Site Visitors

As part of the peer review process, site visitors endeavor to discover and share the continuous development of quality and excellence in public service education.

NASPAA’s Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) would like to extend a warm welcome to all accreditation site visitors and potential site visitors!

This portion of the website is devoted to informing you of the process and substance of being an accreditation site visitor. As a site visitor, you are the most vital part of the accreditation process: the eyes and ears of the Commission.

Site visits typically last 2 and a half days, and generally consist of a chair, an academic member, and a practitioner member. A chair is someone who has previously served on at least two visits and who has a strong understanding of the Standards and the site visit process. The academic member of the visit is usually an associate professor or above and has expertise in an area that fits with the program or its mission. The practitioner is usually someone who has 7+ years of experience in the field of public service and whose area of expertise fits with the program’s mission and a MPA, MPP, or similar graduate degree.

The site visit team is nominated by the Commission and approved by the program to be visited, at which time a conflict of interest check is conducted. The nomination process takes place during November and December of each year. Visitors are matched to schools along a number of characteristics, and not every site visitor in the pool is called every year. The site visits are typically scheduled in February and March. There are no honoraria, but all transportation, hotel, and meals will be covered by the program.

If you would like to become a site visitor, the first step is to obtain training, either in-person or online. Prior to the training, please watch the training videos, available here. Upon completion of the training NASPAA will e-mail you to confirm your interest and to request your up-to-date CV or resume, which is sent to programs during the conflict of interest check and team approval process.

The Commission wants every site visitor to be well-prepared for his or her visit, and to achieve that goal, this portion of the website also contains the Site Visit Manual and the Site Visitor Expense Reimbursement Form

Have questions? Click here!

Thank you for your interest in serving as an accreditation site visitor!



Upcoming Site Visitor Trainings

Site Visitors are considered current if, within the past five years, they have served on site visit team, have participated in a training session or special update session, or served on a relevant accreditation committee. NASPAA Site Visitor Training is held virtually each summer to prepare site visitors to be eligible for a site visit team the following spring. The training is self-paced and focuses on the accreditation process, the role of the site visit team, and the NASPAA Standards. For additional information or to express interest in receiving training please send an email to Please include your name, position title, affiliation (university and program for academics; employer or former affiliation for practitioners).