Call for Applications – NAEYC Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs
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NAEYC’s Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs serves as an important lever for supporting programs in and holding programs accountable for preparing effective early childhood educators. Almost 250 early childhood degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree levels are accredited.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs is currently seeking an additional member. The Commission has four primary responsibilities: 1) to render accreditation decisions regarding early childhood degree programs at institutions of higher education; 2) to set the standards for the accreditation system; 3) to set the accreditation policies and processes that govern the accreditation system; and 4) to maintain the integrity and quality of the accreditation system. The Commission is a self-managing group, with a clear structure, policies, and procedures that support the accreditation decision-making process. Commission members primarily represent early childhood leaders from early childhood degree programs, and other sectors of the early childhood field. The Commission is guided by its own founding principles as well as the guidelines for strong higher education accreditation practices as defined by Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the U.S. Department of Education.
The composition of the Commission reflects NAEYC’s commitment to being a high-performing, inclusive organization. The Commission is committed to assuring that its composition (1) includes individuals with a range of experience that support the mission and responsibilities of the Commission and the accreditation process; and (2) reflects the diversity of its constituency with specific attention to culture and ethnicity, language, geographic location, and gender.
The Commission is a volunteer entity, and, as such, Commissioners do not receive compensation for their service. Travel and other direct costs related to attending regular, special or committee meetings, workshops or site visits are paid by NAEYC.
Commissioner Responsibilities: Commissioners serve for three years and are limited to two consecutive terms. Commission members commit to attend two 3-day meetings a year at NAEYC Headquarters (typically February and June)1 and to participate in online meetings (typically May and November); to actively serve as a member of at least one Commission standing committee; and to participate in accreditation orientation sessions.
The majority of a Commissioner’s time is focused on reviewing accreditation cases. Preparation for Commission meetings includes review and critical assessment of programs’ Self-Study Reports, Peer Review Team Reports, Written Responses to the team report, and Annual Reports. Preparing for an in-person Commission meeting may take approximately 25 hours (this includes reviewing program cases, writing draft decisions, and reviewing materials for other topics on the agenda). Post-Commission meeting work may take approximately five hours to finalize decision reports for assigned cases. In addition, Commissioners are expected to conduct business between meetings related to their standing committee work.
Prior to Commission meetings, each Commissioner is assigned to a panel of 2-3 individuals. Each person is assigned to be the lead reviewer for 1-3 cases (approx. 4-6 prep hours per case), depending on the caseload and posts preliminary findings and recommendations prior to the start of the meeting. Panelists are expected to respond to the lead reviewer’s findings and recommendations. Commissioners utilize an online platform to conduct business, including posting and responding to preliminary findings and recommendations for assigned accreditation cases. On average, it might take ~30 hours to prepare for a 3-day Commission meeting and ~15 hours to prepare for a one-day meeting.
Other responsibilities include contributing to the review and revision of accreditation policies and procedures to support the continuous improvement of the accreditation system. In addition, currently, the Commission is revising the accreditation standards to align with the recommendations in the Unifying Framework for the Early Childhood Education Profession and the Professional Standards and Competencies as well as to address feedback from programs on strengths and challenges associated with the current accreditation standards.
Commissioners must have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to make high-stakes accreditation decisions and should meet the following criteria:
Priority Criteria: In keeping with the Commission’s commitment to maintaining a diverse composition, it is particularly seeking individuals who represent at least one of the following areas:
- Is a person of non-Caucasian background
- Is male
Professional Criteria: The ideal candidate has: a demonstrated commitment to the aims of early childhood teacher education at higher education institutions; an understanding of the nature of program accreditation systems, policies and procedures; a respect for the confidential, fair, and impartial nature of accreditation decisions; prior or current professional experience related to early childhood professional preparation; experience using NAEYC Standards for Professional Preparation ; and knowledge of NAEYC’s higher education accreditation system.
Personal Criteria: Demonstrated ability to: work and make decisions in a close collegial relationship; strive for consensus within a group but take responsibility for actions based on a vote by the majority; express individual questions and concerns and hear the perspectives and opinions of others; consider information and data impartially and make rational and timely decisions; communicate decisions effectively in written decision reports; have the flexibility to leave work and focus on the Commission work for three days (for the in-person meetings); and concentrate on issues which are complex, challenging and sometimes tedious. In addition, the individual must have the capacity to read large volumes of accreditation reports in a condensed period of time. Typically, Commissioners have approximately 3-4 weeks to review their assigned lead and panel cases and create draft accreditation decisions prior to Commission meetings. Cases involving initial or renewal accreditation can run 150-200 pages a case (Self-Study Report, Peer Review Report and the program’s Written Response), and cases involving programs on conditions can run 30-60 pages a case (Annual Report and sometimes the program’s previous Commission Feedback Letters and Accreditation Decision Reports). Additionally, Commissioners are expected to be familiar with every case on the meeting agenda prior to meetings.
Commission Term: January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2024
Upcoming Commission Meeting Dates:
- February 23-25, 2022, Washington DC
- May 2022 (TBD) – This will be a virtual meeting
- June 2022 (TBD) – This will be an in-person meeting in Washington, DC
- November 2022 (TBD) – This will be a virtual meeting
How to Apply: Interested individuals should submit their resume and a brief statement describing their interest and qualifications (no more than 500 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct 27, 2021. Applicants are encouraged to review the Accreditation Handbook for the system and particularly Appendix B: Conflicts of Interest, Confidentiality, and Code of Conduct Policies. Applicants should also review the attached Commission Code of Ethics and Commission Culture Commitments.
For questions, please contact Mary Harrill at email@example.com or (202) 350-8834.
 The Commission is meeting monthly remotely through December 31, 2021 to facilitate its work in a remote environment during the pandemic and will reevaluate in late fall 2021 to consider if meeting in-person in February 2022 is safe and viable.