The self-study is the process of evaluating programs as well as the report that documents the results. Providers using the Selected Improvement pathway must demonstrate how they are meeting each of the five CAEP standards. There are some basic steps to consider in beginning the self-study process using the CAEP standards. These are not mandates or requirements. They are suggestions for how a provider might proceed to address the CAEP standards and its accreditation process and to initiate the self-study process.
- Review. Study and understand the CAEP standards, process, and responsibilities. Study the five standards and their components and refer to the glossary for definitions. Review the Accreditation Handbook and access the website (www.caepnet.org) for the most up-to-date guidance on the evidence for the self-study. When in doubt, contact CAEP staff. All components under each standard must be addressed in the self-study.
- Inventory available evidence. The provider should consider developing an inventory of the evidence that it currently uses on candidate and completer performance and on other CAEP requirements, noting what evidence it relies on and uses, what it does not, and what it might begin to collect. The provider should address the prompts under each standard.
- Gather information, categorize and prepare evidence to be uploaded, and draft tables to be completed. Invest time in examining the evidence thoroughly. CAEP suggests that the provider begin to categorize its evidence into the standards and components. Information that will eventually appear in the Self-Study Report include (a) the provider overview, (b) evidence and summary statement for each standard where the provider makes the case that the standard has been met, (c) responding to previously cited areas for improvement, if any, (d) evidence and summary statement of the integration of cross-cutting themes, and (e) the Selected Improvement Plan (SIP). Information is also requested in the overview section on the programs offered by the provider and institutional structure.
- Take stock. CAEP suggests that providers meet with its stakeholders, including P-12 districts and candidates, to review and seek feedback on what was learned from steps 1–3.
- Analyze and discuss the evidence and draft of the Selected Improvement Plan (SIP). Analyze and interpret the evidence and assessment results. Develop the plan for action.
- Formulate summary statements. Draft a set of statements that makes clear what the provider believes it accomplishes with regard to CAEP's standards and its two cross-cutting themes. These statements should be consistent with public statements of the provider’s quality and the performance of its candidates. In addition the statements should be linked to the provider’s evidence, including assessments and results.
- Draft and submit the Self-Study Report Compile a complete draft of the Self-Study Report, including evidence, summary statements, and the SIP. Review the draft with stakeholders, revise as needed, and upload the final version into CAEP’s Accreditation information Management System (AIMS). Evidence should be tagged to the appropriate standard(s), component(s), and crossing-cutting themes, as well as for quality indicators.