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AFA Achieves Stage Two of Professional Recredentialing Program

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W. Lafayette, IN--- The Audiology Foundation of America (AFA) has achieved track two of its plan for audiology's transition to a doctoral profession. Track two calls for distance education programs that are accessible, affordable and give practitioners reasonable credit for their existing capabilities. The Arizona School of Health Sciences now has full approval to open its distance Au.D. program that meets these requirements.

The regional accrediting organization, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, have given their approval of the new Au.D. program. NCA is the same group that accredits University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Central Michigan University, and University of Iowa, among others. The Arizona School of Health Sciences now has met all the standards necessary for institutions of higher education and is ready to admit distance learning Au.D. students.

The AFA Professional Recredentialing program provides the basis for a new measurement instrument, the Evaluation of Practicing Audiologists Capabilities (EPAC). The instrument enhances the ability to provide profile scores and summary information for use in establishing credit and outcomes by accredited educational institutions and the Arizona School of Health Sciences is using it. EPAC scores will be used by the Arizona School of Health Sciences to determine advanced placement and credit in their Au.D. distance education program for practitioners. The college requires either a score profile from the AFA portfolio recredentialing program or the new EPAC for admission.

AFA has authorized its attorneys to seek dismissal of a lawsuit concerning the credential between AFA and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), now pending in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland.

'To promote harmony in the profession, and to unite the profession behind the Au.D. degree, the AFA no longer needs to offer the credential. We hope this will bring an end to the divisive federal court litigation and allow the profession to resume working together,' according to George S. Osborne, Ph.D., AFA Chair. The AFA is pleased about the number of programs offering the Au.D. degree and the effect the credential had in speeding this process. The Foundation is grateful to those 'Pioneers' who advocated for and supported the Au.D. credential of track one. They made it possible to successfully achieve track two.

For questions about the Au.D. program for existing practitioners, contact Dr. Tabitha C. Parent at 602-841-4077.
EPAC applications are available at Credentialing Services, Inc. at 309-343-1202 or fax 309-344-1715.

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