The Benchmark I document should be divided into three volumes as described below.
Volume 1 – Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS)
Section 1-Compliance Accreditation Standards
The first section of volume 1 contains a series of narratives that demonstrate the program’s compliance with the first portion of Benchmark I. This portion of Benchmark I, labeled “Benchmark I—Compliance with the Following Accreditation Standards,” consists of specific accreditation standards the program must be in compliance with during Commissioner Visit I. The commissioner uses this section to make a recommendation to the full COA.
Section 2-Draft Accreditation Standards
The second section of volume 1 contains a series of draft narratives that address the second portion of Benchmark I. This portion of Benchmark I, which is shaded and labeled “Benchmark I—Draft of the Following Accreditation Standards,” consists of specific standards that must be addressed in draft form during Commissioner Visit I. The commissioner consults with the program on how to develop this section further for their Benchmark II document and Commissioner Visit II.
Each accreditation standard should be addressed in a separate narrative headed by the number and full text of each standard for easy identification by the COA reader. Programs should refer to the compliance column of the Compliance, Concern, and Noncompliance Statements while writing Volume I of the Benchmark I document. It explains the minimum requirements for completely and clearly meeting an accreditation standard and related educational policy and why the COA would cite either as an area of concern or noncompliance.
Volume 2 – Syllabi
Volume two contains drafts of the program’s course syllabi.
Volume 3 – Supporting Documentation
Volume three is the appendix and contains a draft of the student handbook and any other supporting documentation.
Submission of the Draft and Final Benchmark I Document
The program submits a draft Benchmark I document to their accreditation specialist or associate for review and approval per the instructions in the Candidacy Eligibility Approval Letter. This ensures that the program is progressing appropriately. The final version of the Benchmark I document is submitted 1 month before the commissioner visit; see the Timetable for Candidacy for submission instructions.