Preparing for an Accreditation Review
- When will my next site visit take place?
- When and how do I schedule my site visit?
- When will we receive an accreditation decision?
- Preparing for your site visit
- Payments to CEPH
When will my next site visit take place?
Accredited schools and programs: Note your expiration date. This date can be found in the letter that you received with your last accreditation decision. Contact CEPH staff if you have difficulty locating this date. Your site visit will be in the semester that includes or immediately precedes the date.
For example, if the Council conferred accreditation through July 1, 2013, your site visit should take place in winter/spring 2013, between January and June. If your accreditation continues through December 31, 2013, your site visit should take place in fall/winter 2013, between September and December.
Applicants: Note your self-study due date. This date was provided in the initial letter that you received from CEPH accepting your application. Contact CEPH staff if you have difficulty locating this date. The site visit will be in semester (spring/fall) AFTER that date.
For example, if your preliminary self-study is due on October 16, 2012, your site visit will be in the spring semester of 2013, sometime between January and June.
When and how do I schedule my site visit?
CEPH schedules site visits on a first-come, first-served basis, starting approximately a year and a half to two years before the visit. CEPH staff will mail each program director and dean a letter approximately two years before the visit, inviting the program director or dean to contact CEPH for site visit scheduling.
Site visits typically take place on Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday for programs and Monday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Friday for schools.
First, look at your academic and other calendar events during the 4-6 month period that will include your site visit. Establish three to four sets of preferred dates. These dates should typically be during times when classes are in session, since site visitors will need to meet with a broad array of faculty and students, and this is difficult to accomplish when visits are scheduled during vacation periods. Site visitors will also want to meet with university leaders such as the president or provost and other leaders such as the college dean (for programs) or vice president for health sciences (for schools that are structured to report to such a position).
Next, contact Mollie Mulvanity with your preferred dates. She will communicate with you to confirm dates and will also send a formal letter to the dean or program director outlining the site visit dates and all due dates leading up to the review.
When will we receive an accreditation decision?
The CEPH Board of Councilors will review the report at its next scheduled decision-making meeting, provided that the meeting is at least four months in the future. In general, reports from site visits held in September through January will be considered at the “spring” meeting, and those from site visits held in February through June will be considered at the “fall” meeting. Spring and fall meeting dates are determined approximately one year in advance. See CEPH’s schedule of upcoming Council meeting dates for the list of those that are currently scheduled.
You will receive the Council’s decision in writing, via e-mail, within 30 days of the meeting’s conclusion. We cannot provide decision information by phone.
Preparing for your site visit
Planning and preparing for a site visit typically begins approximately two years in advance.
- After scheduling your site visit dates, plan for the Accreditation Orientation Workshop (AOW). All applicants must attend the AOW. Accredited schools and programs preparing for a self-study and site visit often find it helpful to attend, as it covers the self-study and site visit process in depth. The AOW is approximately 10 hours of training over a two-day period and is held in Washington, DC. CEPH typically sponsors one AOW per year during the summer months, and attendance is by invitation only. The next scheduled AOW is indicated on CEPH’s Dates to Remember page. For more information on the AOW, contact Kristen Varol.
- Plan for a consultation visit, if applicable. All applicants must host an on-site consultation visit. Accredited schools and programs preparing for a self-study and site visit may find it helpful.
- Assign key personnel to attend to the logistics of the site visit. Logistics will include reserving meeting rooms and hotel rooms, providing computer/printer access and arranging meals, and general guidance is available here. No later than one month before the visit, the school or program should complete this form and send a copy to each member of the site visit team.
- Notify your stakeholders of the third-party comment period approximately three months before the site visit. CEPH has provided answers to frequently asked questions about third-party comments.
- Begin drafting an agenda for the site visit. Draft agendas should include at least tentative names/titles for participants in each session and should list the criteria most relevant for discussion at each session. Contact the CEPH staff member assigned to your visit no later than eight weeks prior to the site visit with a preliminary draft agenda.
- While you are preparing your self-study, prepare a list of items that will appear in the on-site resource file. The on-site resource file contains lengthy documents that cannot or need not be included in the self-study and appendix. You must send each site visit team member an index of the on-site resource file when you send the final self-study. A sample is available here.
- Contact the CEPH staff member assigned to your visit with any questions.
Payments to CEPH
- Payments can be made only by check, payable to Council on Education for Public Health.
- We cannot accept credit card payments.
- If you have special concerns (eg, you need certain wording on the invoice, you need to pay in one fiscal year rather than the next, you need to prepay), talk to John Conklin. He can typically arrange the documentation you require.
- See the current fee schedule for for costs associated with accreditation.