So, you’ve learned about how important accreditation can be to your environmental health (EH) program and you are interested in pursuing the accreditation process. Welcome!
In order to receive accreditation from EHAC, an Undergraduate and/or Graduate EH Degree Program must comply with the requirements outlined in the Undergraduate Requirements and/or Graduate Guidelines, and have graduated one or more classes of environmental health students. Degree programs are encouraged to contact the EHAC office to be assigned a mentor to assist with the accreditation process. The mentor will help determine if all requirements are met prior to submittal of the Initial Accreditation Application. The mentor can advise you on all aspects of the accreditation application process. Please contact the EHAC office to begin the process or if you have any questions at email@example.com or 206-522-5272.
First Step – Has your Environmental Health Degree Program graduated a class of students?
The first step in the process is to make an initial determination as to whether your environmental health (EH) program is a candidate for EHAC accreditation. The first question we ask is “Have you graduated a class from your environmental health degree program?”. If the answer is yes, then you can move forward in the process. If the answer is no, it is necessary to wait until a class of students has matriculated from your EH program before applying for accreditation.
Pre-accreditation Assessment of Program Readiness
Once you have contacted the EHAC office and been assigned a mentor to assist with accreditation preparation and application processes, you will work with your mentor to assess the accreditation readiness of your EH degree program. Using the Undergraduate/Graduate Accreditation Readiness Questionnaire, you will identify the strengths and weaknesses of your degree program related to EHAC Undergraduate Requirements and/or Graduate Guidelines. You will work with your mentor to evaluate your degree program and to begin to address any changes that are necessary for your degree program to become accredited. If curriculum changes are necessary, you will work with your mentor to prepare an accreditation attainment plan. If your degree program is prepared to enter the application process, you will submit the Initial Application for Accreditation with the required initial accreditation fee.
Accreditation Process – Degree Program is ready to apply for accreditation
The accreditation process begins on July 1 of every year. Once the mentor has determined that your EH degree program is ready to apply for accreditation, the mentor will make a recommendation to the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Degree Program Vice Chairs that your degree program is prepared to begin the accreditation process. The Degree Program Vice Chairs will review the preliminary documents and decide on whether to invite your degree program to apply for accreditation (Initial Accreditation Application - Graduate/Undergraduate). Once invited to apply, degree programs may submit and initial accreditation application to the EHAC office.
Below is a breakdown of the process after applying for initial accreditation. Related forms and documents can be found under the drop-down menu under “Documents Library” header. View the calendar that tracks the accreditation process through the year.
Requirements for Receiving Accreditation
In order to receive accreditation from EHAC, a degree program must comply with the requirements outlined in the Undergraduate Requirement and/or Graduate Guidelines, and have graduated one or more classes of environmental health students. Degree programs are encouraged to contact the EHAC office to be assigned a mentor to assist with the accreditation process. The mentor will help determine if all requirements are met prior to submittal of an accreditation application. The mentor can advise you on Self-Study report preparation. Please note that the EHAC Council makes all final accreditation decisions and mentors serve an advisory role only. Please contact the EHAC office to begin the process.
Application for Initial Accreditation
Application Due Date is October 1: Please contact the EHAC office for an accreditation application at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-522-5272. New degree programs interested in seeking accreditation must submit the application and initial accreditation fee. We are unable to accept credit card payments.
The following process must be followed for an institution interested in seeking initial accreditation. EHAC will consider the accreditation of a degree program following an annual schedule upon:
- Request from a Program Director,
- Submittal of the Program Evaluation Report (Self-study) with supporting materials, and
- Receipt of the Initial Accreditation Application and Payment. After these requirements have been completed, a site visit team, selected by the Council, will conduct a site visit at the institution. The Council will evaluate the application materials and site visit report at its Annual Council Meeting.
