Monthly Archives: April 2014

4. 2014b. ASHA Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA)

2014: ASHA reaffirmed the 1994 principles for AUTHORITY OF OPERATION

“The CAA is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and by the U.S. Secretary of Education as the accrediting agency for the accreditation and preaccreditation (accreditation candidate) of education programs leading to the first professional or clinical degree at the master’s or doctoral level and for the accreditation of these programs offered via distance education, throughout the United States.”

“The CAA was established by ASHA and is authorized to function AUTONOMOUSLY in setting and implementing standards and awarding accreditation.”

“The institution must indicate by its administrative structure that the program’s faculty is recognized as a body that can initiate, implement, and evaluate decisions affecting all aspects of the professional education program, including the curriculum. The program’s faculty has reasonable access to higher levels of administration.”

“The CAA may also develop standards and processes for approval for programs that prepare support personnel. Members of the CAA shall be appointed following policies established by the CAA, and the CAA shall have final authority to establish the standards and processes for academic accreditation. Subject to the application of established appeal procedures, the decisions of the CAA concerning the award, withholding, or withdrawal of academic accreditation shall be final.” (Bylaws)

“The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) is composed of 18 members identified below, including at least 11 individuals from CAA-accredited programs, 5 clinical practitioners who are employed full-time in non-academic settings, and 1 public member.”

Market in Paris.

Market in Paris.


The CAA draws authority from important U.S. accreting agencies. Curriculum is less important in accreditation than policy and procedure,review suggests.

The CAA expanded accreditation while achieving greater autonomy from ASHA proper.

Membership in CAA is not subject to input from the general membership. There is an element of the “smoke-filled room” in the selection process.

The drive to organize CAA came in good measure from Director Kenneth Johnson:

“Johnson focused on building the visibility and autonomy of communication disorders and the national organization, and set in place the pillars that would define the value of both: a clinical certificate based on a master’s degree; effective governance structures including the Legislative Council; a governmental relations department; ASHA Magazine; the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association; and enhancement of the science base of the discipline.”


3. 2014. ASHA Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA)

When we search for curriculum responsibility, we reach the CAA’s doorstep:

2014: ASHA reaffirmed the 1994 principles for CURRICULUM:

“The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) accredits graduate 1 programs that prepare individuals to enter professional practice in audiology and/or speech-language pathology.”

“Curriculum (academic and clinical education)” is one of six essential components of “quality education.”

“The curriculum (academic and clinical education) is consistent with the mission and goals of the program and prepares students in the full breadth and depth of the scope of practice in speech-language pathology.”


History shows CAA very protective of its prerogatives, and it has staked out curriculum.

Prerogative–“An exclusive right or privilege held by a person or group, especially a hereditary or official right.” Free Dictornary

Curriculum is interwoven with the policies and practices of approving programs by de facto authority.

Curriculum adequacy, according to the CAA, is a quality indicator.

When CAA fails to keep pace with curriculum trends, it is reducing the quality of school speech-language pathology practice.

2. 1994: ASHA Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA)

In this period along with rapid growth in the numbers of accreditation and certification actions significant decisions to revamp accreditation procedures were recorded.

1994: “The CAA is guided by a set of principles first developed in 1994 by the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Academic Accreditation Issues, which included representatives of ASHA, the Council on Academic Programs in Communications and Disorders (formerly the Council on Graduate Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders) and representatives from the ASHA standards committees.”

Girl Scouts Marching on Main Street.

Girl Scouts Marching on Main Street.

“CAPCSD is an organization of more than 250 member programs that offer undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in Communication Science and Disorders (CSD). When founded in 1978, the overall goal was to enhance the quality of education in CSD.”

1996: “…Educational Standards Board was replaced by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). having responsibility for oversight of the accreditation and preaccreditation of graduate education programs that prepare entry-level professionals in audiology and speech language pathology…”

2007: “ASHA fully recognizes and supports the autonomy of the standards and operations of the CAA which enable it to promulgate best practices in the accreditation of audiology and speech-language pathology programs. Additionally, ASHA looks forward to continuing to work with the CAA and the CAPCSD and its members on all matters pertaining to the educational preparation of our future professionals.” (ASHA president)

“the Legislative Council voted itself out of existence in 2007 in favor of a new governance structure that includes the Board and two Advisory Councils.”–You-Have-a-Steak-in-ASHAs-Continued-Success.htm


The entity called “CAA” and the entity called “ASHA” are carefully distinguished to assure the point of view the two are separate. The CAPCSD is in fact a separate organization for academic programs but is grouped inclusively to give the impression of central authority.

CAPCSD has struggled to gain a degree of control over accreditation matters but is unable to overcome ASHA’s great power with respect to national visibility, finances, professional staff and historical structure. Its final say on national curriculum is negligible. It is a double-bind. CAA has the power but does little to nothing to foster curriculum development, to say nothing about curriculum vision.

The Legislative Council representing members to CAA deliberations drops out of the picture in favor of elaborate reorganization approved by ASHA. CAA progressively becomes an entity unto itself.

The pattern is reorganization to gain strong control over accreditation activities while giving token input to the process. For example, the Bylaws say: “An Audiology Advisory Council and a Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council shall be established to identify and discuss issues of concern to members and provide advice to the Board of Directors. The Advisory Councils and its members shall not make any public statement or take positions on behalf of the Association or the Advisory Council without having obtained approval from the Board of Directors.”

Controls creep into undergraduate and doctoral education.