Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Hospitality Management has recently achieved full seven-year reaccreditation status by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.
Accreditation, according to ACPHA, “is a status granted to an educational institution or a program that has been found to meet or exceed stated standards of educational quality. In the United States, accreditation is voluntarily sought by institutions and programs and is conferred by non-governmental bodies. Programs in Hospitality Administration seek accreditation for the following: 1) to ensure that the program is in compliance with nationally recognized standards; 2) it puts a stamp of approval on graduates: graduating from an accredited institution indicates that graduates are ready to practice at a certain level; 3) it provides educational programs with opportunities for self-definition and self-reflection, and with feedback on program content and direction and affords the opportunity for continuous improvement of institutions and educational programs.”
Following a three-year-long preparation process, supporting data was gathered from alumni, students, the department’s Industry Advisory Committee, industry recruiters, and internal sources. Leadership provided from Lon Ferguson on behalf of Dean Mary Williams, PhD, College of Health and Human Services, to the Department of Hospitality Management created a synergetic team effort. Stephen Shiring, chairperson, wrote the self-study and supporting documents which provided convincing evidence in the accomplishment of the nine standards required for accreditation. An ACPHA site team visited the IUP campus to verify the information in the self-study over a three-day period in October 2018.
Stephanie Hein, EdD, MBA, CHE, chair of the ACPHA Commission, wrote, “Based on the documentation provided, the Commission voted to grant renewal of accreditation for the full seven years (Winter 2018–Winter 2025) to the Department of Hospitality Management at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The date of accreditation award reflects the date of the last award, which was due for renewal in 2018.”
Continuing, Hein wrote the “Program has provided a robust Assessment Plan, including timelines, assessment tools, direct/indirect assessment measures, summative/formative assessment methods, along with PLOs for the Program and for concentrations within the Program. The Accreditation Commission intends that the evaluation process at the program, site team, and the Commission levels make significant contribution for the improvement of the quality of an educational program.”
Shiring said, “To obtain full seven-year accreditation status without contingencies is a tribute to a focused three-year process with a total team effort and dedicated commitment above and beyond from each faculty member, our department secretary, Mrs. Sherry DiPaolo, our dean, Dr. Mary Williams, and her support staff. This is yet another example of how teamwork works at IUP!”
Yasong Wang focused his attention on student support services and instructional resources. Nicole Buse was responsible for assurance of student learning and curriculum, while Jeffrey Santicola contributed physical and learning resources, and Shiring’s task was on mission and objectives, administration and governance, planning, and financial resources.
Upon receipt of the ACPHA Commission’s grant of accreditation renewal for the full seven years, Dean Williams said, “Wonderful news! Congratulations to all.” Timothy Moerland, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, said, “Congratulations to all,” and Karen Rose Cercone, provost’s associate, Office of Academic Programs and Planning, said, “Congratulations to everyone who helped make this full re-accreditation possible!”