Myths and Realities About Accreditation
Myth: Students who attend accredited programs are themselves accredited.
Reality: MEAC accreditation is a process for midwifery education programs or institutions, not for individual midwives. Certification, licensure or registration are the processes which credential individual midwives.
Myth: MEAC accreditation enables students attending MEAC accredited programs to apply for federal financial aid.
Reality: In order for students to have access to educational grants and loans from the federal government, the program or institution they attend must be approved in two steps:
1. The program/institution must be accredited by a federally recognized accrediting agency and,
2. The program must submit an application directly to the U.S. Department of Education to be approved to participate in Title IV student financial aid programs.
After both of these steps have been successfully completed by the institution or program, its students can then apply for financial aid.
Myth: MEAC will only accredit midwifery programs/institutions that are based on the traditional classroom model of education.
Reality: MEAC has developed accreditation processes that honor a diversity of educational models including structured apprenticeships, distance education, self-paced programs, programs within large institutions, non-profit schools and small private schools.
Myth: MEAC accreditation is a critical process; programs/institutions will be easily rejected if they do not meet rigorous and unreasonable requirements.
Reality: Accreditation is a self-evaluation process which helps educational entities evaluate their programs according to their own goals, and to educate midwives according to basic standards set by Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), and North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). The process includes support and guidance from MEAC for program clarification, development, and improvement. Programs that do not initially meet all MEAC standards are given technical assistance and opportunities to correct weaknesses.
Myth: MEAC accreditation is a process that forces all midwifery programs to conform to a single version of midwifery curriculum.
Reality: Accreditation provides an opportunity for each program/institution to develop its unique perspective and design in midwifery education. There is no formula for midwifery education imposed, other than that graduates have mastered the core competencies defined by MANA and have met the required clinical experiences for NARM certification. Each program will implement these requirements within its unique educational environment to best suit the needs of its students.
MEAC Handbook for Institutions
Schools interested in Institutional Accreditation should obtain the Accreditation Handbook for Institutions by downloading the relevant individual sections in the menu to the left under the heading "Schools Seeking Accreditation".
Institutional accreditation refers to the review and approval of an entire institution, including all of its financial and management aspects. MEAC institutional accreditation is limited to independent or freestanding educational entities that primarily provide midwifery education.
If the institution also offers other educational programs beyond the scope of midwifery expertise, the institution must be accredited by another agency recognized by the US Department of Education and the midwifery educational program can then apply for MEAC programmatic accreditation.
Programs within institutions interested in Programmatic Accreditation should Click here for more information.
To obtain a hard copy of the MEAC Accreditation Handbook for Institutions for $50.00, place an order by contacting us through this website or by calling the MEAC office.
MEAC Handbook for Programs
Schools interested in Programmatic Accreditation should obtain the Accreditation Handbook for Programs by downloading the relevant individual sections in the menu to the left under the heading "Schools Seeking Accreditation".
Programmatic accreditation refers to the review and approval of a midwifery program that legally functions as part of an accredited institution with a scope larger than midwifery. In order to apply for program accreditation, the program must be housed within an institution already accredited by an agency recognized by the US Deparement of Education.
Freestanding institutions interested in Institutional Accreditation should Click here for more information.
To obtain a hard copy of the MEAC Accreditation Handbook for Programs for $50.00, place an order by contacting us through this website or by calling the MEAC office.
Section A: Introduction to MEAC & Accreditation
The information covered in these questions and answers can be downloaded from the link below, Accreditation Handbook Section A: Introduction.
The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) was formed in 1991 by the National Coalition of Midwifery Educators as a not-for-profit organization. MEAC’s standards for accreditation were developed by expert midwifery educators from a variety of midwifery educational programs in the United States. MEAC is a membership organization comprised of institutions and programs accredited by MEAC.
MEAC’s mission is to promote excellent education in midwifery through accreditation. Its standards and criteria for the education of midwives incorporate the nationally recognized core competencies and guiding principles of the Midwives Alliance of North America and the requirements for national certification by North American Registry of Midwives.
The process of initial accreditation includes several steps.
The practice of accreditation arose in the United States as a means of conducting non-governmental, peer evaluation of educational institutions and programs in order to ensure a basic level of quality. Private educational associations, such as MEAC, adopt criteria reflecting the qualities of a sound educational program and develop procedures for evaluating institutions and programs to determine whether they are operating at basic levels of quality.
Effective April 2, 2011, an administrator preparing an application for pre-accreditation or accreditation of a school or program must attend a MEAC accreditation training, before MEAC accepts the application. This training is offered as a MANA pre-conference workshop; or privately when scheduled in advance. If the period between the training and the submission of the pre-accreditation or accreditation application exceeds two years, it will be required that the MEAC accreditation workshop be repeated.
The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) welcomes all midwifery education programs in the United States to participate in the process of accreditation.
To apply for accreditation, institutions or programs must have graduated at least four students—the majority of whom is licensed or certified midwives or is working in midwifery or a related field. Institutions or programs who do not meet these criteria may apply for pre-accreditation, but must otherwise meet the same standards as those set for institutions or programs seeking accreditation.
MEAC offers both institutional and programmatic accreditation.
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