Being awarded accreditation is essential to a university’s reputation and the ability of its students, faculty and staff to make meaningful connections outside the institution. Here are three of the things you need to know when preparing to renew your accreditation.
1. Create a Multi-year Plan
The key idea to keep in mind is that accreditation is more of a rolling certification than anything else. You should continually be reviewing your accreditation requirements and assuring your institution is meeting or exceeding them. When you first reach out to request accreditation, you’ll already need to have the beginnings of a plan for renewal in mind. For example, Grand Canyon University accreditation renewal would begin when the university’s CEO first sent a letter of invitation to the appropriate accreditation agency.
2. Organize a Self Study
You’ll need to conduct a self study and prepare a report when you first apply for accreditation and every time you renew your accreditation. Assess your compliance with the accreditation standards and whether you’ve met your institution’s stated goals. Consider the ways in which your university can improve during the next renewal period. You’ll need to prepare and submit your self study report a few months before the site visit so the accreditation team can review it and make appropriate plans for their visit.
3. Prepare for the Site Visit
At Grand Canyon University accreditation professionals would need to be able to gauge the effectiveness of the university and its programs, analyze budgetary allocations and asses classes and faculty. You should be prepared to stagger these visits out over the course of a semester. Additionally, prepare a work area for the team and ensure faculty, staff and possibly students have interview availability.
Remember, accreditation is not a one and done deal. You will need to regularly apply to renew your certification, typically after a period of several years.