The Benchmark Model chart illustrates which features of the Educational Policies and Academic Standards (EPAS) and which accreditation standards (AS) the program is working on during each commissioner visit.
The compliance column lists which accreditation standards the program must be in compliance with during each commissioner visit to move to the next benchmark and commissioner visit. The draft column, shaded gray, lists which accreditation standards must be addressed in draft form during the commissioner visit. The commission visitor gives the program feedback on how to improve the draft portion, which later becomes the compliance portion in the next benchmark. For example, the draft standards in Benchmark I are the same as the compliance standards in Benchmark II.
The rows of the chart are divided by the EPAS feature—(1) program mission and goals, (2) explicit curriculum, (3) implicit curriculum, and (4) assessment—and then subdivided by the accreditation standards within the feature. For example, implicit curriculum (the third EPAS
feature) is subdivided by AS 3.1 Diversity, AS 3.2 Student Development, AS 3.3 Faculty, AS 3.4 Administrative Structure, and AS 3.5 Resources.
Once COA finds the program in compliance with the accreditation standards in a benchmark, the program is expected to remain in compliance with those standards as it progresses through the rest of the benchmarks. For example, during Benchmark IV programs should still be in compliance with the accreditation standards from Benchmarks I, II, and III. The commission visitor will ask the program whether there have been any changes since the last visit and determine whether any of those changes affect the program’s compliance.
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