Third-Party Comments

  1. What is the purpose of third-party comments?
  2. Who are a school or program’s stakeholders? Who can submit a third-party comment?
  3. Our school or program already plans to circulate drafts of the self-study document to various stakeholders for comment, throughout the process. Does this satisfy the requirement that we invite third-party comment?
  4. How should we make the request for comments?
  5. Should third-party comments be directed to the school or program, or to CEPH?
  6. What information should our request for third-party comments contain?
  7. When must we announce the opportunity to provide third-party comments?
  8. What is the deadline for submitting third-party comments?

1. What is the purpose of third-party comments?

The request for third-party comments provides a school or program’s stakeholders with the opportunity to submit feedback to CEPH on the school or program and its practices, procedures and policies.

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2. Who are a school or program’s stakeholders? Who can submit a third-party comment?

Students, alumni, faculty, staff, community partners and members of the general public are all stakeholders who may make a third-party comment during this process. Anyone who feels that he or she has relevant information may submit a third-party comment, including individuals who are also participating in the site visit and self-study, if they feel they have something additional to add.

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3. Our school or program already plans to circulate drafts of the self-study document to various stakeholders for comment, throughout the process. Does this satisfy the requirement that we invite third-party comment?

No. CEPH encourages schools and programs to solicit as much feedback as possible and to involve stakeholders as much as possible at various points in the self-study process. The third-party comment process, however, is a broader, more general call for comment. It is different from other types of feedback you will seek because 1) respondents’ comments may be sent directly to CEPH, whereas other types of feedback should go to your self-study team so that you can consider them and 2) it does not require reference to the self-study document. It may be a more general comment about the program or school’s operations, quality, etc.

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4. How should we make the request for comments?

The form of such notice is at the discretion of the school or program. Notification methods might include a notice posted in a visible location, an announcement in a regular newsletter for constituents, an advertisement in the campus newspaper, a notice published on the website, e-mail listservs, or in the mail or other means of communication.

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5. Should third-party comments be directed to the school or program, or to CEPH?

All third-party comments should be sent directly to CEPH. Provide the e-mail address for the team coordinator assigned to your visit, and provide CEPH’s mailing address as well.

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6. What information should our request for third-party comments contain?

The notice must 1) notify the public that a CEPH accreditation review is scheduled, 2) indicate that CEPH is accepting written comments until 30 days before the site visit, 3) include CEPH’s mailing address and the e-mail address of your team coordinator and 4) provide the specific deadline for submitting written comments.

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7. When must we announce the opportunity to provide third-party comments?

Approximately three months before the scheduled site visit, a school or program should notify its major stakeholders about the opportunity to submit third-party comments.

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8. What is the deadline for submitting third-party comments?

Comments from third-parties will be accepted by CEPH until 30 days before the scheduled site visit.

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