Dissertation Abstract

Selected Allied Health Deans' and Program Directors' Perspectives of Specialized Accreditation Effectiveness and Reform.

Publication Number:  AT3035241
Author:  Baker, Sarah
School:  School Indiana University
Date:  2001
Pages:  216
Subject:  Education, Allied Health

Criticisms, calls for change, and recommendations for specialized accreditation improvement have often been made by individuals or groups external to the daily operations of allied health educational programs and frequently as opinion pieces or articles lacking a research foundation. While there is a great deal of concern related to specialized accreditation, there has been little input from those integral and internal to allied health educational programs in which specialized accreditation standards impact. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of selected allied health deans and program directors related to specialized accreditation effectiveness and reform.

Survey research was used to study perspectives of allied health deans and program directors located in four-year colleges/universities and academic health centers/medical schools. Surveys were mailed to program directors offering: clinical laboratory sciences/medical technology; nuclear medicine technology, occupational therapy; physical therapy; radiography; and radiation therapy. Simultaneously, allied health deans located within these institutions were studied. Seven hundred and seventy-three surveys were mailed and 424 valid responses were received yielding a response rate of 54.85%.

Results affirmed the role of accreditation as an effective system for assuring quality in higher education. The role of specialized accreditation in improving the quality of allied health programs was clearly articulated by the respondents. Respondents voiced strong opposition to governmental or state level requirements for accountability and emphasized the vital role of peer evaluators. Findings indicate support for assessment as a component of specialized accreditation. Significant differences between deans and program directors related to specialized accreditation process and reform were evident.

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