The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) has accepted the responsibility of implementing a voluntary Accreditation Program available to institutions awarding 4-year BS degrees in Animal Science by creating the Animal Science Council on Accreditation. This is in response to requests from ASAS members representing academia and industry employers of Animal Science graduates to establish standards for accreditation of animal science programs and was first approved in 2014.
What is Accreditation and why is ASAS offering Accreditation of Animal Science Programs?
Accreditation of professional programs, through program self-evaluation and third-party peer review processes, is a long proven and accepted method of ensuring quality and consistency of academic programs and is widely used throughout academic disciplines. Accreditation of Animal Science programs will be of value to the academic departments, colleges and institutions awarding the degrees, to the students graduating from these programs and to the employers of graduates from these programs. Animal science professionals from academia, industry and government are engaged to provide objective external review and attest to a program’s quality and commitment to continuous improvement. With increasing expectations of accountability in higher education, accreditation provides a valued opportunity to verify program quality and capacity for training students who are prepared to enter diverse professional positions upon graduation or continue their education in professional degree programs.
Programmatic accreditation in the US is a non-governmental process where programs voluntarily undergo a periodic comprehensive review that determines a program’s success in meeting defined professional standards. Accredited Animal Science programs can document third-party peer review and evaluation of educational quality and accountability of a program in meeting essential standards identified and approved by animal science professionals from academia and industry. Accreditation does not rank programs, but rather identifies if program standards are met. Accreditation of an Animal Science Program accredits the program, not the institution.
Accreditation of Animal Science programs signifies that professionals in the Animal Science disciplines are proactively committed to high quality education and training of the next generation of animal scientists and have identified required standards for their program. When the Animal Science Standards for Accreditation are met, it ensures that the curriculum covers essential concepts, knowledge and experiences, that appropriate institutional support is present to deliver a sustained high quality program and that the program has the necessary components to deliver graduates who are well prepared and ready for employment in the diverse professions of animal science.
A program seeking accreditation will conduct a thorough self-evaluation to assess and document compliance with the required professional standards. The institution will request accreditation and submit the required application materials. The Animal Science Counsel on Accreditation will then review the application, send a peer review team for an onsite visit and make a decision on whether the standards have been met.
The hallmark of the Accreditation process will be the Accreditation Standards document. A committee of ASAS members (academic, industry and government) and non-members have completed a draft of the Accreditation Standards for ASAS. At this time, we are opening a 30-day comment period on this document. It is important that an Animal Science Accreditation program helps our academic programs and our industry as such it is important for members to provide constructive feedback before we move forward. The public comment period began February 10, 2020 and has been extended through 5 pm central on March 20, 2020.
General instructions for comments
- Comments must be submitted online via the online submission site.
- Your name and email must accompany all comments for comments to be considered.
- Comments from ASAS members will be considered of higher importance than comments from non-members.
- Comments should be constructive in nature.
- Comments and appropriate responses may be posted publicly.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the ASAS office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for the time and effort involved in the review process.