The Commission held its final 2017 meeting on December 1st – 3rd. Throughout the year CEA has continued to conduct accreditation actions premised on the CEA Standards and governed by CEA’s Policies and Procedures. An overview of the Commission’s recent activities follows. Please contact Mary Reeves, CEA’s executive director, should you have questions about these or any other CEA matters.
CEA now accredits 335 programs and institutions. The full range of accreditation decision types are now regularly represented on the Commission’s agenda, including initial, reaccreditation, and continued accreditations; accreditation of additional branches; results of appeals; expirations; and voluntary withdrawals, including closures. As we are now 5 years from the 2013 Accreditation Act peak and initial accreditation actions are for a total of 5 years, the number of accredited sites undergoing reaccreditation is similarly beginning to grow. Despite the enrollment contraction our field is experiencing, initial applications continue apace and reflect a broad range of applicant types.
Standards review and modifications
The Standards Review Committee (SRC) is charged with regular, data-driven review of the CEA Standards. Throughout 2017 the SRC focused on the Administrative and Fiscal Capacity, Student Services, Recruiting, and Program Development, Planning, and Review standards. After analysis of site comments, reviewer comments, Commission findings, and compliance rates with these standards, the SRC proposed clarifying edits to the context and/or discussion sections of several standards. It is important to note that no changes to standards themselves were proposed or approved, and the edits adopted did not change the intent of any standard. The redline version of the 2017 standards showing the edits, along with the 2018 CEA Standards, will shortly be available on the CEA website.
CEA Policies and Procedures updates
The CEA Policies and Procedures (available at http://cea-accredit.org/about-cea/policies-and-procedures) undergoes a full review annually; the next review will take place in early 2018. At its August and December 2017 meetings, the Commission approved changes to three sections of the document. Section 7.6 regarding notifications related to voluntary withdrawals was modified to allow for the CEA executive committee to take action to accept the notification if it occurs between Commission meetings, so that required notifications to other agencies and the field can be made within 30 days of the effective date of the notification. Section 8.6 regarding how Interim Reports are processed was modified to account for changes in the required structure of the report, state when invoices would be issued, and to remove language describing internal processing which was too specific for inclusion in a Policies and Procedures document. Section 12 regarding the implementation of compliance actions and adverse actions was revised to state the conditions under which an extension of time to come into adequate compliance with standards will be granted for good cause. These changes will be reflected in the 2018 CEA Policies and Procedures to be posted online in late January.
2017 Constituent Council support activities
CEA is committed to developing events and resources to support accredited sites, as called for by the CEA Strategic Plan, and in 2017 implemented several initiatives focused on this priority. Following needs analysis in each case, four new webinars were conducted (related to completing the multiple parts of the Annual Report including the new on-line Sustaining Fees form, preparing to submit the self-study report, and preparing to undergo a site visit.) In June, CEA conducted the annual Constituent Council meeting in a virtual format for the first time, with 134 attendees. CEA conducted 3 regular accreditation workshops, 6 custom workshops, and 7 custom consultations; over 400 individual participants attended, including individuals working at all levels within IEPs and thus extending information about CEA to a wide range of administrators and instructional personnel throughout our field. All events have garnered 90%+ approval evaluations. Additional initiatives will be announced in 2018.
2018 Constituent Council meeting June 8, 2018
Given the overwhelmingly positive evaluations of the 2017 Constituent Council meeting virtual format, the Commission has established that the 2018 meeting will also be conducted virtually. The 2018 Constituent Council meeting will be held on Friday, June 8, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. The time and agenda will be formally issued in March/April, as required by the CEA Policies and Procedures.
It’s my pleasure to announce that from among its current members, the Commission has elected Richard McDorman as 2018 chair-elect (and to subsequently serve as 2019 chair), and Sheryl Meyer as 2018 treasurer. They will join Cindy Ochoa, CEA’s 2018 chair, on the CEA executive committee.
New Commissioners elected for 2018
We welcome four new commissioners to serve 2018 – 2020 terms. Three Commissioners were elected by the Constituent Council: Doreen Ewert, Louise Gobron, and Stacy Sabraw. One commissioner was appointed as a public member: Sherif Barsoum. The CEA Nominating Committee is charged with ensuring that the Commission profile maintains a balance of domains of expertise, types of experiences, and range of perspectives, as well as including administrators and academics/educators/practitioners, from year to year. The Nominating Committee conducts a detailed process of soliciting applications, interviewing candidates and references, and determining the slate each year. The Call for Nominations for 2018 commissioner applicants will be published March 1, 2018.
On a personal note
I also would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Commissioners for their professionalism, commitment and acumen and the CEA Staff for their expertise, efficiency and prudence for making my term a memorable one. CEA has continued to be a premier accreditation agency that serves programs, institutions, people – and above all the profession. I personally feel privileged to be a part of this organization. Accordingly, I encourage each and every professional in our field to actively seek ways to engage with CEA, to strengthen one’s knowledge and skills and contribute to the field.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.