Please click here for the Accreditation Application for New Programs. The tables for appendices can be found here. Include both forms when submitting the application.
Once a complete application is submitted you can expect to receive an initial response (not an accreditation decision) within approximately 3 months.
To assist you with your planning, keep in mind that the review process generally includes questions and clarifications regarding items in the application. The average time for a final decision on a new program application is generally 8-12 months, however, ACGC does not guarantee an accreditation decision by any specific date. Actual time to final accreditation decision is going to depend on complexity of proposed program and quality and completeness of application.
Please contact the Executive Office with questions or concerns at (913) 222-8668 or email@example.com.
Letter of Intent
Applying for New Program Accreditation is a process initiated by the sponsoring institution. The application enables the ACGC to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the developing program's proposed structure and educational plan to see if these should enable it to comply with the Standards. Prospective programs and institutions must submit a Letter of Intent and receive ACGC approval at least 30 days in advance of submitting an Accreditation Application for New Programs. Additionally, an Accreditation Application for New Programs must be received by ACGC no more than 180 days after approval of the Letter of Intent. A $500 non-refundable fee must accompany the Letter of Intent. If the program receives New Program Accreditation, this $500 will be applied to the fee due upon receipt of accreditation. If the program fails to submit an Accreditation Application for New Programs within 180 days of approval of their Letter of Intent, they forfeit the $500 fee.
The Letter of Intent should outline how the proposed program will meet the following components of eligibility. To be considered for ACGC New Program Accreditation, the developing program must…
1. Have appointed a qualified Program Director with qualifications as specified in the Standards of Accreditation who will be responsible for administering the degree program.
2. Provide a letter from the Program Director indicating willingness to assume the directorship and documenting that he or she meets requirements for the position.
3. Provide a letter from the dean or appropriate chief operating officer of the sponsoring college or university, documenting that the institution meets the eligibility requirements (Section I.C of the Accreditation Manual). The letter must also demonstrate the proposed program's feasibility by addressing:
- Public need and demand for the program, including demographics, student interest, and the potential impact of and on other similar programs in the geographic area
- The plan for the program's development, including the anticipated month and year the first class will enter, and the month and year it is expected to graduate
- The institution's willingness to commit appropriate resources (financial and educational) to the program, documented by a letter of commitment
- Availability of clinical facilities and potential affiliations
4. Provide a letter of support from the sponsoring department, school, or college addressing:
- The sponsor's willingness to host the program
- Its ability to confer the degree
- The anticipated title of the degree
If the ACGC should find the information submitted in the Letter of Intent to be insufficient, the program will have 60 days to remediate or submit additional information. If the program fails to submit any additional information, the board will consider the Letter of Intent abandoned and the $500 fee will be forfeited. A new Letter of Intent must then be submitted indicating a new timeframe within which the program plans to apply, as well as an amended timeframe for when the program intends to matriculate its first class.
for Developing New Programs
The ACGC Executive Office staff is available to answer any initial questions you have regarding the Practice Based Competencies, Standards of Accreditation, Letter of Intent or the application process and/or forms.
Universities and institutions considering developing a program may wish to contact the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD). AGCPD has a membership category for individuals developing a program. AGCPD is a membership association for program directors of accredited master's degree programs and those looking to develop a new program.
The 2014 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference included a pre-symposium workshop that presented information on how to establish a new master's degree program in genetic counseling. At this session, Maryann Campion, MS, CGC presented a nice summary of the steps needed for program development. Access that presentation information here.
ACGC recommends that all universities and/or institutions who are considering developing a master's degree in genetic counseling become familiar with the Standards of Accreditation and the Practice Based Competencies as a first step in understanding the components of an accredited program.
*A letter of intent is submitted by a prospective program a minimum of 30 days before submitting an Accreditation Application for New Program.
|Letters of Intent* Received|
|State||University and Program||LOI Accepted||Application Received |
|AZ||University of Arizona ||2/2/2017|
|CA||KGI School of Pharmacy||4/11/2017|||
|MA||MGH Institute of Health Professions ||4/20/2017|||