Becoming An Accredited Center

Becoming An Accredited Center

Minimum Guidelines for Academic Language Therapy Training Centers

  1. Staff Requirements: At Least One Qualified Instructor

  2. Core Program Components:

    1. Two (2) year, structured, sequential, Orton-Gillingham based program to include a minimum of:

      1. 200 class contact instructional hours
        1. Basic/Introductory Course
        2. Advanced Course
        3. Workshops/Seminars
      2. 700 clinical/teaching hours under the supervision of a qualified instructor
      3. Demonstration lessons by trainees
      4. Maintenance of training records
    2. Access to:

      1. Classroom/classrooms in a professional setting
      2. Library
    3. Elective programs in addition to the core components may be offered such as:

      1. Study Skills
      2. Reading Comprehension
      3. Typing
      4. Dyslexia Awareness and Community Outreach
      5. Qualified Instructor Training

Minimum Guidelines for Academic Language Therapy Qualified Instructors

  1. Eligibility Criteria for Enrollment in Program

    1. ALTA membership at the CALT level for at least two (2) years before enrollment.

    2. A minimum of 1400 academic language therapy (multisensory structured language) teaching hours beyond certification, 700 of which must be completed prior to enrollment, to include:

      1. Three (3) completions of a multisensory, structured, sequential, Orton-Gillingham based curriculum
      2. Experience teaching students of various school levels and ages using an Orton-Gillingham-based curriculum
      3. Orton-Gillingham-based academic language therapy experience to include: (1) A minimum of 75 academic language therapy hours with at least one (1) one-on-one situation (2) A minimum of 75 academic language therapy hours with at least one (1) small group (no larger than six) situation
  2. Qualified Instructor Training Program

    1. A two (2) year internship at a center offering a multisensory, structured, sequential, Orton-Gillingham based curriculum

    2. Experience to include:

      1. Observation of all activities in a continuous two-year training cycle, including Basic-introductory and advanced courses
      2. Upon completion of observation at each level, participation at that level may begin under supervision of a Qualified Instructor in
        1. Lectures
        2. Practicums
        3. Record Keeping
        4. Preparation for Classes
        5. Teaching Demonstration Lessons
        6. Ten (10) guided evaluations of trainee demonstration lessons with comments written by the Qualified-Instructor-in-Training
        7. Ten (10) independent evaluations of trainee demonstration lessons with comments written by the Qualified-Instructor-in-Training
        8. Writing examination questions
        9. Grading trainees' papers and assignments
      3. Reading of five (5) current (published within the previous two years) research articles each year
  3. Certification Criteria

    1. Completion of a graduate degree in Education or a related field approved by the ALTA Qualified Instructor committee.

    2. Completion of a Qualified Instructor Training Program as outlined above after enrollment in the Qualified Instructor Training Program.

    3. All certification criteria must be completed by the end of the fifth year after enrollment in the Qualified Instructor Training Program.

  4. Documentation of completion of certification requirements to be submitted to the Vice President of Membership at the ALTA National Office who will forward it to the Qualified Instructor Certifying Committee

    1. A minimum of three (3) video presentations of lectures written and presented to a class by the Qualified-Instructor-in-Training, including:

      1. One reading lecture
      2. One spelling lecture
      3. One lecture on a topic chosen by the Qualified-Instructor-in-Training
      4. May be submitted at any time during the training period
      5. Qualified Instructor Certifying Committee reserves the option of requesting additional lectures
    2. Portfolio of Qualified-Instructor-in-Training's work

      1. Lecture notes/outline of above three lectures
      2. Critiques of submitted video presentations outlined above from the Qualified Instructor Certifying Committee
      3. Copies of ten (10) independent evaluations of trainee demonstration lessons with comments written by the Qualified-Instructor-in-Training
      4. Five (5) final exam questions for introductory students
      5. Five (5) final exam questions for advanced students
    3. Copy of CALT certificate

    4. Copy of certificate of completion from an Alliance-accredited training center

    5. Documentation of completion of graduate degree

  5. Qualified Instructor Certifying Committee

    1. Responsible for reviewing the applicant's documentation and notifying the applicant and the ALTA Vice president of Membership of its decision

    2. Composed of three (3) Qualified Instructors not affiliated with the applicant's training center

    3. Appointed by the ALTA president and Vice President of Membership

    4. Committee members will remain anonymous

    5. ALTA Vice President of Membership will act as liaison between the Committee and the applicant's training center.

  6. All Qualified Instructors must submit documentation of completion of ten (10) contact hours of continuing education every year with their membership renewal, beginning in 2005.

