Accreditation

Karen L. O’Brien
Director, ALA Office for Accreditation
312-280-2434
kobrien@ala.org
Big Picture Questions


What is accreditation and why is it important?



The Committee on Accreditation - what is it?

...
Accreditation Goals in Higher
Education


To ensure that post-secondary educational
institutions and their units, schools...
ACCREDITATION
Quality assurance process
Voluntary
Non-governmental
Collegial
Quality Assurance


Assures the public and employers that graduates
have received a quality education



Assures student...
Guiding Principles


Accreditation enhances the quality of library
and information services through the
improvement of th...
The Office for Accreditation
Provides
 administrative leadership for
implementation of the ALA accreditation
program


c...
Office for Accreditation
Responsibilities


Providing programs, publications, and other activities
to promote the awarene...
Office for Accreditation
Responsibilities also include…


Coordinating & supporting activities directly
related to LIS ac...
Accreditation


Self-review


Program Presentation
Provides evidence for each element of the Standards
Accreditation


Collegial peer review process


External Review Panel (ERP)


Six visiting members
Screened for qualifi...
External Review Panel


Chair works with Program and Office for
Accreditation to develop program presentation
and review ...
ERP & COA
To Accredit or Not to Accredit






Panel submits draft of report to program and
Office final report to CO...
Categories of Accreditation
Precandidate for accreditation
 Candidate for accreditation
 Initial accreditation
 Continu...
The Committee on Accreditation


1924 – ALA created the Board of Education for
Librarianship;



1956 – the Board became...
What is COA?




COA is a standing committee of the ALA.
Its charge
To be responsible for the execution of the
accredita...
COA Objectives





To respond to the content and emphasis of the
Standards for Accreditation adopted by ALA Council.
T...
Current scope of COA




Master’s programs in library and information
studies that are offered under the degreegranting ...
COA Authority
COA charge:
To be responsible for the execution of the
accreditation program of ALA, and to develop and
form...
Development of Standards
Broad-based inclusive process that


Involves members of the profession and public



Culminate...
Current Standards


Adopted by ALA Council in January 2008.



Became effective for programs with visits in fall
2010. E...
External Recognition of ALA COA
CHEA officially recognizes the American
Library Association as the accrediting
agency for ...
COA Structure & Organization




12 Members appointed by the ALA Presidentelect
10 are ALA members
Equal mix of academic...
COA Terms of Appointment
ALA Personal Members


Four-year staggered terms without possibility of reappointment

Public Me...
Conflicts of Interest Policy
Typical situations requiring disclosure & review
Current of recent employment by or consultin...
For More Information
Homepage URL shortcut:

www.ala.org/accreditation


Directory of Institutions Offering Accredited Ma...
Key resources online


Accreditation Glossary



Frequently asked questions



Program Presentations Online; some ERP
R...
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ALA Accreditation MLIS @ Abu Dhabi Librarians Network Forum

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  • The ALA is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for this scope and has been advised byCHEA that notification of an expansion of scope is all that ALA would need to do. It would be during a CHEA review that ALA would present specifics as to how the expansion of scope is being handled.
  • ALA Accreditation MLIS @ Abu Dhabi Librarians Network Forum

