Self Study Guide for Dental Assisting

May include qualitative evaluation of any aspect of

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may include qualitative evaluation of any aspect of the program whether it is covered in the Self- Study Guide or not. Programs must respond to all questions included in the Self-Study Guide . The responses should be succinct, but must in every case provide or cite evidence demonstrating achievement of objectives in compliance with each of the Accreditation Standards . For the educational program, the self-study provides an opportunity to : 1. Clarify its objectives as they relate to: a. Preparation of dental assistants; b. Expectations of the dental profession and the public in relation to the education of dental assistants; and c. The program’s general educational objectives. 2. Candidly and realistically assess its own strengths and weaknesses in light of its own stated objectives. 3. Internalize the process and engage in the kind of self-analysis essential to effective planning and change. 4. Provide the basis for a more informed and helpful site visit related to the real issues including the strengths and weaknesses of the program.* *Adapted and summarized from “Role and Importance of the Self-Study Process in Accreditation,” Richard M. Millard, President, Council of Postsecondary Accreditation (July 25- 26, 1984) 5
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For the Commission and visiting committee, the self-study process should : 1. Ensure that the program has seriously and analytically reviewed its objectives, strengths and weaknesses. 2. Provide the site visitors the basic information about the program and the program’s best judgment of its own adequacy and performance, thus providing a frame of reference to make the visit effective and helpful to the program and the Commission. 3. Ensure that the accrediting process is perceived not simply as an external review but as an essential component of program improvement. 4. Ensure that the Commission, in reaching its accreditation decisions, can benefit from the insights of both the program and the visiting committee. The Self-Study process and report are not the following : A self-study is not just a compilation of quantitative data. Such data may be a prerequisite for developing an effective self-study, but such data in themselves are not evaluative and must not be confused with a self-study. A self-study is not or should not be answers to a questionnaire or a check-off sheet. While a questionnaire may be probing, it is essentially an external form and does not relieve the responder of the critical review essential to self-study. A check-off list based on the Commission’s Accreditation Standards can be helpful in developing the self-study but does not reveal the conditions or rationale leading to the answers -- again both the organizing activity and the critical analysis are missing. A self-study is not or should not be a simple narrative description of the program. While such a description is necessary, the self-study should go beyond such description to an analysis of strengths and weaknesses in light of the program’s objectives, as well as develop a plan for achieving those objectives that have not been fully realized.
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