Introduction to Standards for Accreditation of Educational Programs In Academic Language Therapy

The Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) is committed to ensuring that quality academic language therapy services are provided to the public. The ALTA believes that the quality of educational preparation for delivery of clinical services is highly correlated with the quality of services provided by certified professional practitioners. Consequently, the ALTA, maintains a system of accreditation for post baccalaureate educational programs designed to prepare Academic Language Therapists to provide therapeutic instruction to students with dyslexia and/or related written-language disorders and for Qualified Instructors of academic language therapy. Accreditation is a voluntary, nongovernmental process of self-study and external review intended to evaluate, enhance, and publicly recognize programs. Accreditation is intended to protect the interests of students, benefit the public, and improve the quality of teaching, learning, research, and professional practice. Although quality education can be achieved in a variety of ways, the ALTA Centers Council (ACC) believes that certain components are essential to effect quality education in the profession. Five areas have been delineated for the establishment of standards for accreditation of post baccalaureate programs.

The Council has adopted these standards as necessary conditions for accreditation. Programs must satisfy all standards to be awarded accreditation. The Accreditation and Review Committee of the ALTA Centers Council has the responsibility to evaluate the adequacy of the programs efforts in satisfying each requirement. The Accreditation and Review Committee recognizes that a variety of means may be available to satisfy each of the standards. Compliance with the following standards represents the minimum requirements for accreditation. The ACC and the ALTA encourage programs to exceed these standards to achieve educational excellence.

Standards for Accreditation of Educational Programs In Academic Language Therapy

(Adopted May, 1997)

STANDARD 1.0 — ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND ADMINISTRATION

The program must have an organizational structure and administrative practices with appropriate and sufficient resources with which to carry out its mission.

STANDARD 2.0 — INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF

The program must have an instructional staff who competently teach the academic and clinical components of the academic language therapy program for which they are responsible.

STANDARD 3.0 — CURRICULUM

The program must have appropriate and sufficient curricular offerings to develop the competencies necessary for academic language therapy and/or qualified instructor certification.

STANDARD 4.0 — CLINICAL EDUCATION

The program's clinical education component must reflect current knowledge and scope of practice and meet the standards and ethics of the ALTA to develop competent academic language therapists.

STANDARD 5.0 — PROGRAM SELF-ANALYSIS

The program's administration and instructional staff must have a mechanism for ongoing, systematic appraisal of program strengths and limitations in order to accommodate and plan for those changes that are necessary to provide the highest quality education possible.

Copyright © 1997 the Academic Language Therapy Association

STANDARD 1.0 — ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE and ADMINISTRATION

The program must have an organizational structure and administrative practices with appropriate and sufficient resources with which to carry out its mission.

1.1 Institutional Identity: The institution is legally authorized and/or registered within the state or states of operaf~n~whereeee required, with a discrete name and designated governing authority or recognized body within an institution with the authority to initiate, evaluate and implement recommendations affecting all aspects of the professional education program. Documentation: Name and permanent address of program, Name(s) and address(es) of corporate officers/proprietor, Legal organization and governing structure, State and county legal jurisdiction of authorization and Registration, Accreditation held, Accrediting body of primary institution (if applicable), Names and business affiliations of board of directors.

1.2 Hierarchy: The relationship of the program to its primary institution, if applicable, is defined. The organization of program personnel (instructional, administrative, and support) is defined. Documentation: An organizational chart to show relationship of program to primary institution (if applicable) and the place of all program personnel within the hierarchy.

1.3 Mission Statement: The educational goals of the program should be clearly stated, be consistent with the mission of the Academic Language Therapy Association, and address student outcomes, current professional standards and regional and national needs. Documentation: Statement of Mission, Copy of documents stating mission (if applicable).

1.4 Course Identity: Basic characteristics of each course of study are clearly stated and the program offers an appropriate curriculum so that students enrolled in the program may satisfy the requirements for certification by the Academic Language Therapy Association. Documentation: Statement of levels of instruction offered, List of requirements for admission to programs(s), Length of one cycle and basic time frame for completion of each level, Educational level - units or credits (if offered), degrees (if offered), and/or certifications issued Course accreditation held Provision for transfer students.

1.5 Facilities and Resources: The program must have available physical facilities (classrooms, offices) instructional materials, equipment, library holdings, and support services that are appropriate and adequate. Contemporary standards of ready and reasonable access and use should be reflected, and provision should be made to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities. Documentation: Statement of location of instruction, Description of facilities and resources available to students, Number of students per class.