Please note that the application will be considered if and only if:
- The institution is accredited by a regional accrediting association for institutions of higher learning; and
- The degree program has graduated one or more classes under the curriculum being evaluated for accreditation.
Degree Program Evaluation Report (Self-Study)
The Self-Study shall be completed and submitted by December 1 before the annual meeting in which Council is expected to review accreditation application or renewal. The date for submission will be provided on the EHAC Calendar and in the letter sent to the degree program reminding them of the reaccreditation process or accreditation process as appropriate.
EHAC encourages degree programs to house the Self-Study on their university web sites and allow access to this location by EHAC office and Council. If the degree program cannot do so, then the degree program shall submit the Self-study electronically.
Degree programs shall send the link to their Self-Study to the EHAC office at email@example.com, the EHAC General Chair, and appropriate Undergraduate and/or Graduate Vice Chairs by the date due.
The EHAC staff will notify the Council that the Self-Study link is available and provide access the login portion of the EHAC website.
Self-Study Reports are due no later than December 1 prior to the Annual Meeting. Outcomes Assessment results are due for degree programs seeking reaccreditation. Please see the calendar for specific dates and deadlines.
Degree programs seeking reaccreditation must submit Outcomes Assessment data. The purpose of this survey is to determine how well EHAC’s required curriculum meets the needs of the environmental health profession. Outcomes Assessment surveys must be completed by recent graduates of accredited degree programs and by their supervisors. Survey results will not be used in determining a degree program’s accreditation status, but are an essential part of the reaccreditation process. The Council will use the survey results to evaluate and possibly modify the curriculum requirements to meet the evolving needs of the environmental health profession.
The surveys are conducted via Survey Monkey links that are provided by the EHAC office to the Program Director. We ask that the Program Director recruit recent graduates to complete the survey and recent graduates to recruit their supervisors for completion of the supervisor survey. The deadline for graduate and supervisor surveys is December 1st of the year prior to a degree programs accreditation expiration year. The survey results will be compiled by the EHAC office and survey results will be made available to the EHAC Council prior to the annual meeting which is held in July.
Upon submission of the Program Evaluation Report (Self-Study), the Undergraduate or Graduate Vice Chairs of the Council schedule a site visit to the institution requesting accreditation. Site Visit Teams are announced in mid-January, and are scheduled to visit the school during mutually convenient times in February, March or April. Site visit costs are the responsibility of the applicant institution. Occasionally, EHAC sends Site-Visitors in training to visit programs and learn about performing site visits. In this case, the cost of the Site Visitor-In Training is the responsibility of EHAC.
After the Site Visit, the schedule for submission of reports and other materials is as follows:
- Four weeks after the Site Visit – Site Visitor Evaluation forms due to the office.
- Two weeks after the Site Visit is completed, the draft Site Visit Team Report is due to be submitted to the Program Director for comment. This is the responsibility of the Site Visit Team Leader.
- Two weeks after the receipt of the Site Visit Team Report, the Program Director must review the report and suggest appropriate corrections of fact. The report must then be returned to the Site Visit Team Leader.
- Two weeks after the receipt of suggestions and corrections, the Site Visit Team Leader must address those corrections/suggestions and the document must be distributed to the Council, Site Visit Team, Program Director and EHAC Office.
At the Annual Meeting
The Program Director's presence is requested at EHAC’s Annual Meeting (summertime) to respond to the written Site Visit Report and answer questions regarding the degree program. All degree programs are granted a maximum of one hour for Council discussion, deliberation, and vote.
At the Annual Council Meeting, the Site Visit Team summarizes their report. Then, the Program Director has the opportunity to provide a ten minute, verbal response to the written Site Visit Report.
After his/her verbal response, the Program Director responds for up to 15 minutes to programmatic questions from other members of the Council.
The Council then enters a private, closed door discussion and votes on accreditation. Program Directors are notified promptly of the results of the vote. The Council can decide to grant full or conditional accreditation as outlined in EHAC's policy document.