March 29, 2023

What is a Probationary Accreditation for a Master of Public Health Program?

Probationary Accreditation is an individual category of the accreditation process. It can be given when a school or program previously accredited is deemed to be deficient in the resources/procedures to continue accomplishing its mission and objectives stated. It can also be given when the school fails in meeting requirements for the re-accreditation review of interim requirements. During this designated period of Probationary Accreditation applicable programs are recognized and listed as being accredited. Probationary Accreditation is generally limited to 1 year, in some instances exceptions and extensions may be granted by the accrediting organization if there is a good cause. Programs receiving proper notification of a change of their accreditation status to Probationary Accreditation are required to notify currently enrolled students and those seeking admission that the program has been placed on probation.

Probationary status may be removed when the program/school has demonstrated that it is in complete compliance with the standards either because the specific area/areas of noncompliance are resolved or because the program/school has documented compliance with the specifically noted areas of noncompliance within the allowed time period.

How Long Can Probationary Accreditation Last?

Probationary accreditation is given for a specific length of time but cannot exceed three years in total. This three-year period includes two years (or less) in which the school/program is required to meet compliance with the accreditation criteria and if it fails to do so, has up to one additional year to resolve the deficiencies if the school or program shows good cause. Failure to comply with the standards of the accreditation within the allowed time period will result in a status change to Accreditation Withdrawn.

The following is the timeline of ranges indicating the maximum time allowed for each step of the process:

  1. Initial – probationary accreditation determined
  2. 3-16 months – preliminary self-study due
  3. 6-20 months – final self-study due
  4. 7-21 months – site visit
  5. 10-24 months – Decision to revoke accreditation, return the school or program to regular accredited status or extend probationary
  6. accreditation for one additional year for good cause

Within 30 days after a final accreditation decision, the accrediting body notifies agencies about the decision. These include the US Department Education as well as other recognized accrediting agencies. The decision, including placing a program/school on probation, is also reported. When a final decision is made to deny or revoke the accreditation status or to put a school/program on probation, notice to the US Department of Education, other recognized accrediting agencies and state higher education licensing or authorizing agencies will occur at the same time.

Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) notifies the public of its final decision to deny or to revoke accreditation and/or to give a probationary accreditation within 24 hours of its final notification (to the school/program). These actions become final 30 days after the school or program has been notified of the ability to appeal the decision or upon conclusion of the appeal, whichever occurs first.

Those seeking information regarding the accreditation status of a Master of Public Health school or program can follow up with the CEPH site.

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