Monday, October 28, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 44, Accreditation

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

My first thought when encountering the word "accreditation", I must admit, is that it's hard to spell.  My second thought, which is more an impression, is another A-word:  admiration.


Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards.  The accreditation process is also known in terms of its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education. But such definitions, though accurate, are incomplete.
NRPA has its own definition, with clear roots from the world of academia, and also offers two flavors:


Accreditation is a distinguished mark of excellence that affords external recognition of an organization's commitment to quality and improvement. Accreditation has two fundamental purposes; to assure quality and to assure improvement. The National Recreation and Park Association administratively sponsors two distinct accreditation programs.

The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT)accredits baccalaureate programs in parks, recreation, tourism, sport management, event management, therapeutic recreation, and leisure studies, within the United States and its territories, Canada, and Mexico. COAPRT is the only accreditation of recreation, park resources and leisure services curricula recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) provides quality assurance and quality improvement of accredited park and recreation agencies throughout the United States. CAPRA is the only national accreditation of park and recreation agencies, and is a valuable measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community.
Virginia is the proud home of 5 accredited university baccalaureate programs and 6 accredited park and recreation agencies (bolded denotes VRPS membership):

The accreditation process is rigorous, time-consuming, and a financial investment.  Congratulations to these organizations for investing in themselves.


No comments:

Post a Comment