Previsit by the Team Chair

One of the responsibilities of team chairs is to conduct a previsit to the institution to plan the onsite visit. In partnership states, the previsit should include the state team co-chair and the state consultant who represents the state agency responsible for program approval. The team chair should initiate the planning of the previsit, which normally occurs 30–60 days before the onsite visit. However, the institution is responsible for making all necessary arrangements, including contacting the state team chair and state consultant. The previsit is usually no longer than one day in length. Institutions should consider conducting the previsit electronically rather than in person for further cost control.

The team chair will have the unit's Institutional Report and IR Addendum before the previsit but should not in any way serve in a consultative role to the institution. During the previsit, the team chair should meet with the president and/or provost to provide an overview of the visit, describe the review process, answer questions, and ascertain his/her expectations for the visit. This meeting provides the opportunity to make institutional administrators aware of the information that will be gathered and discussed during the visit, at the exit conference, and in the team’s report.

Logistics for the visit and team accommodations should be finalized during the previsit. Also, the set-up of interviews, and arrangements for visits to field sites should be discussed. It is appropriate for team chairs to ask the unit to provide refreshments for team members during their working sessions. The list that follows indicates areas that should be covered during the previsit, or sometime prior to the onsite visit. 

Agenda Items for the Previsit

Roles of Individuals Involved in the Visit

  • BOE team members
  • State consultant (i.e., representative of the State Department of Education or State Professional Standards Board)
  • State team members if a joint or concurrent state/NCATE visit
  • National Education Association (NEA) and/or American Federation of Teachers (AFT) state affiliate representatives/observers
  • Head of the professional education unit and the institution's NCATE coordinator
  • Chief executive officer and academic officer of the institution
  • Other key institutional representatives
  • Key faculty, administrators, and other individuals identified by the institution


  • Candidates (both in organized group settings and in informal settings such as hallways, student lounges, student union, etc.)
  • Field supervisors of student teaching and internships
  • Principals, school personnel directors, teachers, and other practitioners from area schools (both in group settings and on visits to field sites)
  • Faculty and administrators from the policy groups as outlined in the template for the visit
  • Recent graduates

Observations of Classes and Field Site Visits

  • Location and organization of these visits

Sunday Evening Poster Session (if applicable)

  • Who should attend
  • Institution's presentation, which is sometimes scheduled at this time
  • Location of session

Hotel/Motel Arrangements

  • Location in relationship to campus
  • Private rooms for team members and state representatives
  • Meeting room (with appropriate lighting) for team work sessions on Sunday through Tuesday/Wednesday
  • Printers, clerical supplies, and other equipment for use by the team
  • Payment of hotel expenses (direct billing to the institution or other means)

Technology Arrangements

  • Printing capacity in workroom and at hotel
  • Name and contact information for technology support person
  • Orientation to any website or electronic database as part of introduction to the unit
  • Arrangements for video-conferencing of interviews at off-campus and branch campus sites, if applicable

Travel Arrangements

  • Nearest airport and ground transportation
  • Arrangements to contact team members about travel and hotel logistics
  • Travel between hotel and campus
  • Arrangements for observation of classes on campus and in P–12 schools
  • Travel to field sites or technological contact with field sites (e.g., video conferencing)

Meals and Refreshments

  •  Arrangements for all meals to be provided to the team