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 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. Programs are encouraged to work with the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP), EHAC’s sister organization who will assign 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 all aspects of the accreditation application process. Please contact the EHAC/AEHAP office to begin the process or if you have any questions.
First Step – Has your Environmental Health 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 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/AEHAP 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 program. Using the Undergraduate/Graduate Accreditation Readiness Tool, you will identify the strengths and weaknesses of your program related to the Undergraduate Requirements and/or Graduate Guidelines. You will work with your mentor to evaluate your program and to begin to address any changes that are necessary for your program to become accredited. If curriculum changes are necessary, you will work with your mentor to prepare an accreditation attainment plan.
Accreditation Process – 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 program is ready to apply for accreditation, the mentor will make a recommendation to the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Program Chairs that your program is prepared to begin the accreditation process. The Program Chairs will review the preliminary documents and decide on whether to invite your program to apply for accreditation (Initial Accreditation Application - Graduate/Undergraduate). Once invited to apply, programs may submit and initial accreditation application to EHAC
Below is a breakdown of the process after applying for initial accreditation, with links to relevant forms and documents. These forms and documents can also be found under the drop-down menu for “Seek Accreditation” and under the “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 Program must comply with the requirements outlined in the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Guidelines, and have graduated one or more classes of environmental health students. Programs are encouraged to work with the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP), EHAC’s sister organization who will assign 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 reports, EHAC Guidelines and other documents and partnerships that may need to be developed. Please contact the EHAC 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 programs interested in seeking accreditation must submit the application check in the amount of $1,500. 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 program following an annual schedule upon:
- Request from a Program Administrator,
- Submittal of the Program Evaluation Report (Self-Study) with supporting materials, and
- Receipt of 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 program has graduate one or more classes under the curriculum being evaluated for accreditation.
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 program reminding them of the reaccreditation process or accreditation process as appropriate.
EHAC encourages programs to house the Self-Study on their university web sites and allow access to this location by EHAC office and Council. If the program cannot do so, then the program shall submit the Self-Study electronically.
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 programs seeking Re-Accreditation. Please see the Calendar for specific dates and deadlines.
For programs seeking re-accreditation, those programs must submit Outcomes Assessment data. The results of the Outcome Assessment must be submitted along with the Program Evaluation Report (Self-Study) no later than six months prior to the Annual Meeting.
Upon submission of the Program Evaluation Report (Self-Study), the Undergraduate or Graduate Chair of the Council schedules 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 and March. 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 Administrator for comment. This is the responsibility of the Site Visit Team Coordinator.
- Two weeks after the receipt of the Site Visit Team Report, the Program Administrator must review the report and suggest appropriate corrections of fact. The report must then be returned to the Site Visit Team Coordinator.
- Two weeks after the receipt of suggestions and corrections, the Site Visit Team Coordinator must address those corrections/suggestions and the document must be distributed to the Council, Site Visit Team, Program Administrator and EHAC Office.
At the Annual Meeting
The Program Administrator’s presence is requested at EHAC’s Annual Meeting (summertime) to respond to the written Site Visit Report and answer questions regarding the program.
At the Annual Council Meeting, the Site Visit Team summarizes their report. Then, the Program Administrator has the opportunity to provide a twenty-minute, verbal response to the written site visit report. The Program Administrators may also provide a written response to all Council Members before the Annual Council Meeting begins or at the start of their comment time.
After his/her verbal response, the Program Administrator responds to programmatic questions from other members of the Council.
The Council then enters a private, closed door discussion and votes on accreditation. Program Administrators 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.