Accreditation is the process by which an entity (in this case, a program/school) is meeting all formal requirements of academic excellence, curriculum, facilities, etc. There are two accrediting bodies associated with audiology programs. The purpose of accreditation is to maintain educational and clinical standards across all programs.
What is the ACAE?
The purpose of the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) is to recognize, reinforce, and promote high quality performance in AuD educational programs through a rigorous verification process. This process will produce evidence that AuD programs have prepared graduates who are qualified to be doctoral-level audiologists. It also will assure communities of interest that graduates will be able to function according to the national scope of practice, as defined by the professional organization.
What is the CAA?
The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) was established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The intention of accreditation is to promote excellence in educational preparation while assuring the public that graduates of accredited programs are educated in a core set of knowledge and skills required to qualify for state and national credentials for independent professional practice.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Most graduate students focus on the requirements the accrediting body sets for graduation, such as clinical skill development, how to obtain clinical hours, research/capstone projects, and requirements for externships. Additionally, graduation from an accredited program is needed to obtain state licensure. When considering programs, it is important to be aware of the accrediting body, if they are currently accredited, and when the accreditation is up for renewal.
The competency of the profession is dependent on program standards. “Students play a pivotal role in ensuring that the quality of graduate audiology programs is commensurate with the needs of practicing audiologists and their patients” (Joshi, 2016). With the ultimate goal of becoming independent practicing audiologists, students should expect high standards for graduate education.
ACAE Academic Programs, ACAE Accreditation Action | Nationwide. (2016). http://acaeaccred.org/programs/
Joshi, A. (2016). “Why Students and Universities should be interested in ACAE.” Audiology Today. http://online.qmags.com/AT0116?sessionID=D8404E0ABF0090B5E9900F913&cid=3102486&eid=19682#pg80&mode2