    1. 1. Accreditation Karen L. O’Brien Director, ALA Office for Accreditation 312-280-2434 kobrien@ala.org
    2. 2. Big Picture Questions  What is accreditation and why is it important?  The Committee on Accreditation - what is it?  The Accreditation Process – how does it work?  How are standards developed and applied in the review process?  What is the profession’s role in the process?
    3. 3. Accreditation Goals in Higher Education  To ensure that post-secondary educational institutions and their units, schools, or programs meet appropriate standards of quality and integrity;  To improve the quality of education these institutions offer. Source: Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
    4. 4. ACCREDITATION Quality assurance process Voluntary Non-governmental Collegial
    5. 5. Quality Assurance  Assures the public and employers that graduates have received a quality education  Assures students that accredited programs meet the standards of the profession they seek to enter  Assures ALA members and constituents that the association is doing what’s important to them: ALAhead 2010 Strategic Planning process member survey ranked quality of the professional degree as 2nd in importance (advocacy for libraries was 1st)
    6. 6. Guiding Principles  Accreditation enhances the quality of library and information services through the improvement of the professional education available for librarians and related information professionals  The spirit of accreditation is expressed through its constructive approach to evaluation and assessment
    7. 7. The Office for Accreditation Provides  administrative leadership for implementation of the ALA accreditation program  continuity for the ALA program of accreditation
    8. 8. Office for Accreditation Responsibilities  Providing programs, publications, and other activities to promote the awareness and enhance knowledge about LIS programs  Maintaining schedule of evaluation reviews  Maintaining Directory of Institutions Offering Accredited Master’s Programs
    9. 9. Office for Accreditation Responsibilities also include…  Coordinating & supporting activities directly related to LIS accreditation  Maintain relationships with accreditor community (CHEA, ASPA)  Main contact with programs in process of review or interested in seeking accreditation
    10. 10. Accreditation  Self-review  Program Presentation Provides evidence for each element of the Standards
    11. 11. Accreditation  Collegial peer review process  External Review Panel (ERP)  Six visiting members Screened for qualifications (team work experience, education), expertise, and conflicts of interest  Trained 
    12. 12. External Review Panel  Chair works with Program and Office for Accreditation to develop program presentation and review process and logistics  Chair and program director meet with COA to make statements and answer questions
    13. 13. ERP & COA To Accredit or Not to Accredit      Panel submits draft of report to program and Office final report to COA Program responds to factual errors in report COA reviews report and prepares questions and comments COA meets with Program chair/dean and ERP Chair COA makes decision and notifies Program chair/dean and chief academic officer
    14. 14. Categories of Accreditation Precandidate for accreditation  Candidate for accreditation  Initial accreditation  Continued accreditation  Conditional accreditation  Withdrawn accreditation 
    15. 15. The Committee on Accreditation  1924 – ALA created the Board of Education for Librarianship;  1956 – the Board became the Committee on Accreditation (COA).
    16. 16. What is COA?   COA is a standing committee of the ALA. Its charge To be responsible for the execution of the accreditation program of the ALA  To develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies for the approval of Council (ALA Handbook of Organization) 
    17. 17. COA Objectives    To respond to the content and emphasis of the Standards for Accreditation adopted by ALA Council. To incorporate suggestions of the LIS profession. To conform to good practices in the accreditation process in accord with provisions set forth by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).
    18. 18. Current scope of COA   Master’s programs in library and information studies that are offered under the degreegranting authority of regionally accredited institutions located in the United States and its territories, possessions, and protectorates By agreement with the Canadian Library Association (CLA), the COA also accredits LIS master’s programs in Canada.
    19. 19. COA Authority COA charge: To be responsible for the execution of the accreditation program of ALA, and to develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies for the approval of Council. LIS master’s programs. Source: ALA Handbook of Organization
    20. 20. Development of Standards Broad-based inclusive process that  Involves members of the profession and public  Culminates in the approval of the standards by the ALA Council.
    21. 21. Current Standards  Adopted by ALA Council in January 2008.  Became effective for programs with visits in fall 2010. Early adopters in spring 2009.  Regularly reviewed by COA with a COA Standards Review Subcommittee leading
    22. 22. External Recognition of ALA COA CHEA officially recognizes the American Library Association as the accrediting agency for master’s programs in library and information studies. The ALA is also a member of ASPA and follows its Code of Good Practice.
    23. 23. COA Structure & Organization   12 Members appointed by the ALA Presidentelect 10 are ALA members Equal mix of academics and practitioners including one Canadian to represent those programs  Two members appointed from the public at large to represent public interest
    24. 24. COA Terms of Appointment ALA Personal Members  Four-year staggered terms without possibility of reappointment Public Members   Two-year appointments and may be re-appointed once; Cannot be librarians or information professionals or have studied LIS; Chair  Appointed by the president-elect for a one-year term; may be reappointed once.
    25. 25. Conflicts of Interest Policy Typical situations requiring disclosure & review Current of recent employment by or consulting arrangements involving LIS programs;  Close personal relationships with individuals at LIS programs;  Current of recent student status at an institution with an LIS program;  Any other interest a member believes might prevent objectivity or cause a reasonable person to believe member is biased. 
    26. 26. For More Information Homepage URL shortcut: www.ala.org/accreditation  Directory of Institutions Offering Accredited Master’s Programs in Library & Information Studies published  Historical list of all programs that have been reviewed and accredited by ALA since 1924  Prism newsletter published twice yearly
    27. 27. Key resources online  Accreditation Glossary  Frequently asked questions  Program Presentations Online; some ERP Reports too  Standards, Policies, and Procedures

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