ASPA MembershipBenefits and Member Services
An ASPA Member is
a specialized and/or professional accrediting organization with a national scope that accredits higher education programs or institutions that prepare individuals for entry into practice in a specialized discipline or defined profession, or educate individuals in a concentrated area of study.
Benefits of ASPA membership
- Unified and common voice for issues of importance to specialized accreditation and higher education nationally.
- Net-working and peer interaction in conference settings; participating in a community of specialized accreditors; sharing good practices in carrying out accreditation work; benchmarking to improve performance.
- Professional development for staff, volunteers and educators as well as opportunities to learn from other accreditors.
- Current information on pertinent issues and important developments in higher education and accreditation.
- Advocacy to broader communities including higher education, government, institutional accreditors, and recognition bodies.
- Enhancement of the credibility and image of accreditation through endorsement of the ASPA Code of Good Practice.
- Regular membership updates on topical issues.
- Development of position papers on issues and good practices.
- In person and written representation to stakeholders on specialized accreditation on legislation and recognition issues.
- Proprietary database of member profiles and organization structure.
- Annual compensation and benefits report that is unique to programmatic accreditors.
- Access to internal e-list to gather and share information within the membership.
ASPA is a membership organization. Membership does not equate to recognition, nor does it certify the status, performance or integrity of the accreditation organization. Organizations seeking membership do so on a voluntary basis. ASPA is under no obligation to accept any organization as a member.
Reinstatement of Lapsed Membership
- The organization must reaffirm that it meets ASPA membership criteria.
- If the organization pays the current fiscal year dues no later than July 31 of the first year, reinstatement will occur with no financial penalty or need to reapply following the membership application process.
- If membership has lapsed for more than one year, the organization must reapply according to ASPA’s then current application process.
Check our membership eligibility criteria and definitions to see if your organization qualifies for ASPA membership, then complete the application form and submit supporting documentation as described in the form.
Eligibility Criteria and Definitions
For ASPA Membership, the accrediting organization must:
- Demonstrate that it meets ASPA’s definition of Specialized or Professional, as well as the supporting definitions (see list of definitions);
- endorse the ASPA Code of Good Practice; and
- Submit the application and other required materials with the application fee of $500.00.
If the membership criteria are met and the applicant is accepted into membership by the ASPA Board of Directors, the term of membership will continue as long as the organization is a member in good standing.
Membership is contingent upon payment of current dues.
Dues for July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024, are $4,700 + ($8.00 multiplied by the number of institutions that sponsor accredited programs, capped at 500). Dues will be pro-rated based on the date of approval for membership.
Applicants must provide additional information or updated applications within 60 days if requested, otherwise the application will be closed.
Applicants for ASPA Membership can expect this process/timeline to be followed:
- The ASPA Executive Director will acknowledge receipt of the application and screen it for completeness.
- The Executive Director may request additional information and clarification from the applicant, which may include an updated application.
- The application will typically be reviewed by the Membership Committee within 2 weeks for quality and appropriateness of responses to the criteria for membership. The Committee may request additional information or an updated application.
- The Committee will then forward the application with a recommendation to the Board of Directors. The Board will review the application and make a decision at its next scheduled meeting. The Board of Directors shall have final authority to grant (or continue) membership. All membership decisions shall occur in executive session at an official meeting of the Board of Directors. A decision to grant membership shall require a simple majority vote of the entire Board.
- Applicants shall be notified in writing of the Board’s decision no later than two weeks following the meeting.