Accreditation, Certification and Licensure

Accreditation, Certification and Licensure manages compliance with accreditation, certification and licensure; and coordinates assessment programs.manages compliance with accreditation, certification and licensure; and coordinates assessment programs.

Accreditation

Gallaudet University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a regional accreditation organization.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (267) 284-5000

Shared Governance

Shared governance is the attempt to balance maximum participation in decision making with clear accountability. A key component of shared governance is broad and unending communication. The university maintains a list of governance bodies and committees that serve a wide variety of functions and vary in terms of their mission, membership, and representative term length.

Programmatic accreditation

Particular programs offered by Gallaudet University also have met standards and requirements of programmatic accrediting organizations

Additionally, Gallaudet University's teacher preparation programs are recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE reviews the educator preparation programs as a unit, this includes the Department of Education Teacher Preparation programs as well as School Psychology, School Social Work and School Counseling programs, which also prepare educators and/or school personnel. The university refers to these entities collectively as the Professional Education Programs. Specialized program associations (SPAs) also review programs against their established programmatic standards. SPA reviews are included in the NCATE review process.

Assessment

The Gallaudet University community recognizes the need to adopt an assessment process that advances evidence-based decisions about teaching, learning, bilingualism, diversity, campus life, academic support, and student development. This process employs data-driven decision-making to continuously increase student achievement and institutional effectiveness.

Certification

The certification officer, Dr. Helen Thumann, is responsible for verification of program completion.

The District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) partners and follows the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education standards for professional education programs review and licensure. Contact OSSE about how to obtain a D.C. teaching license.

The university has several state-approved licensure programs, including for school service providers and school educators.

Additionally, some programs lead to certification from the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED). Contact CED to apply for CED Teacher Certification.

Licensure

Some licensure programs may require criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and/or drug testing prior to placement in an internship or practicum. A criminal background or felony conviction may affect the student’s ability to secure a site for practicum hours. In addition, states may restrict or prohibit those with a criminal background from obtaining a professional license and/or eligibility to sit for licensing/certification examinations.

If you are considering an academic program that leads you to obtaining professional licensure in your state, it is highly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing agency in your state to seek information and additional guidance before beginning a program outside of your state.

State Authorizations

Gallaudet University is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). SARA is a voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. As of 2018, 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of SARA. California is currently the only states not yet part of SARA.

As an institutional member of NC-SARA, Gallaudet is authorized to deliver online programs in other NC-SARA member states. Gallaudet is exempt from seeking specific authorization from California.

Students may pursue online and hybrid enrollment in the following programs:

  • B.A. in Deaf Studies for Online Degree Completion Program
  • B.A. in Psychology for Online Degree Completion Program (online)
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (hybrid)
  • M.A. in Deaf Education: Advanced Studies (online)
  • M.A. in Sign Language Education (hybrid)
  • Certificate in American Sign Language/English Bilingual Early Childhood Education (online)
  • Certificate in Educating Deaf Students with Disabilities (online)
  • Certificate in Infants, Toddlers, and their Families: Collaboration and Leadership (hybrid)
  • Certificate in Peer Mentoring Training (hybrid)

Gainful employment

Beginning July 1, 2011, the US Department of Education began requiring colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The university does offer graduate certificate programs, including online graduate certificate programs, designed around current and pressing needs of professionals and practitioners. These programs require graduate-level courses and are limited to students who have at least a bachelor's degree.

Consumer information

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires that postsecondary institutions participating in federal student aid programs disclose information from various administrative areas to students. The consumer information required to be disclosed by this act includes information on costs, enrollment, accreditation, educational offerings, financial aid, safety, and student outcome information.

Complaints/Grievances

Students that have a complaint or grievance should first decide what sort of complaint they have.

  • Against another student - see the Office of Student Conduct
  • About a financial aid decision, rule or regulation - see the Financial Aid Office to initiate the financial aid appeal process
  • About facilities, including accessibility problems - Submit a work request
  • About computer equipment or technology - File a HelpDesk ticket
  • About a course grade - Resolve grade complaints through contacting these individuals in order: professor, department chair, dean, and provost.
  • About sexual harassment or discrimination - see the EEO/Title IX officer
  • About accommodation or accessibility for a disability - see the Office for Students with Disabilities
  • About a violation or misapplication of campus policy or procedure - file a grievance with the Student Grievance coordinator

Other resources

The Office of the Ombuds provides conflict management resources to all members of the campus community, including students. The Ombuds provides a confidential, neutral, informal and independent place to develop options, obtain referrals, clarify university policies and procedures, and find solutions to problems.

Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center have a Whistleblower Hotline to support the Board of Trustees' mandate to report possible misconduct.

No resolution

In the unlikely event that an issue cannot be resolved by Gallaudet University, students may file a complaint with the District of Columbia's Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC) which is the licensing authority in Washington, D.C.

Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Higher Education Licensure Commission
1050 First St. NE, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Telephone: (202) 727-6436

Additionally, for any student with an unresolved complaint may also contact the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, once all other avenues have been exhausted.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (267) 284-5000

Distance education students

Under the SARA agreement, distance education students in SARA states should, after exhausting institutional complaint processes, contact the District of Columbia SARA portal agency, the District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission (http://osse.dc.gov/service/higher-education-licensure-commission-helc-public-complaints) if their complaint hasn't yet been resolved.

Distance education students in non-SARA states (California and Massachusetts) can contact the appropriate state agency if they have any grievances or complaints that haven't been resolved by the institution. 

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