Accreditation Standards

Note: This document of TAPAC Accreditation Standards was approved by the Board of Commissioners on January 26, 2018.

                                                             1.0 General Criteria

Programs applying for TAPAC accreditation must initially demonstrate that they satisfy each of the requirements listed below. These requirements define eligibility for the TAPAC review process and remain part of the eligibility criteria throughout the accreditation period.  Thus, institutions should note that upon notification of a deficiency in the Stadard 1.0 series, the Commission may withdraw accreditation at any time.

The program:

1.01     Must be part of an educational institution accredited by a regional or national accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Evidence of Compliance:  Documentation of the institution’s status and review dates.  It may be possible to provide a link to the regional accrediting body’s website where the institution’s accreditation is documented.

1.02     Has published a mission statement and objectives/goals, and program competencies that align with the institution’s mission and objectives/goals, (on the program website).

Evidence of Compliance:  Documentation of the program and the institution’s mission and objectives/goals with a direct link to the relevant content on the program website. 

1.03     Offers postsecondary educational instruction leading to a baccalaureate degree in the textile and apparel-related field.

Evidence of Compliance:  Direct link(s) to the catalog page(s) describing the baccalaureate degree in the textile and apparel-related field. Description of major(s) and minors offered within the textile, apparel and related fields program, with enrollment numbers for the past three years for each major.

1.04     Must have institutional approval for courses and degree(s) offered.

Evidence of Compliance:  Direct link(s) to the catalog page(s) describing the degree plan and course offerings for the baccalaureate degree in the textile and apparel- related field.

1.05     Has a formally designated program coordinator or director (see Glossary of Terms).

Evidence of Compliance:  Organizational chart of the unit.

1.06     Has operated continuously for at least five (5) years by the time of review.

Evidence of Compliance:  Historical description in the university catalog or posted on the university or department website, which serves as evidence that the program has been in operation at least five years prior to the accreditation review.

1.07     Has a minimum of two full-time faculty members assigned to the program with at least two FTEs assigned to teaching textile and apparel-related courses.  All teaching faculty shall hold a masters degree or higher, and a bachelors degree or higher in apparel or textiles or a related field.  Teaching faculty who do not hold a masters degree or higher must meet the credentialing standard of the university’s regional accrediting agency.     

            Evidence of Compliance: A brief summary of the academic degrees held by faculty and

professional staff  (e.g., advisors, collections and internship supervisors, etc.), supported by an appendix that includes complete curriculum vitae for each, with their assigned responsibilities highlighted. Completion of Table 1.07: Program Faculty Profile (See Appendix).

1.08     Shall have instructors with competence and credentials in the subject matter for which they are responsible.

Evidence of Compliance: A brief summary of the professional and subject matter competence and credentials of faculty and the courses each faculty member is or has been assigned to teach in the past three years, supported by an appendix that includes complete curriculum vitae of faculty.

1.09     Makes freely available to all interested persons (and especially to its potential and enrolled students) an accurate, fair, and substantially complete description of its program and related activities, policies, and procedures.        

            Evidence of Compliance:  Direct link(s) to relevant program information on the program website.

2.0 Mission, Vision, Values, and Planning

2.01     The academic unit shall have the following written documents that are consistent with the institution.

2.01.01 The mission statement of the program, as it aligns with the institutional mission, vision, and values.

2.01.02 A list of goals that support the mission of the academic unit. 

Evidence of Compliance:  A summary of how the academic unit communicates and integrates its mission statement and goals internally and externally (i.e., scholarly and creative undertakings of students and faculty, resources of the academic unit to support research, creative work, professional development); and copies of pertinent documents or specific URL locations. Show clearly how program mission and goals support institutional mission and goals.

2.02     The program shall be guided by a strategic plan that is assessed regularly for progress and must include: (a) measurable objectives, (b) evidence of the achievement of those objectives, (c) designation of primary person or organizational unit responsible for attainment of objectives, and (d) allocation of resources in support of the program’s mission and goals.

Evidence of Compliance:  Documentation of the strategic plan with progress noted. Tools used for decision-making in support of the strategic plan might include enrollment management reports, five-year financial plans, student surveys, annual budget development documentation, etc.

3.0 Administration

3.01     The organizational structure and institutional policies in the academic unit where the program is housed demonstrate resources adequate for the program to succeed in its mission, vision, and values with respect to the following:

3.01.01   The program shall have adequate financial resources to meet program objectives and contractual obligations.

Evidence of Compliance: Completion of Table 3.01.01:   Financial Profile (See Appendix.) Appropriate financial documents with accompanying explanation that describe the university budgeting process, how funds are allocated to the department including comparisons to other units in the college, and the percentage of department funding allocated to each program in the unit.  Additional specific information includes three-year trend data for:

·       Annual operating program budget

·       Budget and expenditures for program faculty and support staff (including administrative staff, graduate teaching assistants, adjunct faculty, etc.)

