I.10 Candidacy status and initial accreditation of an additional program
A school with a program that is already accredited by the ALA and that is seeking initial accreditation of an additional master’s program must file an application for candidacy status at least two (2) years before the date of the anticipated comprehensive review. The review of the candidate program may occur at the same time as the regularly scheduled comprehensive review of the currently accredited program (in-cycle) or at a different time (off-cycle) upon request of the school. All candidate programs must have an on-site comprehensive review.
I.10.1 Requirements for candidacy status for an additional program
An application for candidacy status of an additional program must be submitted to the Chair of the COA in care of the Office for Accreditation. The candidacy application must include:
- A letter from the chief executive officer (CEO) of the institution requesting candidacy status for the additional program. The letter must also contain a statement that the institution understands that candidacy status in no manner guarantees or implies that the program will be accredited or that accreditation is automatic at the end of the candidacy period.
- A letter from the Dean of the school in which the program is located and, if applicable, the director or chair of the program, requesting candidacy status for the additional program. The letter must also contain a statement that the institution and the program and/or school understand that candidacy status in no manner guarantees or implies that the program will be accredited or that accreditation is automatic at the end of the candidacy period.
If the comprehensive review of the additional program does not occur at the same time as a previously scheduled review (i.e., off-cycle), the application must also include a report describing how the additional program meets each element of the standards and a projected budget for the candidacy period.
I.10.2 Review by the COA
The COA reviews the application for candidacy status at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The COA takes one of the following actions: 1) to grant candidacy status or 2) to deny candidacy status. A decision to deny candidacy status to a program is not appealable.
I.10.3 Length of candidacy status
A program may remain in candidacy status for two (2) years. A one-year extension before the comprehensive review is possible pending the approval of the COA. Following the comprehensive review, the COA may vote to retain a program’s candidacy status and schedule another comprehensive review.
The Director of the Office is available to advise on the ALA accreditation process and on the development of reports that are to be submitted to the Committee.
Candidate programs are not listed in the directory of ALA-accredited programs.
Program and school literature must indicate that an additional program is in candidacy status and must include this statement:
The [name of program] at [Name of school and institution] has been granted candidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association. Candidacy status is an indication that [name of school and program] has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation for an additional program. Candidacy does not indicate that the additional program is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation of the additional program by ALA.
I.10.4 Reporting to the COA
Each year the candidate program is required to submit the annual statistical information collected from all ALA-accredited programs. This report is due in the Office for Accredi-tation by December 1 each year.
For off-cycle reviews of additional programs, the program must also submit a detailed annual progress report to the COA. This report should indicate what progress the program has made in reaching programmatic objectives, obstacles that have been encountered, and its plans to address these obstacles.
The COA reviews these reports and sends a response to the dean and the CEO of the institution. This response is not an indication or checklist of steps that must be taken to achieve accreditation; rather, it is the COA’s response to the efforts to obtain accreditation.
If, on review of the annual reports, the COA determines that the program is not yet ready to undergo a comprehensive review, it may grant a one-year extension of candidacy status to the program.
No application fee is required if the additional program is reviewed at the same time as the currently accredited program.
If the comprehensive review of the additional program occurs off-cycle, a nonrefundable application fee is required (See Section I.23.1 for the current fee schedule). The program is responsible for all expenses related to the comprehensive review. If the Director or other Office staff member is invited to visit the institution, the institution will be billed for travel-related expenses.