Site Visit Team Review and Report Explanation

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Introduction
Report Format
Organization
Faculty
Students
Curriculum
Facilities/Resources
Recommendations

Introduction
The site review team plays a critical role in the accreditation/reaccreditation process. The responsibilities of the site review team are outlined in separate guidelines titled "Guidelines for Site Visitors."

The site review team report serve two purposes. Primarily, it provides information to the institution on the observations of the site visitors and their recommendations for the program administrators. This information may be augmented or revised by the Council based on the Council's deliberations. The secondary purpose of the report is to provide responses to questions and concerns raised by Council members after their review of the self-study documents, and to inform the Council of the recommendations of the review team.

Following a visit by the site review team, the team Coordinator has the responsibility of producing an informative report documenting findings, answering questions of the Council, and confirming information from the Program's self-study document. The Coordinator may have the other member(s) of the site review team prepare much of the material for this report, but the final responsibility for the report's timely and comprehensive preparation, submission and distribution remains with the Coordinator.

Following the visit of the review team, the Coordinator must:

  • submit a copy of the team's draft report to the institution's Program Director within four weeks after the site visit.
  • in response to the review by the institution's Program Director, make any necessary changes in the draft report based on initial errors in fact.
  • send a copy of the final document to EHAC Office at ehacinfo@aehap.org. The EHAC staff will send a copy of the document to the Undergraduate or Graduate Co Chair as appropriate. A copy will be made available to the entire Council as well. Distribution must allow sufficient time for review by the Council prior to its annual meeting.
  • lead discussion at the Council's annual meeting pertaining to accreditation/reaccreditation of the Program.

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Report Format
A standardized format is described below to facilitate preparation of the final report. This format is not required to be used, particularly if a Program has an unusual situation which results in this format being cumbersome. However, it is anticipated that the use of this format will facilitate communication of the situations found for most Programs to all interested readers.

Throughout the report, emphasize should be given to providing information that is critical to understanding the attributes of the Program. An important consideration in preparing the report will be the questions offered by the Council members after reviewing the self-study. These questions reflect unclear conditions that need to be examined by the site visit team, and the findings need to be given to the Council for deliberation. Additionally, the report should contain recommendations for enhancement of the program in terms of meeting or complementing the criteria for accreditation.

The report should not restate the history and extensive background information which is in the self-study document. There should be minimal presentation of information that is well known and clearly understood by the institution and covered in the self-study.
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Introduction
This section should contain general information about the program, focusing on key elements that are discussed in detail later in the report. This section should highlight strengths, weaknesses, and unusual conditions in the Program. This section should not contain a summary of information contained in the self-study document. Instead, the self-study should be used as reference material, and notice given here regarding the accuracy of the self-study.
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Organization
Frequently, the organizational structure of Programs is complex. Many programs are clustered within related groups, such as Departments offering programs in environmental health, industrial hygiene, environmental health administration, etc. It is critical that a clear understanding is obtained of the specific unit being considered for accreditation/reaccreditation. The relationship of the specific unit being considered for accreditation /reaccreditation with the rest of the Department, School, College, or University also may need to be clarified.

Within this area of investigation, findings also should be reported on directions the Program is moving and relationships with other programs (e.g., environmental health or related graduate degrees, specialized options, etc.). This should include insight gained from speaking with key administrators at the institution. Mention may be given of the apparent level of support given to the Program by key administrators
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Faculty
Considerable time should be spent during the site visit discussing the Program with faculty. Insights into the interests, expertise and commitment of the faculty should be discussed here. Also included should be an evaluation of teaching loads, research obligations, and other factors relating to the ability of faculty to meet their obligations.

A site visit team will ordinarily meet faculty peripheral to the Program. This will often include adjuncts teaching individual courses, individuals who offer occasional lectures and faculty from other parts of the university who teach courses integral to the Environmental Health Program. Information regarding the contributions of these individuals will be very useful to the Council
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Students
Considerable insight can be gained from discussion with students about their Program. Their level of enthusiasm, comments about their instruction, and overall evaluations can be very revealing. It is important during the site review to make use of this resource, and to document findings here.

Also vital to the review is evaluation of student records to ensure that graduates met minimum standards. This should be documented here
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Curriculum
The curriculum should be discussed with respect to the Council guidelines. In addition to courses within the Program, attention must be given to ensure that related courses (such as in chemistry and biology) are given at the appropriate level.

Often, it is difficult within a self-study to adequately explain the courses and course sequences to give the Council adequate information about the Program. Frequently, the Council has many questions about the curriculum prior to the site visit. The report should answer these questions from information obtained during the site visit. The report should also seek to clarify complex curricular arrangements. Included in this section should be discussion of internships, practicums, and other off-campus experiences
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Facilities/Resources
It is important for the Council to have an adequate understanding of the resources available to the Program, including funding levels. A description of these resources should be contained in the self-study, but needs to be confirmed by the site visit team. These findings should be documented.

Frequently, facilities and resources are shared among units. It is the responsibility of the site visit team to investigate how shared arrangements are working, and report their findings.

Also included in this section should be discussion of interaction with the community, including (but not limited to) any advisory committees serving the Program
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Recommendations
The final section of the report should identify areas of weakness and areas of potential, and recommend appropriate action. These recommendations should be clearly identified as possible courses of actions, rather than requirements for accreditation/reaccreditation. The primary purpose of these recommendations will be to serve the Program as suggestions for strengthening their current activities. However, it is expected that the Council will use these recommendations as an important source of information to base decisions on the Program strengths and weaknesses.
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