·       Budget and expenditures for program facilities

·       Budget and expenditures for equipment pertinent to the program

In addition, provide an assessment of the adequacy of financial resources assigned to the program, and anticipated needs for additional program support, personnel, capital outlay, etc.  Describe any current significant financial problems that over the next five years might affect the program’s ability to achieve its mission and outcome goals.  Identify assumptions re: enrollment trends, retention rates and expansion or consolidation of programs anticipated.

3.01.02   The program shall have a policy describing the implementation of personnel policies and procedures.

Evidence of Compliance:  A policy and procedure manual (or documents) with appropriate pages highlighted (or specific URL locations for the pertinent materials with a compelling statement of compliance).

3.01.03   Hiring practices and retention policies will promote diversity and a climate of inclusiveness. 

Evidence of Compliance:  A policy and procedure manual (or documents) with appropriate pages highlighted (or specific URL locations for the pertinent materials with a compelling statement of compliance).

3.01.04   The program shall have a policy describing the development and implementation of academic policies and procedures.

Evidence of Compliance:  A policy and procedure manual (or documents) with appropriate pages highlighted (or specific URL locations for the pertinent materials with a compelling statement of compliance).

3.02     The program shall have student-faculty ratios that are conducive to a strong learning           environment.  The recommended program ratio is 40:1 or less.  The program should           demonstrate that class size and space (for studio courses, lab courses, and lecture courses) are appropriate for achieving desired learning outcomes.

3.03     The program has a designated leader for the program (hereinafter referred to as the program coordinator), who possesses appropriate academic credentials and sufficient  experience  to represent the program (rank of associate or full professor recommended).  This person may have the designation of “program director,” “program chair,” “department chair,” or “program coordinator,” etc.  This person may or may not be a unit administrator, but will have specific responsibility for the program.  The program coordinator must:

3.03.01   Possess a minimum of an earned masters degree in a program-relevant content area (e.g., merchandising, fashion design, consumer studies, etc.), be a full-time faculty member in the program, and have a minimum of three (3) years of relevant program-related professional experience.

Evidence of Compliance:  A brief summary of the academic degrees and relevant credentials held by the program coordinator, supported by an appendix that includes his/her complete curriculum vita.

3.03.02   Coordinate (or have significant input into) all aspects of the program, including the organization, administration, and allocation of resources.  If the program coordinator is not an administrator, the accrediting commission recognizes that his or her control in the program may be limited.  However, it is expected that the administrator(s) will consult the program coordinator regarding matters pertaining to the program under consideration in this accreditation.  For example, if the merchandising program being considered for accreditation is housed in a traditional Family and Consumer Sciences department, and the department chair is a dietician, it is expected that the department chair will consult with the merchandising program coordinator for matters pertaining specifically to the merchandising program, such as program-specific curriculum adjustments, qualified adjunct faculty, internship coordination, etc.

Evidence of Compliance:  A position description for the program coordinator and a description of how the program coordinator’s position aligns with (other) college or department administration. 

3.03.03   Coordinate (or have significant input into) continuous review, planning, development, and achievement of the program’s goals and outcomes.

Evidence of Compliance:  A position description for the program coordinator.

3.03.04   Provides (or has significant input into) oversight, administration, and coordination of the instructional staff in the academic aspects of the program. 

Evidence of Compliance:  A position description for the program coordinator.

3.03.05   Shall have sufficient time allotted in her or his load to perform the administrative functions required for TAPAC accreditation.  The workload assignment for program coordination should be consistent with prevailing practices in the institution.

Evidence of Compliance:  Documentation demonstrating that the program coordinator’s required workload incorporates sufficient time resources for program administration. Comparison provided with workload assignments for program coordinators in other units in college and university.

3.04     Department faculty shall formally participate in setting policies that affect the program.

Evidence of Compliance: Documentation of faculty participation in administrative policy development and faculty governance within the program and academic unit (i.e., agendas and minutes for scheduled program faculty meetings, evidence of faculty input on curricular or policy changes). 

3.05     The program shall consistently consult with relevant industry practitioners to affirm or influence the curriculum.

 Evidence of Compliance:  Descriptions of composition and activity of the advisory boards (including meeting minutes) and other means of gaining input from industry practitioners.  The documentation should show how the industry input was used in curriculum development and improvement.