New Fee Structure for Independently Reviewed Programs

The NASP Program Accreditation Board intends to pursue recognition from the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for those reviews it conducts outside the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP; formerly NCATE) system. CHEA recognition will serve to provide third-party oversight and recognition to non-CAEP affiliated programs and ensure that accreditation standards for graduate preparation are enforced. Additionally, this presents an opportunity for NASP to reorganize the submission process for non-CAEP affiliated programs, and focus more on the evidence that it considers to be most crucial to making judgments about program quality.

The independent NASP review process will include a Candidacy option for programs going through the process for the first time, which will allow for feedback and technical assistance prior to submitting candidate data for NASP review, or even admitting students. The independent review process will also include a site visit, which many programs have wanted for some time. Site visits offer a significant improvement to the program review process, and represent a logical development in the field. They offer the opportunity for greater involvement of key program stakeholders such as faculty, students, and field supervisors. Further, the inclusion of site visits and interviews with key program stakeholders in program reviews would likely increase the visibility of NASP reviews and the validity of outcomes.

These changes will naturally impact NASP costs and fees to programs. Currently, NASP requires a one-time review fee of $500 to non-CAEP affiliated programs. This fee structure is no longer sustainable for NASP and represents an anomaly among related accrediting organizations. Nevertheless, NASP has made a commitment to keep fees and associated costs as reasonable as possible, and while the fees recently approved represent a significant change, they are still only a fraction of the cost compared to related accreditors. The new fee structure was set after careful review and evaluation from related professional accreditation bodies. In fact, NASP reviewed data from 58 accrediting organizations and studied more extensively the process used by six organizations selected for comparison, including individual meetings and interviews with their staff. NASP understands the financial constraints faced by higher education institutions and programs, and would seek to make its accreditation system as efficient and cost-effective as possible by using volunteer and staff leadership in overseeing reviews, making maximum use of technology, and minimizing the time and human resources involved in site visits.

Fees will be effective for programs beginning July 1, 2018. However, in order to give programs and institutions adequate time to plan for the new fees, a phase-in period has been designed. The phases and specific fees are described in the chart below. Those fees will apply to the following:

  • Intent to Apply Review (Only for new programs)
    • Programs that do not meet conditions for candidacy are entitled to one additional review at no additional cost if submitted within one year of dated feedback letter.
    • Intent to Apply fees apply only to programs without current Full or Conditional approval status.
    • No annual fee will be imposed upon programs during Candidacy Status period.
  • Full Review (due at time of submission) plus site visit costs
    • Programs maintain responsibility for arranging and directly reimbursing site visitors’ travel, lodging, and per diem costs. Such reimbursement will follow the policies and procedures of the institution. NASP will not participate in the collection or dissemination of funds for site visits.
    • Programs that do not meet Site Visit Eligibility Status are entitled to one additional full self-study review at no additional cost if submitted within their candidacy period or during a program’s approval period if currently approved.
  • Conditional Review (due at time of submission)
  • Annual Fee (due July 1)
  • Appeals Fee (plus cost for panel hearing if requested)

Institutions with 2 programs (e.g., specialist-level and doctoral level) submitting at the same time are only required to pay 25% of the total cost for the second program. This applies to all fees, including the annual fee.

Note: Doctoral programs submitting for NASP program approval/accreditation that have evidence of APA accreditation will only need to pay the annual fee.

Fee Implementation Schedule

Submission Type July 1, 2018–June 30, 2020 July 1, 2020–June 30, 2022 July 1, 2022–June 30, 2024
One Program
Intent to Apply Review $750 $1125 $1500
Full Review (due at time of submission) $1000 $1500 $2000
Conditional Review $250 $375 $500
Annual Fee $500 $750 $1000
Appeals Fee $500 $750 $1000
Two Programs (e.g., specialist and doctoral)
Intent to Apply Review $937 $1406 $1875
Full Review (due at time of submission) $1250 $1875 $2500
Conditional Review $312 $469 $625
Annual Fee $625 $937 $1250
Appeals Fee $625 $937 $1250

We anticipate many questions emerging from this latest news, and we will happily respond to all of them. In the meantime, responses to some basic FAQs that we anticipate follow:

Does this apply to all programs?

No, this only applies to non-CAEP affiliated programs. All other programs will see no change from the current program review process.

What is the timeline?

The site visit pilots are currently underway, which are a pre-requisite for CHEA recognition eligibility. We expect to officially apply for eligibility as soon as the new CHEA standards are approved and they begin accepting applications. However, the review fees will begin July 1, 2018 for non NCATE/CAEP programs regardless of NASP’s application status with CHEA.

If our program is in a CAEP accredited institution/provider, may we choose to apply to NASP through the new process so that we have access to such features as candidacy and/or a site visit?

No, if you are in an institution or provider accredited by CAEP or seeking CAEP accreditation, you must follow the CAEP program review process.

Will currently approved non-CAEP continue to be approved while the new system is implemented?

Non-CAEP affiliated programs that currently hold full NASP approval would maintain their NASP program approval status while the new accreditation system is being designed and implemented as long as they comply with standard requirements for such approval. Conditionally approved programs will continue the process as initially applied. There will be no change in process until the program’s next full review except that annual reporting via the NASP Program Database will be required beginning in 2018, and the program will be required to pay the annual fee.

Will currently approved non-CAEP programs have to participate in the candidacy process?

No, only non-CAEP programs that do not hold current NASP approval (full or conditional) or accreditation must participate in the candidacy process. This includes programs that have previously applied yet did not obtain full or conditional approval.

Will non-CAEP affiliated programs going through this process still be “NASP Approved?”

CAEP-affiliated programs will still use the term “NASP Approved” until they go through the next review that includes a site visit, at which time they will be considered “NASP-Accredited.”

How will this impact doctoral programs that maintain APA Accreditation?

NASP would maintain the “reciprocity” afforded to doctoral programs accredited in school psychology by APA that meet NASP internship standards, including non-CAEP affiliated programs. However, programs will be required to pay annual fees.

Who has participated in this decision-making and preparation process?

The NASP Accreditation Advisory group has met annually since 2011, and is comprised of representatives from the NASP Program Accreditation Board, NASP Graduate Education Committee, NASP Graduate Student Committee, NASP Strategic Liaison, NCSP Board, CDSPP, APA Division 16, TSP, and a public member from the NASDTEC. Additionally, this group has held focus groups at the NASP convention since 2012 to collect insights and information from graduate educators across the country representing a range of preparation programs.

Who should I contact if I have specific concerns or questions?

You can contact Dr. Natalie Politikos, chair of the Program Accreditation Board; Dr. Enedina Garcia Vazquez, chair of the NASP CHEA Work Group; Dr. Joseph Prus, chair of the NASP Accreditation Advisory Group; or Dr. Eric Rossen, NASP Director of Professional Development and Standards.