Accreditation Standards

ACPHA Accreditation Standards

Standard Key Elements:
I a. A clearly stated mission statement for the Program exists, is aligned with the mission(s) of the School/College and the parent institution and is publicly available.

I b. The Program mission statement is documented in printed materials and electronic domains.

Standard Key Elements:
II a. The Program is structured with sufficient operational independence (decision-making over curriculum and program offerings), is consistent with the mission and objectives of the Institution and enables the Program to achieve its mission successfully.

II b. The hospitality unit maintains a governance system that facilitates the accomplishment of its mission and objectives.

II c. The Program has access to the course concepts, regardless of administrative location of the course, that have been determined to meet the common core of knowledge in hospitality.

Standard Key Elements:
III a. There is evidence of the following
Strategic Plan – The strategic plan must include a) current mission, vision, and values; b) goals; c) measurable objectives; d) target dates for accomplishment of objectives; e) designation of primary person or organizational unit responsible for attainment of objectives; and f) a strategic plan status report.

III b. There is evidence of the following
Curriculum Review Process – Documentation of course additions, deletions, and modifications; updated degree plans; and other evidence of curriculum improvement and faculty ownership. This documentation shall include summary information about the sources of input (e.g., faculty, students, and professionals).

III c. There is evidence that planning documents are in alignment with the parent institution and the results used for programmatic changes.

III d. The Program tracks graduates within the first five years of graduation to seek feedback on programmatic activities at least once during every accreditation cycle and utilizes the information in the planning process. Note: this standard is required for four-year programs and optional (though strongly suggested) for two-year programs.

III e. There is evidence that the Program obtains significant input from additional stakeholders including faculty, students, and industry partners for planning.

Standard Key Elements:
IV a. The curriculum must provide students with a common body of knowledge in hospitality administration/management. Required Curricular Elements Within Each ACPHA Program Learning Outcome

  1. Identify and apply the knowledge and skills necessary for hospitality and tourism operations
    • Overview of the hospitality industry, guest experience, and the profession
    • Operations relative to lodging management
    • Operations relative to food service management
    • Relationship of tourism to hospitality management
    • Field experience
    • Required only for four-year programs *
      • Operations relative to facility maintenance and management *
      • Allow students to develop a depth of knowledge or a broad exposure to the diverse segments of the industry *
      • An evaluative culminating/capstone experience *
  2. Develop and integrate a core set of business skills necessary to successfully operate a hospitality and tourism organization
    • Human resource management relative to business operations
    • Marketing of goods and services relative to business operations
    • Accounting procedures/practices relative to business operations
    • Legal environment relative to business operations
    • Economic environment relative to business operations
    • Technology relative to business operations
    • Organizational theory and foundations of management
    • Required only for four-year programs *
      • Financial management relative to business operations *
      • Ethical considerations and socio-political influences affecting organizations *
      • Strategic management relative to business operations *
      • Leadership theory relative to business operations *
  3. Demonstrate competence in the communication skills necessary for hospitality and tourism management
    • Written communication skills required for hospitality and tourism management
    • Oral communication skills required for hospitality and tourism management
    • Interpersonal communication skills required for hospitality and tourism management
    • Digital communication skills required for hospitality and tourism management
  4. Formulate business decisions in hospitality and tourism management
    • Analytical skills required for hospitality and tourism management
    • Critical thinking skills required for hospitality and tourism management
    • Problem solving skills required for hospitality and tourism management
  5. Evaluate leadership principles necessary in the diverse and global hospitality and tourism industry
    • Leadership skills necessary to effectively manage in the hospitality industry
    • Relationship between ethical leadership, culture, and performance
    • Exposure to internal and external stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and cultures

IV b. Each student will complete a relevant field experience. The field experience is an operational and/or management experience in some facet of the hospitality industry, with guidance and supervision by the industry and the academic program. It may be approved work experience or an authorized internship, but the experience must be in the industry, not part of a laboratory experience.

IV c. For each course offered specifically by the degree or under the prerogative of the Program, there is a detailed and organized syllabus.

Standard Key Elements:
V a. ACPHA Program Learning Outcomes are documented in printed materials and electronic domains for each degree program.

V b. The Program maintains an ongoing and up-to-date assessment plan for the ACPHA Program Learning Outcomes.

V c. Both direct and indirect metrics used for assessment, and they are suitable and appropriate for their intended use.

V d. Both formative and summative measurement tools exist to collect data used to evaluate achievement of established metrics.

V e. Results of the assessment plan are used to improve curricula that support students in achieving Program learning outcomes.

Standard Key Elements:
VI a. The program maintains sufficient full and part-time faculty to achieve the objectives of the Program, including instruction, advisement, academic planning, and curricular development.

VI b. The preparation and qualifications of all members of the instructional staff are suited to the field and level of their assignments.

VI c. Professional, clerical, and paraprofessional staff members are available and adequate to assist instructional faculty in materials preparation, supervision, tutoring, and other general tasks.

VI d. Conditions of service, including appointment, promotion, salary, workload, etc. are equitable and administered ethically.

VI e. The faculty is substantively involved in curricular development and evaluation and in the formulation of academic policies and practices.

VI f. Mechanisms are in place and regularly utilized for evaluating full- and part-time faculty teaching effectiveness and effectiveness in career and academic advisement.

VI g. Members of the faculty (full- and part-time) demonstrate continuous professional growth, productivity, and enhancement of experience in their areas of expertise.

VI h. There is evidence that the professional development of the faculty (full- and part-time) is encouraged, supported, and evaluated.

Standard Key Elements:
VII a. Accurate and clearly stated information about admission, progression, retention, dismissal, and graduation requirements is available in written form and on-line. These requirements meet or exceed the minimum standards of the parent institution.

VII b. Transfer credit is granted for courses taken at another institution only when the course work and the level of the transfer applicant’s achievement permits the student to complete satisfactorily the remaining upper division professional course work.

VII c. Opportunities for appropriate and confidential academic advising and counseling are available to all students.

VII d. Opportunities exist for students to receive exposure to career preparation services.

VII e. Effective procedures exist to assure the reasonable progress of students toward meeting stated graduation requirements.

VII f. The Program maintains an active website that contains updated information including the program overview, mission and learning outcomes, professional placement, and student retention data as reported to ACPHA, faculty profiles, curricular offerings, and academic policies. Direct links to these informational items should reside on the Program landing page.

VII g. Support services are available for traditional students, non-traditional students, special needs students, international students, and online students.

Standard Key Elements
VIII a. The Program has access to appropriate physical resources for in-person, hybrid, and online programming, such as classroom space, office space, and facilities, equipment, and technology.

VIII b. The Program has access to appropriate resources and support for online/distance/virtual programming, such as equipment, technology, and broadband access in order to satisfactorily meet the Program’s mission and learning outcomes.

VIII c. The library access system (including technical and non-technical reference materials, books, journals, and databases) is easily accessible and reflects the current needs of not only in-person and online students but also faculty in meeting the Program’s mission and outcomes.

Standard Key Elements
IX a. Financial resources are sufficient to support the educational objectives and meet contractual obligations.

IX b. Evidence indicates the Program has sufficient financial stability to enable it to continue to meet its contractual obligations and achieve its educational objectives over a reasonable future period.