1.6 Financial Management: In order to ensure that obligations to enrolled students will be met and continuance of operation, the program must provide verification of its financial viability and a distribution of funds appropriate for achievement of the stated objectives of the program. Documentation: Fees for courses, Statement of the program's fiscal policy regarding payment, schedule of student fees, refunds of fees, and waiver of fees, A copy of the balance sheet or budget for the past fiscal year which verifies financial viability, Copies of financial statements for the past two years, Current income and expenses which may include advertising and promotion; insurance; salaries; services such as accounting and legal; supplies; taxes; travel, equipment acquisition, repair replacement; dues; licenses; permits; facility expense for rent, mortgage, maintenance, repair, utilities, telephone. Description of debts, dependence on grant money and contingency plan for action to be taken upon loss of funding from sources other than tuition. Documentation may be a copy of the minutes from a school district, board of education, university or other entity which shows financial commitment to the program, tax return, or annual report.

1.7 Records: The program must maintain records for student admission, attendance, and evaluation, including a permanent transcript or record that documents student progress. The program must maintain adequate records to assist students in meeting certification requirements. Documentation must be available to the student upon request. Documentation: List of knowledge and skills which are evaluated and measures used for evaluation (tests, quizzes, exams, writing assignments, observation), Copies of record keeping forms or a description of computer tracking program for this purpose.

1.8 Fair Practices Compliance: The program must comply with state and federal laws, regulations, and executive orders with respect to equitable treatment of program applicants, students, and staff without regard to gender, sexual orientation, age, race, creed, national origin, or handicapping condition. Documentation: Status of nondiscrimination policy, Title IV eligibility, The signature of the program's and/or institution's chief executive officer or designee on the application affirms the program's/institution's compliance with an applicable federal, state, and local laws.

STANDARD 2.0 — INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF

The program must have an instructional staff who competently teach the academic and clinical components of the academic language therapy program for which they are responsible.

2.1 Instructors: The program must have at least one Qualified Instructor as defined by the minimum guidelines for academic language therapy qualified instructors of the Academic Language Therapy Association. The instructional staff must be sufficient in number to meet the instructional, clinical and advising responsibilities of the program. Documentation: List of instructors and their credentials (resumes may be submitted). List of clinical supervisors/instructors and their credentials (resumes may be submitted). List of enrichment speakers, their credentials and topics presented.

2.2 Professional growth: The program should demonstrate how continuing education for its instructional staff members is facilitated. Continuing education may include such activities as independent study, research, presentations, participation in conferences and workshops. Documentation: Specific evidence of continuing professional growth of instructional staff members.

STANDARD 3.0 — CURRICULUM

The program must have appropriate and sufficient curricular offerings to develop the competencies necessary for academic language therapy and/or qualified instructor certification.

3.1 Competencies for Academic Language Therapy: Programs must provide an academic language therapy curriculum that includes the following broad competency areas as required by the Academic Language Therapy Association.

  1. Knowledge of the field of dyslexia and related written-language disorders
  2. Reading development and instruction
  3. Structure of written-language (phonology, morphology, orthography, syntax, mantics, composition, written-language development)
  4. Instructional strategies
  5. Knowledge of Orton-Gillingham based methods and multisensory structured language curricula.
  6. State, federal, and local learning disability and dyslexia legislation, guidelines, and policies.
  7. Professional writing skills, practice management, and ethics

Documentation: Submission of a syllabus, curriculum scope and sequence, list of published materials used in coursework, summary of course requirements and required reading list / bibliography which note how competencies are addressed.

3.2 Class Contact Hours: Programs must offer class contact hours which meet the minimum guidelines for components of academic languages therapy programs established by the Academic Language Therapy Association. Documentation: Schedule and statement of number of class contact hours.

3.3 Competencies for Qualified Instructors: Programs which offer a Qualified Instructor curriculum must provide a two-year (minimum) internship that includes the following experiences:

  1. Observation of all activities in a continuous two year training cycle
  2. Participation under supervision of a Qualified Instructor in
    1. Lectures
    2. Clinical teaching
    3. Record keeping
    4. Preparation for classes
    5. Teaching demonstration lessons
    6. Observations and written evaluations of therapists in training

Documentation: Submission of a syllabus for the Qualified Instructor curriculum.

3.4 Application of Research: The curriculum should reflect a commitment to the scientific and research bases of the profession. Documentation: Statements which demonstrate the infusion of research issues into existing course content and assignments in ways that are readily identifiable in course syllabi or required attendance at seminars at which research is presented or student participation in instructional staff research as research assistants.

