There are benefits of accreditation for schools, students, and the midwifery community. To take advantage of these benefits, institutions and programs must undergo a process of self- and peer-review.
Institutions Seeking Accreditation
Institutional accreditation refers to the review and approval of an entire institution, including all of its financial and management aspects. MEAC institutional accreditation is limited to independent or freestanding educational entities that primarily provide midwifery education. If the institution also offers other educational programs beyond the scope of midwifery expertise, the institution must be accredited by another agency recognized by the US Department of Education and the midwifery educational program can then apply for MEAC programmatic accreditation.
Programs Seeking Accreditation
Programmatic accreditation refers to the review and approval of a midwifery program that legally functions as part of a larger institution with a scope larger than midwifery. In order to apply for programmatic accreditatiom, the program must be housed within an institution already accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education.
Training Requirements Prior to Applying for Accreditation
Every school is required to undergo the MEAC Prospective Applicant Accreditation Training prior to submitting an application for initial accreditation. This training involves a mix of self-study, live sessions, and readiness assessments. When all four steps are complete, MEAC will provide the most recent version of the programmatic or institutional application.
Stage One is a self-guided study that can be started at any time. It involves reading the MEAC Accreditation Handbook and learning more about our standards and the value of accreditation. Please contact the MEAC Director of Accreditation to access the materials.
Stage Two is a live session on best practices in accreditation. This will generally be held every March and October and is by invitation only for schools that have completed Stage One.
Stage Three is a detailed readiness assessment that the school will conduct on its own. The readiness assessment materials will be provided to each school upon completion of Stage Two.
Stage Four is a one on one meeting with the Director of Accreditation to go over the readiness assessment, take a closer look at the process and systems for applying for accreditation, and deciding when to take the next step. The Part I Application for Accreditation will be provided to schools following the Stage Four meeting.
MEAC will only accept Part I Applications in February and August of each year. Depending on administrative capacity, up to two applicants will be selected to move forward. Selection will be based on those demonstrating a clear readiness for accreditation.
Direct and Indirect Costs associated Accreditation
There are direct and indirect costs associated with being an accredited midwifery school.
(depend much on the number of students enrolled in the institution or program)
Fee Calculator for Prospective Schools
Note: This calculator has been provided to for information purposes only- please refer to the current Accreditation Handbook, Section E: Fees for the current fee schedule.
Initial Accreditation Cost
|Number of Students:|
|Application Fee: $300||$300|
|Base Rate: $1874||$1874|
Accredited Institution: $13/Student
| Fee at an institution that offers distance
or correspondence education: $7/Student
Fee at a degree-granting institution: $7/Student
Fee per student in an institution that participates in Title IV: $8/Student
|Site Visit Fee (Due 8 weeks in advance of Site Visit): $1500 per site visitor||$4500|
|Number of Students:|
|Base Rate: $3817||$0|
Accredited Program: $83/Student|
Accredited Institution: $141/Student <0/td>
Fee at an
institution that offers distance education: $24/Student
Fee at a degree-granting institution: $84/Student
Fee per student in an institution that participates in Title IV: $58/Student
|Required as part of MEAC standards|
|Annual Audit or financial review required by MEAC
The financial state of the institution is assessed annually by an independent accountant.
Financial Audits are not required if a program (within an institution) is accredited.
|Cost ranges from $1500 to $8000. Financial Reviews generally cost less than full financial audits.|
|State Licensure fee/state authorization||Varies from state to state|
|Potential Operational Costs|
|Staffing and administrative expenses||In order to fulfill your obligations in meeting MEAC’s Standards, you may need to hire additional personnel.|
|Estimated personnel hours for example school:||Part I Application for Accreditation: 5 hours
Part II Self-Evaluation Reports: 100 hours
Annual Reporting: 10 hours
Have a question?
The practice of accreditation is a means of conducting non-governmental, peer evaluation of educational institutions and programs in order to ensure a basic level of quality. Private educational associations, such as MEAC, adopt criteria reflecting the qualities of a sound educational program and develop procedures for evaluating institutions and programs to determine whether they are operating at basic levels of quality.
There are benefits of accreditation for schools, students, the midwifery profession, and the public. There are a few videos that may be helpful to you.
MEAC and its schools talk about the benefits here.
The Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) discuss the benefits here.
MEAC has ten standards (see accreditation handbook for the actual standards). Each standard looks at a different area of the institution or programs.
Each institution or program accredited by MEAC:
- Measures student success with respect to the school’s mission;
- Bases its course of education on nationally recognized standards;
- Utilizes qualified faculty for its didactic and clinical education;
- Maintains appropriate facilities, equipment, supplies and other resources;
- Practices sound financial management;
- Provides appropriate student services;
- Establishes policies and procedures regarding student affairs;
- Includes minimum lengths of didactic and clinical education;
- Has a mechanism for responding to complaints; and
- Is in compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act, if it chooses to participate.
To become accredited, each program or institution must:
- Complete Prospective Applicant Accreditation Training
- Commit to the process of continual assessment and improvement
- Submit an application for accreditation;
- Conduct a self-evaluation study of its program based on MEAC standards;
- Submit this study for review by committee of peers and experts in midwifery education;
- Open its doors to a thorough inspection; and then
- Repeat the process every four to six years.
The applicant program or institution voluntarily elects to apply for accreditation and it voluntarily agrees to comply with all MEAC standards. The burden of proof in demonstrating compliance with standards rests with the institution or program, not with MEAC. The institution must prove to MEAC that it meets or exceeds the standards. MEAC considers information about an applicant institution from any source in reaching its conclusions.
Institutional accreditation refers to the review and approval of an entire institution, including all of its financial and management aspects. MEAC institutional accreditation is limited to independent or freestanding educational entities that primarily provide midwifery education.
If the institution also offers other educational programs beyond the scope of midwifery expertise, the institution must be accredited by another agency recognized by the USED and the midwifery educational program can then apply for MEAC programmatic accreditation.
Programmatic accreditation refers to the review and approval of a midwifery program that legally functions as part of an accredited institution with a scope larger than midwifery. In order to apply for program accreditation, the program must be housed within an institution already accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education.
Preaccreditation is a step on the path to initial accreditation. It signifies that the program or institution has met a minimal level of quality (particularly around the education it provides) and that the school is likely to gain accreditation within the year allowed for preaccreditation. The preaccreditation period allows students who graduate during that time to be eligible for the NARM exam under the MEAC pathway (a benefit for new schools who might otherwise struggle to get students to enroll) and it allows the school time to make improvements with MEAC feedback.
NARM has several eligibility pathways to the CPM credential. The Portfolio Evaluation Process/PEP pathway is one of them. There is also an eligibility pathway that is distinctly different from the PEP pathway and only available to graduates of institutions/programs that are preaccredited or accredited by MEAC.
Note to schools currently using the PEP pathway for students: as the MEAC accreditation eligibility pathway and the PEP pathway are two separate and distinct processes with different requirements, you will need to undergo changes to your program in order to meet the requirements of MEAC accreditation. MEAC does not accredit the PEP pathway.