First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge Doris Gordon, the current executive director of ACAE, who will be stepping down on December 31, 2017. 

Doris led the ACAE for almost 15 years with determination and a clear sense of purpose of promoting quality education through standards development and accreditation of audiology programs. Doris was an energetic and committed originator of ACAE. Her steadfast commitment to the preparation of highly competent and prepared clinicians for the audiology workforce elevated the profession. If you have come across Doris in your travels with ACAE, you know that she is a kind and smart professional who has demonstrated great passion and knowledge which ultimately lead to an accomplished ACAE. 

With a level of commitment comparable to her development and progress of ACAE, she has supported a successful transition plan for the ACAE operations to the American Academy of Audiology (the Academy). 

It has been a pleasure for me to work closely with Doris, as well as Kitty Werner, vice president for public affairs at the Academy, over the past few months in this transition. Not only have we learned the daily administrative aspects of ACAE, but we also have gleaned the history and vision of ACAE. Doris has imparted to us recognition of the critical role of ACAE and an appreciation of the responsibility we have to uphold its high standards. She helped us to understand, as well, that an accrediting body can be a partner with educational programs to advance quality education. I know that no one can replace Doris as she is, but I can assure the community that we will strive to honor Doris’ legacy through a commitment to supporting the leadership in advancing the ACAE mission:

The ACAE serves the public by establishing, maintaining, and applying standards to ensure the academic quality and continuous improvement of audiology education that reflects the evolving practice of audiology.

In looking forward toward continued success and a bright future for ACAE, I’d like to discuss some of the upcoming activities within ACAE:

ACAE Board Meeting 

The ACAE board of directors will have an in-person board meeting in Reston, Virginia, on November 8–9, 2017. 

Dr. Lisa Hunter, chair, will be leading her final board meeting. With over a decade of service to the ACAE board, Dr. Hunter leaves ACAE in a position of strength. She has overseen the evolution of the accreditation standards and processes, lending her expertise to their refinements. The revised 2016 accreditation standards are now integrated, and an updated accreditation manual is forthcoming.

Also under her tenure, there has been continued outreach to programs in development. Building on Dr. Hunter’s work, Dr. Jay Hall will move into the chair role in January 2018. Dr. Hall is a widely recognized educational consultant with experience in developing audiology programs in the United States and internationally. The November meeting will provide the full board the opportunity to address important ACAE business and to set a path forward in this time of both leadership and staff transition. 

Site Evaluator Training Workshop

Following the board meeting, there will be a Site Evaluator Training Workshop in Reston, Virginia, on November 9–10, 2017. The ACAE board and a few other committed audiologists interested in serving as ACAE site evaluators will come together, under the facilitation of Dr. Catherine Palmer, for hands-on training for this essential and unique step in the accreditation process—the site visit. 

An integral part of the site evaluator training will be an in-depth review of the 2016 ACAE accreditation standards and their application in the evaluation of a program. With several audiology programs expressing interest in ACAE accreditation and an increase in site visits on the horizon, this training is timely. It will help ensure preparedness and a positive experience of both the site evaluators and the institutions being visited. ACAE believes that, across all aspects of the accreditation process, a cooperative relationship with programs results in improved outcomes for students and the teaching environment.

Interested in becoming an ACAE site evaluator? You can learn more and volunteer today by going to https://community.audiology.org/home. Sign in as a member and then click on “volunteer.” 

Third-Annual Clinical Education Forum

ACAE is pleased to announce the continuation of the Clinical Education Forum, in conjunction with AAA 2018, the Academy’s annual conference. The Third-Annual Clinical Education Forum will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The forum will again be jointly planned with the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). 

The purpose of the forum is not only to hear from leaders in the field but to dialogue on innovative practices for the future education and training needs of audiology students. The planning for the forum is under way, and we plan to share more information on the topics and presenters this fall. Save the date of April 21, 2018, and look for more details soon!

The administrative structural changes occurring for ACAE will enhance its operations, and ACAE shall still maintain its independence as a 501(c)(3) organization. The ACAE board will continue its important role in upholding ACAE’s purpose of recognizing, reinforcing, and promoting high-quality performance in AuD educational programs. I look forward to assisting ACAE on its continued journey and success.