To whom it may concern,
The Accreditation Agency Curacao (AAC) is an independent and professional Accreditation Agency that offers a diligent Program Accreditation to all local and international institutions of Higher Education which have taken the decision to accredit their study courses.
The AAC assess the quality of the courses and the institutions of Higher Education on the basis of a Self-documentation provided by the latter and the results of an onsite visit. The goal is then, for the team of experts, to come to a final recommendation through an official report regarding the accreditation. This official report is submitted to the Accreditation Commission of the AAC for a final decision. The AAC conducts this process with all transparency and professionalism to assure that institutions of Higher Education are offering quality courses and studies local and internationally.
Institutional Accreditation involves evaluating the Institution of Higher Education against a cohesive set of standards that provide the process for sustainable continuous improvement. The institution therefor engages in a process of continuous review and refinement of its systems and processes.
Renewing Institutional Accreditation will validate how well all parts of the education system within the institution work together to meet the needs of students. The process provides a comprehensive framework for continually improving student achievement and the institution performance.
The following pages will give a thorough insight into our procedure for the Institutional Accreditation.
The Institutional Accreditation
The Institutional Accreditation focuses predominantly on innovative, commercial and internationally oriented Higher Education Institutions (HEI). The procedure comprises a comprehensive evaluation of the institutional strategy, quality assurance system and assets. Higher Education Institutions receive feedback on the future prospects of their structures and processes as well as impetus for further development. The relevant areas of the Higher Education Institution in this procedure are:
- Mission Goals and Objectives
- Governance and Administration
- Management of Quality Assurance and Improvement
- Learning and Teaching
- Student Administration and Support Services
- Learning Resources
- Facilities and Equipment
- Financial Planning and Management
- Employment Processes
- Institutional Relationships With the Community
The accreditation procedure for institutional accreditation takes between 16 to 24 months.
The procedure gives the Higher Education Institution a detailed evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses and showcases its crucial future opportunities as well as future possible perils. This enables the HEI to identify and take effective measures to achieve its self-imposed goals.
- application with basic information about the Institution, strategy, quality assurance
- preparatory discussion about the procedure and conclusion of contract
- draft of a self-evaluation report according to the AAC Assessment Guide
- appointment of the expert panel (5 experts – three members from Higher Education Institutions including one local expert of the HEI’s country, one student member and one member from the professional field)
- compilation of a self-evaluation report according to the AAC Assessment Guide
- site visit of 3 days at the HEI
- compilation of the assessment report by the expert panel
- statement on the report by the HEI
- final accreditation decision of the AAC Commission for Institutional Procedures
- possibility of a protest against the procedure through an email to the AAC or an appeal regarding the commission’s decision
- publication of the accreditation report
- the accreditation is valid for 6 years and must be updated afterwards
To give guidance during a procedure, the AAC provides guidelines for preparing an application for program accreditation or institutional accreditation. The agency also provides continuous feedback during all steps of a specific procedure. Our experts can give you recommendations on the further development of your application and self-assessment.
The quality assurance process offered not by one but by two well-known agencies (AQAS & AAC) will thus give universities the chance for continuous improvement and many advantages:
- Students get an attractive qualification which is usually accepted in the home country as well as in Europe
- Quality enhancement of the programs
- Creativity and new approaches concerning study and learning
- Certificate of external QA gives a higher reputation and attracts more students
- Public visibility of programs
- Door opener for internationalization in general at HEI
- Double Accreditation is cheaper and less effort than two accreditations
Standards for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions
Standards for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions.
Standard 1: Mission, Goals and Objectives.
Standard 2: Governance and Administration.
Standard 3: Management of Quality Assurance and Improvement.
Standard 4: Learning and Teaching.
Standard 5: Student Administration and Support Services.
Standard 6: Learning Resources.
Standard 7: Facilities and Equipment.
Standard 8: Financial Planning and Management.
Standard 9: Employment Processes.
Standard 10: Research.
Standard 11: Relationships with the Community.
Appeals against AAC Decisions
Applicants may appeal against decisions of the Accreditation Commission on procedural grounds or in the case of perversity of judgment. The Academic Board (Appeals Committee) has the responsibility to consider appeals.
Grounds of Appeal
The possible grounds of appeal are limited to procedural errors and/or perversity of judgment. Mere disagreement with the Accreditation Commission judgment does not constitute a valid ground of appeal.
An appeal on procedural grounds may be lodged if AAC procedures, other regulations, any applicable legislation, or generally accepted principles of fair and equal process were dishonored. Perversity of judgment may be claimed if a decision is clearly unreasonable or disproportionate in the light of the available evidence.
If the Academic Board accepts the appeal, the Accreditation Commission decision is voided and the case referred back to the Accreditation Commission. The Accreditation Commission will take due account of the grounds of appeal and the reasoning of the Academic Board in taking a new decision. An appeal is rejected if it is either unsubstantiated or not based on valid grounds.
Appeals need to be submitted to Academic Board in writing within 90 days of being notified of the rejection of an application. The appeal has to clearly specify on which grounds it is lodged. The Academic Board will decide on the appeal within 120 days.
Before taking a decision, the Academic Board might request further clarification or comments on the grounds of appeal from the Accreditation Commission, the review coordinator, the review panel, or the applicant.