I.15 Accreditation decisions
Accreditation decisions are made at the ALA COA’s regularly scheduled meetings held in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting and the ALA Annual Conference. The decision about a particular program is made at the meeting immediately following the conclusion of the comprehensive visit of the program. Accreditation decisions are based on the Program Presentation, the report of the ERP, the optional program response to the ERP report, a meeting with the Dean and the Chair of the ERP, and a review of correspondence regarding regularly submitted biennial narrative and statistical reports as well as required special reports submitted since the last comprehensive review.
Following this meeting, the COA’s decision is formalized into a Decision Document. The Office sends an electronic copy of the Decision Document to the Dean of the school and to the CEO of the institution and sends the original by US mail no later than ten (10) days following the end of the ALA conference at which the decision was made.
The Committee’s decisions are diagnostic, not prescriptive. Therefore, when the COA has issues or concerns regarding compliance with the Standards, it will state the areas of concern and require reports that describe how the program plans or takes actions to achieve or maintain compliance.
The Decision Document contains the following elements:
- The name of the institution and school;
- The name of all ALA-accredited programs offered by the school;
- Accreditation status of the program(s) and the date(s) when this status was granted;
- The date of the next comprehensive review;
- Issues or concerns regarding compliance with the standards, a list of required reports, and a schedule for submission of those reports.
The COA schedules the next comprehensive review as part of its accreditation decision. For continued accreditation, the next comprehensive review is normally scheduled seven (7) years after the last comprehensive review.
In the event of an accreditation action of conditional accreditation, denial of initial accreditation, or withdrawal of accreditation, the COA identifies the sections of the Standards with which the program is out of compliance. The appeal process is outlined in Section IV.