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Types of Accreditation Site Visits

November, 2012

Validation visits are conducted to programs with accreditation-continued status. Such visits are scheduled at the direction of the Commission to review the program’s compliance with the Standards and any required information submitted by programs via the portal.  The visits also examine the program’s demonstration of continuous oversight of processes and outcomes of education.

Focused visits may be conducted at any time to evaluate a specific Standards related problem(s) identified by a site visit team, the ARC-PA, or in response to a concern received by the ARC-PA. Details about requirements for the focused visit are conveyed to the program in writing prior to the visit.  Focused visits usually are conducted by specialist visitor(s), who must include commissioner(s) of the ARC-PA or ARC-PA staff.

There are a series of three Provisional Visits.

  1. An initial provisional site visit is conducted to a new developing program that is within six to 12 months of matriculation of students.  This visit verifies an institution’s ability to begin a program in compliance with the Standards, and the program’s readiness to matriculate students. 
  2. A provisional monitoring visit is conducted within six months of graduation of the first cohort of students.  This visit verifies the sponsoring institution’s and provisionally accredited program’s progress in delivering the program in compliance with the Standards and their ability to continue to do so. 
  3. A final provisional visit is conducted 18-24 months following the second provisional review by the commission.  This visit verifies the institution’s and program’s demonstration of compliance with the Standards including their ability to incorporate and report the findings of a robust self-assessment process as required by the ARC-PA. 

Distant Campus Expansion Visits are conducted to programs with accreditation-continuing status that are applying to expand to a distant campus location.  The visit is conducted at the site of the proposed campus. Depending on the accreditation history of the applicant program, a concurrent visit to the main program campus may be required.