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Top 10 List of Higher Education ​Site-Visit Deficiencies​​

I attended a workshop where the presenting accrediting agency had prepared a report of the most common on-site visit deficiencies. This article includes a list of the top 10.    ​​​


Top 10 Site-Visit Deficiencies

Here is the list with #1 being the most frequent:

#10 - Admissions Documentation 

There is no adequate documentation in the student files to show the institution adheres to its admissions policies.

#9 – Student and Faculty Files 

Student files are missing the final transcript. Faculty transcripts are not official.

#8 – Externships

There is not sufficient documentation to show compliance with the externship portion of the program: no proper supervision, attendance records, or evaluation of students on file.

#7 – Program Management Qualifications 

The Director of Education, Dean, or Program Director qualifications do not comply with the necessary requirements: degree, experience, license, or certification.

#6 – Advisory Board 

The advisory board lacks adequate representation, meetings, or meeting minutes.

#5 – Syllabi 

The institution's course syllabi are not in compliance or are not given to students at the beginning of each course.

#4 – Professional Growth 

Administrative personnel and faculty lack the required annual professional growth plan and activities.

#3 – Outcomes 

The reported placement rates cannot be verified due to unsatisfactory or non-existing documentation.

#2 – Surveys 
There is no evidence that students have participated in surveys, or survey benchmarks have been developed.

#1 - Program Outcome Assessment 

Programs fail to demonstrate an established and documented plan for assessing their effectiveness as defined by specific outcomes.

Staying Site Visit Ready

Maintaining an educational institution in compliance should not represent an additional effort or expense. The recommendation for recently established institutions is to take time to examine each one of the areas presented above and identify any that may need improvement.

The Recipe for Sucess

Here is the recipe to bullet-proof your compliance and Best Practices plan in four simple steps:


  • Define what compliance means for each department and each role at your institution. 
  • Implement a practical way to systematically measure compliance for each one of them. 
  • Incorporate these methods into the daily operations of each role: no exceptions! 
  • Measure once a quarter and make any necessary adjustments.


Related Pages
Interested in learning more? Visit the following pages for information on relevant topics for school owners:



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We hope the Top 10 List of higher education site visit deficiencies has helped you prepare for your next regulatory visit!
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