IACET Accreditation Means High Quality for Yo

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

Columbus State University, Continuing Education is pleased to announce that it has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this approval, CSU Continuing Education has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As an IACET Authorized Provider, Continuing Education offers CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

“We are pleased to welcome Columbus State as our newest Authorized Provider organization,” stated Michael Todd Shinholster, President of IACET and Founder and Principal Consultant of Culture Bridge and a Lecturer of International Business at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. Shinholster added, “Columbus State University, Continuing Education joins nearly 650 organizations around the globe that have had their programs vetted by third-party experts in continuing education to ensure the highest possible standards are met.”

In order to achieve Authorized Provider accreditation, Continuing Education completed a rigorous application process, including a review by an IACET site visitor, and successfully demonstrated adherence to the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard addressing the design, development, administration, and evaluation of its programs. The organization has pledged its continued compliance with the Standard, and is now authorized to use the IACET name and Authorized Provider logo on promotional course material. In addition, Continuing Education is now linked to the IACET web site and is recognized as offering the highest quality continuing education and training programs.

Learn more about the IACET accreditation process.

1. Can you tell me about the IACET?
IACET stands for the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (CE/T). They are THE standard for CE/T in terms of quality assurance.

2.  What does this recent accreditation mean to CSU?
For Continuing Education (CE), earning Authorized Provider (AP) status means that we have implemented policies and procedures to ensure the highest quality for our students. It means that we take great care to hire qualified staff and instructors, that we focus on learning outcomes and create systems to support our students, and that we regularly assess the quality of not only our programs, but our operations. However, all IACET CEUs awarded at CSU MUST be developed & administrated by CE, per IACET standards, since our department is entity who applied for AP status.

3.    Does this mean any person who needs CEU’s for their profession can get them at CSU?
CE has been awarding Continuing Education Units (CEUs) as outlined by the Board of Regents since our inception in 1978. However, IACET CEU’s specifically can only be awarded on courses that follow the rigorous quality assurance policies and procedures. Depending on the profession, we may or may not have courses available to meet the ongoing credentialing requirements.

4.    Why did CSU apply for IACET accreditation?
CE made the decision to apply for AP status because we knew it would help us become a better organization providing better quality for our students just by going through the process. And certainly, being recognized by the leader in the CE/T field helps lend credibility to and confidence in our programs.

5.    What was the process like when applying?
We started by attending a workshop for those interested in applying for AP status last June. We worked on the application and submitted in March. There are 10 categories in the application, each one focusing on a different segment of policies or procedures designed to ensure the best product for our students. Any new policies/procedures were implemented for several months before submitting the application to make sure that they “worked” for us. After submitting the application, we received feedback via an initial review. We responded to, elaborated upon, or revised particular sections that we received feedback on. Once the response to the initial application review was approved, a site visit was scheduled. During the site visit, we had to show evidence and documentation of the policies and procedures implemented and described in our application. We also provided samples of certain tools (such as course planning guides and facilities checklists) that we utilize to prove that everything reported in the application was accurate.

6.    What were some of the obstacles?
There weren’t obstacles, per se, as many of the requirements of the application we already had in place; we just needed to document and update a lot of things. Training our current instructors on some of the changes and requirements in terms of syllabi writing learning outcomes was a little challenging because as you know, change is hard to adapt to sometimes. For new instructors hired after beginning this process, it became a lot easier as we knew what to require of them from the start.

7.    How long did it take to finally get accreditation?
A little over a year.