Module 5: What Happens After the Visit?
A. Objectives of the Post-Visit Process
The objectives of the post-visit process are to ensure:
- All parties to the visit have the opportunity to provide input on the statement prior to accreditation action.
- Accreditation action is consistent with those given to other programs with similar shortcomings.
The post-visit process consists of the following activities:
- Follow-up with institution and visit team
- Notification to ABET of the visit team’s recommendations
- Submission of expense reports and performance appraisals
- Construction of the draft statement, incorporating any seven-day response from the institution
- Editing of the draft statement
- Due process response from the institution
- Revision of the Draft Statement into Final Statement, incorporating any due process response from the institution
- Editing of the Final Statement
- Accreditation decision
This module will describe each of these activities and your role as team chair in the post-visit process.
B. Follow-Up with the Institution and Visit Team
Immediately following the visit:
- Write to the dean(s) or other appropriate institution representative to thank him/her for hosting the visit and expressing your appreciation for any special arrangements.
- Remind the institution that you, as team chair, will remain the official contact through the rest of the accreditation cycle; encourage the institution to contact you with any questions about the process.
- Remind the institution of the seven-day response to statements of fact and the 30-day due process response.
- Discourage the institution from providing information beyond correction of statements of fact in the seven-day response. Such additional information will not be included in the Draft Statement but will be incorporated into the Final Statement along with any due process response.
- Write to the visit team thanking them for their efforts and reminding them of their continuing responsibilities.
- Point out that they need to complete and submit their expense report using the on-line expense tool within 10 days and complete the performance appraisals for each member of the team (team chair and other PEVs).
- Remind the PEVs to include all original receipts with the expense report, including those for any transportation over $25, and their travel itinerary.
C. Notify ABET of the Visit Team's Recommendations
Immediately after the visit, send the A302 Recommended Action Form to ABET headquarters. EAC team chairs should also send the A302 Recommended Action Form to Editor 1 and Editor 2. Use the proper file naming conventions for your Commission. These forms are located in the TC Workbooks.
D. Submit Expense Reports and Performance Appraisals
Complete your own travel expense report. Be sure to include the name of each participating team member for any meal expenses for which you paid the bill, and include the itemized bill. Submit to ABET using the on-line expense tool.
Please Note: Your appraisal of each PEV is considered by the member societies and used to make decisions on PEV future assignments and training. It is not provided to the PEV until after the accreditation decision is final and communicated to the institution. Please provide detailed comments concerning the PEV performance on the visit, especially for those circumstances where performance did not meet expectations and for those in which it exceeded expectations.
E. Constructing the Draft Statement
Construct the Draft Statement upon receipt of any seven-day response from the institution. You are responsible for submitting the Draft Statement no later than 14 days after receipt of the seven-day response from the institution. It is highly recommended that you draft the statement immediately after leaving the institution and simply modify it based upon the institution’s seven-day response. This will allow you to construct the statement while the details are still fresh in your mind and ensure that the statement is complete by the deadline. Use the Draft Statement template appropriate for the Commission. Draft Statement sample templates are located in the TC Workbooks.
Keep in mind the following:
- The Draft Statement must address all findings (Strengths, Deficiencies, Weaknesses, and Concerns) found as a result of the review.
- The Draft Statement must be consistent with the findings presented at the exit meeting.
- Common findings across programs should be consistent with one another. Differences should be clear.
- You are writing this statement for the institution, editors, commission, and next review team. Provide enough detail that:
- The program and institution will know precisely what is inadequate.
- The commission will agree with the level of compliance.
- The team making the next review will be able to determine the amount of progress that has been made since the original finding.
Send the Draft Statement, Program Evaluator Report(s), Program Evaluator Worksheet(s), Program Audit Form(s), and updated A302 Recommended Action Form to ABET Headquarters Commission staff; EAC Team Chairs should also copy Editor 1 and Editor 2. ABET staff will review formatting, enter the documents in the visit tracking tool, and forward it to Editor 1. Use the proper file naming conventions for your commission.
Draft Statement Checklist:
- There is an introduction in the institutional section that includes the following information:
- The institutional context (private, public, land grant, etc.).
- The number of students in the institution/college/program.
- The number of faculty members in the institution/college/program.
- The number of interim reviews that have occurred since the last general review.
- Any Strengths cited truly stand above the norm.
- No shortcomings are identified as “institutional shortcomings.”
- Make sure the proper format is followed for each program section.
- Use the general review format if the program was evaluated in a General Review or initial review.
- Use Interim Review format if the program was evaluated in an Interim Review.
- First list Deficiencies, then Weaknesses, then Concerns, then Observations.
- For each shortcoming:
- Cite the criterion or policy.
- Describe what was observed.
- Describe the effect it has on the program.
- Negative effect for Deficiencies and Weaknesses
- Potential future effect for Concerns
- Describe the effect it has on the program.
- Make sure the language used is appropriate for the level of compliance.
- Make sure that if common language is used to describe a shortcoming in multiple programs that the level of compliance is also the same.
- Verify that the information on the Recommended Action Form is consistent with the Draft Statement.
F. Consistency Checks
Accreditation actions must be consistent across all programs with similar shortcomings (Weaknesses, Deficiencies) and across all institutions. Consistency is checked at five levels through the ABET Accreditation Process.
Editor 1 checks for consistency across all statements received and forwards to Editor 2.
Editor 2, who receives and reviews more statements than Editor 1, also checks for consistency across all statements received.
Finally the Commission Adjunct reviews for consistency across all statements drafted for all reviews by the commission.
