Frequently Asked Questions
- I understand that there is a manual of explanation along with the Standards. Where can I find it?
- Are the “suggested evidence of compliance” in the Accreditation Manual really just additional Standards?
- I don't understand when to notify the ARC-PA about changes in class size...there is something about an increase in maximum class size greater than 15%, but I am not sure what that is.
- What should I do if I don’t understand what a specific standard means?
- I have comments on changes I think should be made to the Standards. What should I do?
The Accreditation Manual is found in the Standards section of this site.
Are the “suggested evidence of compliance” in the Accreditation Manual really just additional Standards?
No, the suggested evidence of compliance and performance indicators are just that: suggestions for how programs can demonstrate compliance with the Standards. They are not mandatory or exclusive lists and programs should feel free to submit other documentation in addition to or instead of the suggested evidence.
I don't understand when to notify the ARC-PA about changes in class size...there is something about an increase in maximum class size greater than 15%, but I am not sure what that is.
The Standards require that programs "inform the ARC-PA in writing, no less than six months prior to implementation of proposed changes in maximum aggregate student enrollment that will result in an increase of 15 percent or greater in maximum aggregate student enrollment, as compared to the program’s most recent application for accreditation or as approved by the ARC-PA." Maximum student aggregate enrollment is defined as the "The maximum potential number of students enrolled simultaneously at any point in time." Assume a 24 month program is approved by the ARC-PA for a maximum aggregate enrollment of 60 students representing 2 classes of 30 each.
The program has a full second year class of 30 students and would like to accept a new incoming class of 35 students but is unclear if it should contact the ARC-PA. According to the 15% rule, the program could increase the entering class by 5 students and still remain below the maximum it would be allowed (15% above 60 = 69) before it would have to contact the ARC-PA. However, if the program wanted to continue to accept classes of 35 students each, it would have to contact the ARC-PA as in the next acceptance cycle of 35, it would exceed the 15% above the maximum aggregate (35+35=70) for which it was approved by the most recent accreditation action.
Programs must also notify the ARC-PA if they plan any increase in their maximum class size, defined as "maximum potential number of students enrolled for each admission cycle." In the example above, the program would thus need to notify the ARC-PA of its intent to increase the entering class from 30 to 35 students. Such notification will allow both the program and the ARC-PA to track expanding class sizes and aggregate enrollment, which are especially important in relation to program resources.
Forms related to reporting proposed changes to the ARC-PA are available in the Continuing Accreditation section of this site.
When in doubt about the meaning of a standard, contact the ARC-PA offices for clarification.
Anyone with comments related to the Standards may provide their comments to the ARC-PA national office. The ARC-PA has a standing committee that reviews and evaluates the Standards and comments received related to them on an ongoing basis. Clarification and changes to wording of the standards to provide clarification can be made at either of the two ARC-PA meetings per year. Substantial changes to the Standards are made every three to five years. Comments may be sent via email to the ARC-PA.