3.5 Ethics: The program must include instruction in the current ALTA Code of Ethics and principles of professional practice. Documentation: May be documented in course syllabi or outlines of other forums in which such instruction is provided.

STANDARD 4.0 — CLINICAL EDUCATION

The program's clinical education component must reflect current knowledge and scope of practice and meet the standards and ethics of the ALTA to develop competent academic language therapists.

4.1 Records: The program must ensure that each student's clinical teaching experience meets or exceeds the Academic Language Therapy Association's minimum guidelines for academic language therapists. Records should show that students have completed the required numbers of clinical teaching hours in all categories. Documentation: Statement of number of clinical teaching hours required by program, Explanation of clinical teaching experiences (client population, rotation through curriculum, duration and number of clinical experiences) required by program. Attach example of record keeping forms or explanation ofcomputer tracking system.

4.2 Supervision and Settings of Clinical Teaching: The program must ensure that all clinical education is supervised by persons who are certified by the ALTA as Qualified Instructors and that clinical teaching takes place in settings appropriate for the delivery of professional services. Documentation: List clinical supervisors and their credentials. Describe clinical teaching setting(s).

4.3 Demonstrations of Clinical Teaching: The program must ensure that the amount of clinical supervision meets or exceeds the minimum guidelines of the Academic Language Therapy Association for demonstrations of clinical competency and that appropriate guidance and feedback are provided the student. Documentation: Number of required demonstrations of clinical teaching. Statement of intervals between demonstrations of clinical teaching. Explanation of guidance and feedback provided student.

4.4 Documentation of Clinical Teaching: The program must require some form of written reports from students documenting their clinical teaching experiences. Documentation: Explanation of type and number of reports required.

STANDARD 5.0 — PROGRAM SELF-ANALYSIS

The program's administration and instructional staff must have a mechanism for ongoing, systematic appraisal of program strengths and limitations in order to accommodate and plan for those changes that are necessary to provide the highest quality education possible.

5.1 Program Evaluation: The program should maintain mechanisms for evaluation and change. For example, minutes of instructional staff and committee meetings may be used to verify this material. Appropriate changes should be made to maintain and improve the quality of education. Documentation: Submit documentation for the methods of program evaluation.

5.2 Student Outcomes Evaluation: The program should utilize an ongoing system for student outcomes assessment. Documentation: List indicators used in evaluating student outcomes. Examples of appropriate indicators of outcomes may include summaries of student grades or other evaluative measures; student scores on relevant standardized tests; attitudinal studies of graduates; assessment of curriculum effectiveness in achievement of objectives and competencies by students, graduates and faculty; graduates' achievements in professional practice or participation in the professional community; employer evaluations of graduates performance; or other relevant measures that incorporate recognized methods of evaluative research.

Copyright © 1997 the Academic Language Therapy Association

Application - Institution / Program Name

Application For:

Please fill out this application checklist after you have read both the checklist and self-study documents. Please refer to the self-study for clarification of documentation which will be required to complete accreditation. Use this checklist to indicate that you are ready to provide this information. The completed checklist should be mailed to:

Valerie Tucker
ALTA Centers Council Accreditation/Review Committee Chairman
406 Country Club Rd.
Argyle, TX 76226

Application Checklist

Please refer to the self-study for clarification of documentation which will be required to complete accreditation. Use this checklist to indicate that you are ready to provide this information when you are advised to begin the self-study.

STANDARD 1.0 — ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE and ADMINISTRATION

1.1 Institutional Identity

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

1.2 Hierarchy

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

1.3 Mission Statement

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

1.4 Course Identity

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

1.5 Facilities and Resources

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

1.6 Financial Management

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

1.7 Records

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

1.8 Fair Practices Compliance

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

STANDARD 2.0 — INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF

2.1 Instructors

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

2.2 Professional growth

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

STANDARD 3.0 — CURRICULUM

3.1 Competencies for Academic Language Therapy

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

3.2 Class Contact Hours

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

3.3 Competencies for Qualified Instructors

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

3.4 Application of Research

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

3.5 Ethics

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

STANDARD 4.0 — CLINICAL EDUCATION

4.1 Records

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

4.2 Supervision and Settings of Clinical Teaching

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

4.3 Demonstrations of Clinical Teaching

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

4.4 Documentation of Clinical Teaching

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

STANDARD 5.0 — PROGRAM SELF-ANALYSIS

5.1 Program Evaluation

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

5.2 Student Outcomes Evaluations

Documentation which will be required to complete self-study:

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