Steps to Accreditation
Throughout these descriptions you’ll find links to specific pages of the TEAC Guide to Accreditation. Download a copy of the TEAC Guide to Accreditation.
Apply for membership in TEAC. Program prepares and submits eligibility application and fee.
Complete and submit an Accreditation Plan. (This form includes contact information, information about the program being submitted for accreditation, and a proposed schedule for the TEAC site visit/audit. The Accreditation Plan will need to be updated as this information changes.)
- TEAC Accreditation Plan Form (in Word format)
Prepare an Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal: The program prepares and submits an Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal presenting evidence that it produces graduates who are competent, caring, and qualified educators and that the program has the capacity to offer quality.
TEAC provides a formative review of the full draft of the Brief, offering feedback on methodological design, statistical analysis, and interpretations of the evidence. After the draft Brief has been declared clear and complete and ready for an audit, the program submits a final version electronically to TEAC and sends five bound paper copies to the TEAC office.
- Overview of the Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal
- Content of the Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal
- Definition of a program
- Guidelines for producing the Inquiry Brief and Inquiry Brief Proposal
- Checklist for preparing the Brief
- Outline for a typical Brief
- Organizing the Brief
- Sample Inquiry Briefs: Tulane, Westminster and Montana
- Checklist to accompany the submission of the Brief
- TEAC’s evaluation of the Brief
Audit Process: One defining feature of the TEAC accreditation process is the academic audit: a team of auditors visits a campus to examine and verify on site the evidence that supports the claims made in the professional education program’s Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal.
The audit process does not address the basic accreditation question of whether or not the evidence is compelling, persuasive, sufficient, or convincing. Instead, the audit, with the exception of the case for institutional commitment, determines only whether the descriptions and characterizations of evidence in the Brief are accurate. The auditors’ question is no more or no less than, Are the statements in the Brief accurate?
- Call for Comments: TEAC places the program on the TEAC website for public comment.
- Planning the TEAC audit: audit team conducts 2-4 day site visit.
- Preparing for the audit visit.
- Sample schedule for audit (modify as appropriate).
- Program responsibilities include assembling all information, documentation, and other evidence; developing the audit schedule in collaboration with TEAC; making provisions for lodging, meals, transportation, and the handling of expenses; nominating a teacher or administrator to serve on the audit team as the local practitioner; providing email addresses for faculty, students, and cooperating teachers or intern supervisors to whom TEAC will send an electronic survey; and providing administrative support as needed.
- Auditor responsibilities include understanding the program and its context, verifying the text and evidence of the Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal, corroborating the evidence, judging institutional commitment to the program, and representing TEAC.
- Producing the Audit Report: the audit team prepares audit report for the program.
Accreditation Process: The TEAC accreditation decision is made in two steps.
- First, is the Accreditation Panel: TEAC prepares a Case Analysis and sends it with the Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal and the Audit Report to the Accreditation Panel for its recommendation. The Accreditation Panel determines whether (1) the evidence and arguments in the Brief are sufficient to support the program’s claims that it meets TEAC’s quality principles and standards; (2) the program’s graduates are competent, caring, and qualified; and (3) the evidence is reliable, valid, and sufficient. Program representatives are invited to attend the Accreditation Panel’s deliberation of their case. (full explanation from the Guide)
- Second, is the Accreditation Committee: TEAC sends the Panel recommendation, Case Analysis, Audit Report, and Inquiry Brief or Inquiry Brief Proposal to the Accreditation Committee for its decision. The Accreditation Committee decides whether (1) the Accreditation Panel recommendation should be accepted and (2) the TEAC process was followed properly. (full explanation from the Guide)
- Acceptance or appeal: Program accepts or appeals TEAC’s action within 30 days.
Annual Report: The program submits an annual report and dues to TEAC on the anniversary of the accreditation decision. Refer to the full description.