At any point there are questions or changes, the team chair is contacted and engaged. While changes in the level of compliance recommended to the team are not made often, they can occur. These should promptly be communicated to the institution so there are no surprises when the Draft Statement arrives. This process is illustrated in this diagram.
G. Due Process Response from the Institution
Once editing is complete, ABET headquarters staff will mail the draft statement to the institution. Once received, the institution has 30 days to prepare and provide a due process response. The institution is invited to respond to the draft statement with any information concerning actions taken to address the shortcoming(s) identified in the statement. Discourage the institution from inundating the team with information that is not related to actions taken to address the shortcoming(s).
The institution will be asked at the beginning of the 30-day due process response period to indicate whether they intend to file a response. You may be asked to contact the institutional representative if ABET headquarters does not receive such a response. Even if ABET headquarters staff does not request this, it is common courtesy to follow up with the dean(s) to make sure they have received the draft statement. You can inquire at that time whether they plan to provide a 30-day due process response.
If the institution elects not to file a due process response, you should prepare the Final Statement as soon as you receive these files from ABET headquarters staff, and not more than three weeks after receiving notification that the institution will not file a due process response. The Final Statement should indicate that no due process response was filed and that each shortcoming remains unresolved.
Note that if no deficiencies or weaknesses remain in the Final Statement you (and your editors) will be skipped at this stage (i.e. you will not have to edit the Final Statement) and your commission’s Accreditation Adjunct will handle the final editing.
If the institution elects to file a due process response, you will receive notification from ABET Headquarters. The institution should send the due process response materials directly to you and Editor 1 within 30 days of receipt of the Draft Statement. If you do not receive the materials within 30 days, check with ABET headquarters to see whether the response was sent there and also with Editor 1. Follow up with the institution as needed. Once you have received the due process materials, review them (potentially in consultation with the program evaluator(s)), and complete the Final Statement, summarizing the review of the due process response and either reaffirming the level of compliance or changing it based upon the materials provided. This review and statement should be complete as soon as possible, within at most three weeks of receipt of the due process response materials.
Be sure to follow the commission Final Statement template. Also, update the A302 Recommended Action Form to reflect the status of each program in terms of recommended action based on the due process response. Submit the Final Statement, PAF, and the A302 Recommended Action Form to ABET Headquarters Commission staff; EAC team chairs should also copy Editor 1 and Editor 2. Use the proper file naming conventions for your commission.
Important Note: Please DO NOT use your original draft statement, original PAF or original A302 Recommended Action Form for writing the final statement or updating the PAF or A302 Recommended Action Form.
H. Editing of the Final Statement
Editors 1 and 2 will review and edit the final statement for consistency across all institutions and update the A302 Recommended Action Form with their recommendations. They will consult with the team chair as needed during the final editing. ABET headquarters staff will prepare the final statements for review during the Summer Commission Meeting.
I. Final Accreditation Action
The accreditation action is determined by the commission at the Summer Commission Meeting, held in July. The commission will sit in assembly to review and vote on all accreditation actions. The actual process for accomplishing this may vary by commission and according to the number of programs to be considered. All commissioners are expected to participate fully in this process. We will discuss the Summer Commission Meeting in more detail in Module 6. At the end of the meeting and before leaving the meeting room, your major task is to finalize the Final Statement with Editor 1 based upon the accreditation decision of the commission.
The final accreditation decision will be communicated to the institution by way of a letter from the ABET President. The Final Statement will be attached to this letter. You should advise your team — but NOT the institution — of the final accreditation decision.
Your relationship with the institution terminates at the end of the Summer Commission Meeting. Any further questions from the institution concerning appeals or revisits must be directed to the ABET Executive Director.
Please Note: ABET will publish a list of accredited programs. The listing will not include comments on individual programs or any indication of the length of the accreditation.
J. Edit Exercise
Are you ready to apply your newly gained knowledge to drafting statements? The link below takes you to a statement that represents potential findings as described in a PEV exit statement of a General Review. Your task is to edit each finding statement for inclusion in a Draft Statement and submit it for evaluation by a reviewer from your commission executive committee. The reviewer will evaluate the statement against the Statement Rubric.
You will find the Team Chair Draft Statement Editing Exercise here.
For each finding, review the criterion citation, level of compliance and use of proper draft statement formatting. Identify issues (if any) with the finding statement and edit the statement to conform to proper ABET format. If the language in the statement does not match the shortcoming level, change the language to match the shortcoming level, not vice versa. Post your edited statement of all three findings on the ABET Secure Training Website no later than June 1, 2017. Please post the document as a Word file so that the reviewer can add suggestions for improvement.
- Login to MyABET.
- Select the Commissioner link under your name.
- Select Training.
- Select New Team Chair Training.
The reviewer will post their evaluation of your statement in the same location. You will receive an email when the reviewer has posted the evaluation of your statement.
If you are a new EAC Team Chair post your result to the website AND email a copy to the Editor 1 to whom you were assigned. That person will edit your statement using MS Word’s Track Changes feature, and will also add any comments at the bottom of your document. The Editor 1 will then forward the document to Editor 2 who will review the result and perform any further editing. He/she will also add any comments.
If you are a new ETAC Team Chair post your result to the website AND email a copy to Scott Dunning at firstname.lastname@example.org who will forward your statement to your assigned Editor. Your Editor will use MS Word’s Track Changes feature and add any comments on the bottom of your document.
K. Summary of Module 5
As team chair, your primary role will be to ensure that the findings of the visit team and the response of the institution are appropriately documented in the Final Statement and to work with the editors and commission to assure that the accreditation action is consistent with those given to other programs with similar shortcomings.