Successful accreditation is a process, not an event. It is a comprehensive network of oversight for continuous measurement and monitoring. Such a systematic approach begins with thorough knowledge of each association’s standards, the various methodologies for meeting standards, and the measures that demonstrate standard attainment. The process is an organization-wide endeavor; it requires senior-level coordination and supervision as well as transparent communication of status to all constituencies. The journey of continuous accreditation status is never-ending, with many different levels of effort needed from the institution along the way. Compass consultants know how to advise universities in their efforts to organize, mobilize, measure, report, and adjust for continued success regardless of stage in the accreditation process.
Many institutions have built internal systems to address the accreditation process on an ongoing basis, understanding the continuous, though varying, attention required for success. Compass can provide a status check at any point in the process, assuming the accreditor’s role with objective, knowledgeable eyes in order to assess progress, identify vulnerabilities, and provide a corrective action plan. Often, this assessment can be performed through extensive document review, data analysis, and telephone interviews, with only a minimal (if any) on-campus presence.
Occasionally, the accreditation process becomes a secondary consideration during times of high stress or rapid change, suddenly emerging as a priority when leaders discover their organization’s accreditation status may be in jeopardy. Compass provides intensive support for rapid implementation of a corrective action plan to identify vulnerabilities, design appropriate responses, and support effective deployment of the plan. Compass respects the accrediting associations’ boundaries and sensitivities about “consultant-driven” processes while still assisting university clients to attain their goals.