Twice a year, the CAEP Accreditation Council convenes to review and make accreditation decisions through a three-step process.
Step One: Initial Review Panel
There are three to four Council members assigned to each initial panel. They review the following:
- Self-Study Reports (as amended in response to formative response, if applicable)
- Site Team Reports (including possible provider corrections and response)
- Lead site visitor’s comments on the provider’s response
An educator preparation provider (EPP) representative, a representative from the EPP's state, and the lead site visitor may observe the panel's discussion. Clarifying questions may be directed to either the EPP representatives or lead site visitor during the initial panel. After a thorough review, the panel prepares a written recommendation on the EPP's accreditation status.
Step Two: Joint Review Panel
The six to eight members of two initial panels cross-present to ensure rigor, clarity, and consistency in accreditation recommendations in one joint panel. The joint panel may make changes to the initial panel's recommendations. The joint panel's recommendations are submitted to the full Accreditation Council.
Step Three: CAEP Accreditation Council
The final accreditation decision is made based on:
- Evidence submitted by the provider
- Findings from the Visitor Team together with their identification of the evidence
- The joint panel's recommendations relevant to the CAEP Standards
Levels of CAEP Accreditation Decisions:
- Full accreditation—awarded to providers that meet CAEP guidelines for all five standards; and
- Probationary accreditation—awarded to providers seeking continuing accreditation that meet or surpass CAEP guidelines in four standards, but fall below in the other standard;
- Denial of accreditation—for providers seeking initial accreditation that fall below CAEP guidelines in any standard;
- Revocation of accreditation—for providers seeking continuing accreditation that fall below CAEP guidelines in two or more standards;
- Exemplary or “gold” accreditation—awarded to a small number of providers that meet CAEP guidelines set for all five standards and surpass those guidelines for a combination of standards.