COE Accreditation Policies and Procedures: Training

December 2015 

19. Training and Support

19.1. New Member Training

The Council provides substantive training and mentoring for new Council members, who must be trained prior to participation as an evaluation committee member. This training allows members to assume increased responsibility as their knowledge and understanding of the policies and procedures of the Council is demonstrated. The Council's Committee on Evaluation Chair assigns site visit teams in accordance with the competence and readiness of site visitors appointed to serve.

Newly-elected COE members receive an orientation manual, the current COE policies and procedures manual, an instructional video on interpretation of the standards of accreditation, and a book published by CHEA on the history and future of higher education accreditation in the US. New members attend the annual COE site visitor training and receive two hours of formal training the evening before their first COE meeting. The COE Chair assigns a senior COE member as a mentor to each incoming COE member; mentors also attend the evening training session. All training focuses on member responsibilities and COE practices.

The Chair and COE mentors review each standard, citing examples of activities conducted to ascertain compliance with the standards at the colleges, and outcomes related to deficiency in meeting the standards. All COE members attend the session which serves as a review for experienced members. General information regarding such matters as confidentiality, non-confrontational conduct of the visit, time commitment for the visit, and expected level of involvement are also discussed.

During the first COE meeting attended by new members (fall), a minimum of two hours are devoted to continuing education of all COE members. The topic is selected by the incoming Council Chair.

19.2. On-site Training

Site team members are required to arrive at the college one-half day early. The site team chair and COE staff provide refresher training based on initial site team training and the instructional video in the interpretation of standards, which are provided to novice members at least two weeks in advance of the site visit. Further, prior to each site visit, the chair of the site visit team meets with all team members in executive session, to outline the plan for the visit, describe situations arising in the self-study which may require special attention, and reemphasize the specific assignments of each team member. This orientation session must be attended by all site team members.