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.”



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.

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