Process

THREE PHASES FOR ACASU ACCREDITATION

Phase 1: Letter of Intent
Phase 2: Eligibility Site Visit
Phase 3: Evaluation

Once a learning community has been accredited through ACASU, subsequent accreditation cycles encompass Phase 2 and 3 only; however, all ACASU‐accredited institutions submit online annual reports, validating that they continue to be aligned with ACASU Accreditation Standards.

PHASE 1 – LETTER OF INTENT

This Letter of Intent is to provide school profile information.
The School’s responses on this application will be used to determine whether the application is

  • accepted and an Eligibility Site Visit is scheduled;
  • deferred, pending submission of additional clarification and/or documentation;
  • or rejected.

If the application is accepted, a dedicated web platform will be available for the school. This portal will be used for communication and documentation exchange throughout the accreditation process.

PHASE 2 – ELIGIBILITY SITE VISIT AND WORKSHOP

The Eligibility Site Visit is to determine if the school is prepared for the final in-depth
Evaluation. The Eligibility Site Visit is carried out by the Commissioner within 6-8 weeks after the Letter of Intent is “accepted” by the Commissioner. The Eligibility Site Visit shall last two (2) full days. The visit will include a workshop between the Commissioner and the school liaisons to review the accreditation process and the Accreditation Assessment Rubric. Approximately two weeks after the visit the school will engage in in a video-conference call with the Commissioner who will determine if the accreditation process should proceed or if the school is not ready and needs time to prepare. The ruling by the Commissioner cannot be appealed. Regardless, the Commissioner will give the school an overall basic overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the school to facilitate improvement and to review the next steps in the accreditation process. Schools who are deemed prepared by the Commissioner will move onto the full Evaluation step (below). Schools deemed unready may wait six (6) months and may repeat the process beginning with a new Letter of Intent. The new Letter of Intent will include specific improvements carried out by the school to ensure a positive outcome by the second Eligibility Site Visit.

PHASE 3 – EVALUATION

The Evaluation Phase will entail the following steps:

  1. Candidate schools shall complete a Self-study report (limit 50 pages+evidence documents) that follows the format of the ACASU Assessment Rubric providing evidence (or not) of each Indicator. The Assessment Team and Commissioner shall have one month to review the proposal. The Team and Commissioner may require additional information before moving to the Official Evaluation Site Visit.
  2. Official Evaluation Site Visit by at least two Evaluators and the Commissioner. This visit lasts three (3) days for the first school accreditation candidate and two (2) days for each additional school campus during the school year.
  3. Site-visit report will be produced by the Assessment Team within a month of the Evaluation Site Visit (limit 10 pages) and provided to the candidate school for Factual corrections by the school which must be received by the Assessment Team within fifteen days for consideration.
  4. Corrective actions by the school for required improvements must be done by the candidate school with supporting evidence provided to the Assessment Team and Commissioner within three (3) months of receipt of the revised Site-visit report.
  5. Evaluation and Voting on the accreditation recommendation by the Assessment Team and Commissioner
  6. Site-visit report and final recommendations by the Assessment Team provided to the ACASU Board at least one (1) month before ACASU Board Meeting
  7. Evaluation and Voting by the ACASU Board on the accreditation recommendations of the Assessment Team at bi-annual meeting
  8. Follow-up video conference between candidate school and Commissioner within one week of the Annual Meeting to discuss the rulings of the ACASU Board and next steps.
  9. Accreditation shall last for six (6) years with annual online reporting, required conference participation, and required fees (see below).

Fee Structure:

  1. Letter of intent: free
  2. Eligibility site visit: free. The school pays for travel & lodging expenses for the Commissioner
  3. Self-study report: US $1,500 upon submission
  4. Official site visit: US $2,000 and travel & lodging expenses for the Assessment Team and the Commissioner paid before site visit
  5. Accreditation annual fee: includes one person’s annual conference registration fee – US $2,500 for schools up to 400 students; US $2,800 for schools up to 600 students; US $3,100 for schools up to 800 students; US $3,400, for schools up to 1,000 students, US $4,100 for schools up to 1,500 students; and US $4,500 for schools with more than 1,500 students.
  6. Annual conference: Conference registration fee US $2,000 + travel & lodging expenses for at least one participant. Each school campus shall be accredited separately. There will be a 50% discount for the Self study report US $750, Official site visit fee US $1,000, and Accreditation annual fee (see above), and annual conference US $1,000 for each additional campus within same organization. In addition, Assessment visits will last two (2) days instead of three (3) days.
  7. All monetary transactions, such as payment for travel and lodging expenses of evaluators and the commissioner will be made directly to ACASU and ACASU will make the arrangements for them.
  8. Due to conflict of interest policy, schools shall not give any gifts totaling more than $100 a year to any staff or member of ACASU, including evaluating team and commissioner.