May 29, 2013: In-Person Site Reviewer Training, 1:30 - 3:00pm @NASSM, Austin, TX. Current site reviewers and those interested in going on a COSMA site visit must update their knowledge about COSMA site visit processes, procedures, and expectations. This interactive webinar will be limited to 15 registrants and requires that you ask questions, answer questions, and take a short quiz following the webinar.
Site Reviewer Training at SMA Conference
When preparing for a site visit, consult this presentation from NASSM 2011 that outlines the site visit process' best practices from the perspective of a visited institution and the site reviewer: Two Perspectives on Site Visit Preparation
Site Team Evaluator Selection & Training
Each accreditation review and site visit is conducted by a team of 2 professionally trained program evaluators. COSMA selects site visit team members from a pool of well-qualified persons with experience in the evaluation process. The team Chair is appointed by COSMA headquarters and is responsible for assuring that the visit is conducted objectively. The composition of the team and the qualifications of its members are influenced by the institution's size, program complexity, and number of off-campus locations.
COSMA is committed to avoiding potential conflicts of interest by evaluators, and thus uses the following guidelines when determining site visit team composition:
- No member of the team will have had a recent affiliation with the institution being considered for accreditation, nor will the team member have relatives who are employees of the institution.
- No member of the team will be a graduate of the institution being considered for accreditation.
- No member of the team will have a known, expressed bias for or against the institution.
- No member of the team will currently be a full-time employee of another institution in the institution's primary competitive market.
General Responsibilities and Ethics
The overall responsibilities of a site visit team are as follows. The team:
- Must read the institution's self-study report thoroughly before making the visit.
- Must arrive on time at the visitation site and work with the other site team members in a harmonious manner.
- Should handle the site visit evaluation activities in a professional and expeditious manner.
- Should complete the site visit assignment while at the institution and prepare a written report of the findings. The team chair is responsible for compiling an overall summary report of the findings within two weeks of the date of the site visit and for forwarding the report to COSMA headquarters.
- Should perform the site visit evaluation objectively, not letting personal bias interfere with the assignment.
The site team members play a key role in maintaining the integrity of the COSMA accreditation process. Accordingly, all members of the team, before accepting an assignment, must agree to avoid impropriety, avoid being partial, refrain from inappropriate activity, and preserve the confidential nature of the information reviewed during the site visit.
Selection & Training
Site team evaluators are selected from qualified and professionally trained members of COSMA. Potential site evaluators must submit a detailed curriculum vitae to the COSMA Headquarters and attend a Site Evaluator Training Workshop. Site evaluator training will be offered twice per year, or on an as-needed basis.
Site Evaluator Training Workshops includes the following:
- Introductory presentation of the accreditation process, role, and expectation of site team evaluators.
- Provision of manuals, report templates, and other relevant materials.
- Education on principles, criteria for decision making, performance evaluation, and outcome assessment expectations.
- Step-by-step look at each principle and validation of the self-study.
- Overview of typical site visit schedule.
- General expectations, confidentiality, and ethics.
- Organizational expectations, timelines for reports, expense submission, etc.
Post-Evaluation of Site Team Members
Site team members are evaluated by the institution and are also encouraged to review each others' performance in connection with the site visit process that was used. Topics that are addressed by a site visit team member include, but are not limited to:
- Adequacy of the pre-visit arrangements
- Timeliness with respect to receipt of the self-study materials and related items
- Effectiveness of the team chair
- Preparedness of the institution for the visit
- Content of the team's report
- General suggestions for improvement