In-Person ACCET Visit

The In-Person ACCET Visit blog is a follow on to an previous one about how New America College’s receives and maintains our accreditation. You can read the earlier blog here. For this one we spoke with our Executive Director about the in-person portion of the process.

In a previous blog NAC shared what the accreditation process is and why it’s important. Recently NAC had an in-person ACCET visit, the organization behind accreditation. Could you explain why they make an in-person visit?

ACCET is required by the Department of Education to visit schools in person for most types of accreditation visit. Since NAC’s classes are in-person only, this is perfect for us! Having the ACCET team onsite allows them to visit our classes to observe teaching methods, speak to students and teachers, and check administrative files.

What kind of preparation is necessary for the in-person visit from ACCET? How long are they here?

We started the process in May 2023, when our Executive Director Megan Kobzej went to a two-day workshop at the ACCET conference in Seattle. We then sent in a formal application in July 2023. From September to the end of October 2023, we wrote our ASER (Analytic Self-Evaluation Report). It ended up being about 75 pages, with hundreds of pages of exhibits. The exhibits show examples of NAC following the required policies and standards. Before the in-person visit, we provided additional examples of student and teacher files, policies, and other documentation. 

The two-person ACCET team visited us for two days. They interviewed the admin team, plus teachers and students. They reviewed our files, looked at textbooks, perused our learning management system, etc. It was an intense two days!

The admin team after the in-person ACCET visit.

What does the visit mean for NAC’s accreditation?

We actually don’t have an answer for our accreditation status yet! We will receive a full report back 30 days after the visit, then we will be up on the Commission slate in the April meeting. We’ll receive notification of the Commission action/vote at some point in May 2024. It’s a long wait!

What else is important for us to know about this process?

Accreditation is a voluntary process and it makes us a much better school. We establish rules and policies and adhere to standards that are all for the benefit of the student. ACCET continuously asks – “How does this benefit your students and their learning?” That’s the question we ask, too – “How does what we are doing at NAC make our program stronger and better for our students?” 

NAC has been accredited by ACCET since April 2013. We received two three-year grants. Our most recent grant in 2019 was a five-year grant. We’ll keep you updated on our results this time around!

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