Assessment and improvement of the level of theological education is the main task of the accreditation department of the NTA
The accreditation process is divided into several stages, although in separate educational institutions the time and structure of the evaluation may differ from each other.
The process is divided into several stages, although in separate educational institutions the term and structure of the evaluation may differ from each other. In any case, the precondition for the institution to receive the accreditation status is membership in the National Theological Association.
The accreditation process begins with the receipt of an application from the educational institution, indicating the desire to obtain accreditation for a particular curriculum (or branch). In this case, the Executive Director sends out all necessary information material (an accreditation manual containing standards, procedures, questionnaires, etc.) to the School.
1.1. Accreditation is a long process in which the school, its structure, program, structure and life are assessed by the school itself and by accreditation commissions consisting of qualified ministers with authority in the evangelical education system and the necessary training.
1.2. The process is divided into several stages, although in separate educational institutions the term and structure of the evaluation may differ from each other. In any case, the precondition for the institution to receive the accreditation status is membership in the Nationals Theological Association.
2.1. The accreditation process begins with the receipt of an application from the educational institution, indicating the desire to obtain accreditation for a particular curriculum (or branch). In this case, the Executive Director sends out all necessary information material (an accreditation manual containing standards, procedures, questionnaires, etc.) to the School.
2.2. The return of the preliminary questionnaire filled in by the School with a confirmation of readiness to pay compensation for the transportation costs of the accreditation commission and the established fee is considered the official start of the accreditation process.
2.3. The Executive Director, in agreement with the Council of the Association, shall form an accreditation commission for this educational institution from the reserve of accreditation commissions approved by the general meeting, and passes the application of the school and the completed preliminary questionnaire to the Chairman of this commission.
An accreditation commission consisting of 3-4 persons of which at least one must be from the country representing the School, attends the educational institution at an agreed time and provides a confidential report to the Chairman of the Council, which is presented at the next meeting of the Council. As a rule, there is an Executive Director or an experienced representative of the accreditation committee.
2.4. The purpose of the first visit is to draw up a general impression about the School and determine whether there are any principal obstacles to obtaining the School of Accreditation. That is, the commission makes a conclusion – is it realistic to begin the accreditation process for this school. All received materials are submitted to the next Council of the Association, which, if approved by the accreditation commission, represents the School the status of “Candidate for accreditation”.
2.5. After assigning Candidate status to the School, she can indicate this in all her publications and advertising brochures, and she also undertakes to pay the Association membership accreditation fees for the program submitted for accreditation.
3.1. Immediately after the decision of the council on conferring the status of candidate for accreditation, it can begin the process of obtaining the status of full accreditation for a certain program (department).
For this, having received from the Executive Director a written decision of the council and a “Guide to Self-Assessment,” the School should create a committee of 2-3 people, appointing a chairman. This committee is engaged in self-evaluation of the School, and this process, as a rule, takes place during the whole academic year.
3.2. Self-evaluation is performed using the “Guidelines” and in accordance with standards and criteria approved by the general meeting of the NTA. If necessary, the School can receive the required consultations from the Executive Director or from a specially appointed expert.
3.3. After completing the self-assessment, but not earlier than one year after receiving the status of the candidate, the School submits a report in this form, approved by the head of the institution. This report is sent to each member of the accreditation commission appointed and to the Executive Director, who makes a preliminary verification of it. After this, the educational institution can send an invitation letter for the evaluation visit.
3.4. The evaluation visit is made by the accreditation commission, at the time agreed upon with the school after acquaintance with the results of the self-assessment and after the guarantees from the educational institution about the compensation of the transportation costs of the accreditation commission and the fee of the established size.
The Commission visits the school and submits a confidential report on its visit to the management of the evaluated educational institution, and after receiving comments, corrections and / or consent of the School with its text, the commission sends its report on the assessment visit to the Council of the NTA.
3.5. The report on the evaluation visit should describe the general situation of the institution, indicate its strengths and weaknesses, work carried out to bring the institution closer to the standards of the NTA, as well as it should give recommendations on changing the situation in the future. Also, the report should contain an assessment of the quality of the self-assessment conducted by the institution. At the end of the report, the commission formulates recommendations to the accreditation Council, but the decision to grant full accreditation status is taken only by the Council and approved by the general meeting.
3.6. The Accreditation Council may decide to confer the status of full accreditation to the educational institution, with subsequent approval by its general meeting. In the same way, the Council may postpone accreditation for a certain period, indicating to the school the conditions that it must fulfill to obtain the status of full accreditation, or the Council may refuse accreditation altogether.
3.7. Full accreditation is possible not earlier than 1.5 years after the accreditation candidate has been granted, but on condition that there is at least one graduate student program in the accredited program.
If there is at least one accredited program in the institution, the accreditation period for any other program can be reduced to half a year, provided that there is at least one graduate student program in the newly accredited program.
3.8. After the approval of the status of “Full accreditation” by the general membership meeting of the Association, the school has the right to indicate this status in all its publications and brochures.
4.1. The status of full accreditation remains with the school only if it and its accredited training programs continue to meet the standards approved by the general meeting of the NTA.
4.2. Schools with full accreditation status are required to submit to the Executive Director once a year (by APRIL 4) a written report on the form approved by the Accreditation Council.
4.3. If the school has major changes in the program or organizational structure, the school management is obliged to inform the executive director about this within a month.
4.4. Once every 3-5 years, the accreditation commission, drawn up by the Executive Director in consultation with the Council from the members of the reserve, reevaluates. Before that, the School submits a self-assessment report and guarantees payment of transportation costs to the accreditation commission and the corresponding fee.
The report on the second visit is in line with the evaluation visit report and passes the same approval procedure to the Accreditation Council, which decides to extend the status of “Full accreditation” with the subsequent approval of this status by the general meeting, or the Council puts the School to a comment with a specific deadline.
4.5. A note for a certain period is established for educational institutions or individual programs, in which serious shortcomings are noticed. The remark does not deprive the school of the accreditation status, but only induce it to correct these shortcomings.
If within the specified period the School has not corrected the noticed deficiencies, the Council may decide to suspend the Full Accreditation status and send an extraordinary evaluation commission to the school. According to the report of this commission, the Council can draw conclusions about the deprivation of this institution of full accreditation status. This decision is approved by the general meeting of the NTA and is brought to the attention of the general public. After the approval of such a decision by the general assembly, the School is deprived of the right to indicate in its printed materials its accreditation status.
4.5. To restore the status of full accreditation to the School, upon its request, the evaluation commission is again sent on the terms of the assessment visit.
5.1. The school can appeal any decision of the Council by making an appeal at the next general meeting of the association’s members. Appeal of the decision of the general meeting in judicial or other order is not possible, since NTA is an organization that has a voluntary membership.
5.2. Any educational institution at any time can withdraw its application for accreditation or withdraw from the NTA. Similarly, the exit from the NTA comes when the school changes the profession of faith, if the statute of the NTA is not complied with, and if the membership fees are not paid in time.
5.3. When the institution leaves the NTA for any reason, it automatically loses accreditation, which is immediately notified to the general public. Similarly, in this case the school loses the right to indicate the accreditation status in its printed materials, with contributions and other expenses of the School and its donations not being returned.
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