program development and in providing services to prospective counseling students. The Vital Statistics Reports are mandatory; however, the information they contain is not used in any accreditation review and is only reported in aggregate.
Annual Maintenance Fee and Program Contact Information
An accreditation maintenance fee is due from each program every year. The fee amount is based on the number of accredited programs at an institution and how multiple programs at a single institution are structured and were put forward for accreditation review. View current fee information
An invoice for the annual maintenance fee is sent to the academic unit in April of each year. Payment must be postmarked and sent to the CACREP office by the following September 15th. Institutions that send Annual Maintenance Fees postmarked later than September 15th will be assessed a $200 late fee. If an institution does not pay the Annual Maintenance Fee and the Annual Maintenance Late Fee by the following November 15th, accreditation may be suspended until both fees are paid.
CACREP liaisons are sent a memorandum with their annual fees and newly accredited programs are provided with login information to update their program contact information. It is the responsibility of the liaison to maintain current and accurate program information (e.g., contact information, administrative information, and program descriptions) on the CACREP website and to ensure that the program is aware of the due dates for required reports.
A Mid-Cycle Report is required to maintain CACREP accredited status. Halfway through the accreditation cycle, programs must inform CACREP of any program-related changes that have occurred since the most recent full accreditation review and demonstrate continued adherence to the CACREP Standards. Institutions are notified by the CACREP office that a Mid-cycle Report is due when annual maintenance fee invoices are sent in April. The report is due by the following September 15th to allow reviews to be completed before January when the CACREP Board of Directors makes decisions regarding whether the report can be accepted or requires further follow-up. If the Board has questions about a program’s compliance with the Standards, it may request additional clarification and documentation prior to granting approval of the Mid-Cycle Report. Should concerns remain following the Board’s review of the supplemental information and document, the Board will initiate a review of the accredited status and may impose conditions that a program must implement by a specified date.
Submit a copy of the Mid-Cycle Report through our online submission page. The file should be labeled with the institution’s name, date of the report was created, and indicated as the Mid-Cycle Report. Failure to submit a Mid-Cycle Report may result in the suspension of a program’s accreditation.
Policies Related to Maintaining Accredited Status:
- Policies Governing the Pre-Application and Application Review Stages 1.l – Outcomes Reporting
- Policies Governing Timeline 2.g – Extension of Accredited Status
- Policies Governing Timeline 2.h – Meeting New Standards
- Policies Governing Accreditation Decisions 3.d – Revocation of Accreditation for Failure to Submit Report
- Policies Governing Recognition of Graduates 5.b – Graduates of Withdrawn or Denied Programs
- Policies Governing Fees 6.b – Fees Set by CACREP Board
- Policies Governing Fees 6.f – Revocation of Accreditation for Failure to Submit Fees
- Policies Governing Program Changes Mid-Cycle 8.b – Impact of Institutional Accreditation Decisions
- Policies Governing Transitions to New Standards 10.a – Use of New Standards is Encouraged
- Policies Governing Transitions to New Standards 10.c – Transition to New Program Area Before all Students have Graduated
- Policies Governing Complaints 12.a – Complaint Policy
FAQs Related to Maintaining Accredited Status:
- When should my program submit its self-study for reaccreditation?
- 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?