Ideally, an institution would hope to get a clean bill of health and move on to the next comprehensive accreditation review ten years down the road.
However, even a favorable decision on accreditation may be accompanied by the requirement to participate in a follow-up focused visit designed to review specific developments and changes or follow up on concerns identified by a previous evaluation process. These visits are not primarily concerned with determining whether an organization fulfills the Criteria for Accreditation.
The Board of Trustees may place a school on notice " if it is found to be pursuing a course of action that could result in its being unable to meet one or more Criteria for Accreditation." The school typically gets one year to respond to the notice with a written report on corrective measures taken.
In more serious cases, the Board may place an institution on probation if "conditions exist at an accredited organization that endanger its ability to meet one or more of the Commission's Criteria for Accreditation." Within the maximum probation period of two years, the school must clearly demonstrate progress toward ameliorating those conditions.
The 1996 team recommended accreditation for Augustana College through 2005-2006, but requested a progress report from the college on the implementation of the assessment plan by June 1998. That report was submitted and accepted.
Apropos the paragraph above, members of departments and programs are urged to become informed about the unit's existing assessment plan and its assessment updates in preparation for the accreditation team visit. More on this from Mike Nolan in an upcoming e-mail communication to the faculty.