School of Audiology - Accreditation FAQs
Does the proposed AuD program have regional accreditation through the University?
Yes! Pacific University is an accredited member of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The NWCCU awarded regional accreditation to the University for the proposed Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree program in January 2012.
What is the status of the proposed AuD program’s professional accreditation application?
Pacific University submitted an application for candidacy accreditation for the proposed Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree program to the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), the accrediting body of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The CAA conducted a site visit on May 31 – June 1, 2012, as part of the candidacy accreditation review process. After the site visit, the proposed AuD program was considered for candidacy accreditation at the CAA’s next board meeting in July 2012.
What is CAA candidacy accreditation?
The CAA provides the opportunity for new programs seeking accreditation status to participate in a pre-accreditation, CAA Candidacy Program. Initiated in 1991 and last revised in 2007, the CAA's current "stepwise" candidacy model allows new programs to come into compliance with the CAA Standards for Accreditation in a logical sequence while being closely monitored by the CAA.
Will the public have an opportunity to comment on the proposed AuD program’s candidacy accreditation application?
Yes! Pacific University will hold a public meeting to obtain input from its constituents and the general public on the School of Audiology’s application to the CAA for pre-accreditation candidacy for the proposed Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree program. The meeting, required by the CAA, took place at 4pm PDT on Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Creighton Hall (222 SE 8th Ave, Room 518) on the University’s Health Professions Campus in Hillsboro, Oregon. Attendees were able to ask questions and comment on the proposed curriculum and other details.
How can I get more information about the CAA Standards for Accreditation?
A copy of the CAA Standards for Accreditation and/or the CAA policy on public comment may be obtained by doing one of the following.
Why did Pacific University chose to pursue CAA accreditation instead of ACAE accreditation?
The Oregon Administrative Rules for audiology (and speech-language pathology) licensure stipulate: “(4) For the purposes of licensing speech-language pathologists under ORS 681.260 or audiologists under ORS 681.264, and for purposes of student placement in supervised field work under ORS 681.230: (a) the “accrediting organization” that approves graduate programs is the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.” Further, the State of Oregon requires that a degree, in order to be valid for public or licensed employment in Oregon, must be earned at an institution accredited by an U.S. accreditor recognized as such by the U.S. Department of Education (http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/accreditation.html). The Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) was recently recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), so the State of Oregon’s acceptance of ACAE accreditation may change in the future. At this time, however, the CAA is the recognized accrediting body.
Can I apply to Pacific University's proposed AuD program before candidacy accreditation is received?
Yes! Students were able to apply for admission to the proposed AuD program before candidacy accreditation was received. Admission applications are completed via the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS), a service of the Council on Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). Admitted students were not able to enroll in classes, until the program received candidacy accreditation.
What happens after CAA candidacy accreditation is received?
After CAA candidacy accreditation was received, admitted students were able to enroll in classes for the new AuD program, which began in Fall 2012, after receipt of candidacy accreditation. Programs with candidacy accreditation status are monitored by the CAA for continued development and compliance with their accreditation standards through submission of annual progress reports throughout the candidacy term. This process helps to ensure that new programs remain on track to meet the standards for accreditation. An application for accreditation would then be submitted to the CAA no later than 24 months after enrollment of the first cohort.
What are the possible risks and opportunities associated with attending a program during its candidacy accreditation term?
Because the CAA requires that new programs achieve candidacy accreditation status prior to enrolling students, Pacific University feels that the risks associated with attending the new Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree program during its candidacy accreditation term would be minimal. Pacific University's Board of Trustees, University Council, and Cabinet have also reviewed the School of Audiology’s plan for the proposed AuD program in depth and are confident of its success.
Opportunities associated with attending the proposed AuD program include the opportunity to work collaboratively with faculty and administration in charting new territory for the institution and for AuD education. Student feedback is essential to all programs, but especially to new programs. Students who become part of the inaugural AuD cohort will become partners with the University, the College, and the School in discussions and reflections on the curriculum throughout the program.
What is Pacific University's record when it comes to getting new programs accredited?
Pacific has a long history of successful accreditation, particularly when it comes to professional health programs. Accredited programs within the College of Health Professions include Dental Health Science, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Professional Psychology. The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program is a particularly relevant example, since, much like the planned Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree program, it is based on a three-year, integrated block curriculum.
The College’s experience in successfully achieving accreditation for new health programs is further reassurance for prospective students that Pacific University's AuD program is not only an exciting, progressive choice, but also one with the resources and support of a College with a proven track record.
What is the procedure for submitting a complaint to the CAA about a program?
Per the CAA, a complaint about any accredited program or program in candidacy status may be submitted to the CAA by any student, instructional staff member, speech-language pathologist, audiologist, and/or member of the public. Complaints must (a) be against an accredited graduate education program or program in candidacy status in audiology and/or speech language pathology; (b) relate to the Standards for Accreditation of Entry-Level Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology; and (c) clearly describe the specific nature of the conduct being complained about, which must have occurred at least in part within 5 years of the date the complaint is filed, the relationship of the complaint to the accreditation standards, and provide supporting data for the charge.
Further, complaints must: (a) include verification, if the complaint is from a student or faculty/instructional staff member, that the complainant exhausted all pertinent institutional grievance and review mechanisms before submitting a complaint to the CAA; (b) include the complainant's name, address and telephone contact information and the complainant's relationship to the program in order for the Accreditation Office staff to verify the source of the information; and (c) be signed and submitted in writing via U.S. mail, overnight courier, or hand delivery to the following address: Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850.
For more information, visit CAA complaint procedure.