I’m going to be transparent with you. I have good news and bad news:
The bad news is that we’re here to talk about everyone’s favorite subject - accreditation.
The good news is that, by the end of this article, you’ll be more confident and prepared for your next site visit.
I’m not here to talk about the in-depth specifics of accreditation and how to do it. That’s a different topic for a different article. Actually, that’s a topic for one of the friendly accreditation experts with whom I work: Dr. Brandy Close and Dr. Alexis Rossi. (Just don’t tell them Dan sent you. Please and thank you in advance.)
Today, we’re here to think about how we go about preparing for our next accreditation visit.
Tell me if this sounds familiar (seriously, tell us on social media @DaVinci_Ed): you realize your program has its next site visiting coming up in two years because you have a self-study to complete in preparation for it. Of course, part of the visit requires that your entire program’s curriculum is mapped. You may have collected learning objectives and course goals, and likely have a stash of syllabi filed away, but have you proactively mapped your curriculum over the past seven years?
This scenario is all too familiar for health sciences programs. It was recently my program’s experience…and I quickly learned we weren’t alone. For us and so many other institutions, accreditation is an event for which we need to prepare. Being reactionary to the accreditation preparation process only increases stress and greatly decreases our ability to complete our typical daily, weekly, and even monthly tasks. We all know that getting through each semester can be a grind. When we try to retroactively map the curriculum on top of our regular tasks, our normal goals are even harder to achieve.
Being prepared for the next accreditation visit is all about how we view the preparation process. If we look at accreditation as a periodic event, we’re going to continuously go through the cycle of having to prepare a large amount of information over a small period of time. Meeting accreditation standards should be about more than just keeping the doors open - it should be about ensuring we’re preparing our students appropriately for their careers. In order to do that, however, we must make accreditation part of our normal routine.
Each semester, there’s someone at each program...maybe you...who collects the academic documentation: syllabi, learning objectives, goals, etc. It’s safe to assume that this information is also sitting somewhere in a learning management or curriculum mapping system. Luckily, this act of collecting academic documentation puts us well on our way to curriculum mapping that keeps our program accreditation-ready always and helps influence how and what we teach our students. We just need the right solution to help us put this into action in an easy and organized way.
Programs need a platform ready to take frequent and consistent action in their program. Enter Leo. Through the combination of industry leading curriculum mapping and LMS capabilities, Leo provides the foundation for a successfully mapped curriculum. As syllabi and learning objectives are added to your course, you can simply connect your learning objectives to the appropriate competencies with a click of the mouse.
Seriously. It’s that easy to be in a perpetual state of readiness for your next accreditation visit. Of course, being proactive with your mapping also enables health sciences educators to confirm that they’re teaching required content. Leo helps us keep our teaching in line with what our students need.
Once mapping is part of your educational lifestyle, accreditation won’t be the headache that it used to be. Gone are the days of having to put aside everything else just to get ready for this event...because accreditation isn’t an event. (Let’s just say that one more time - accreditation is not an event.) Thanks to Leo’s all-in-one curriculum management platform, our information can be in one location, creating an organized mapping process that sets educators up to be proactive, map quickly and consistently, and be accreditation-ready. Always.