General Structure and Procedures
The IMAC agency (referred to sometimes as "Council") is a private agency for the voluntary, non-governmental accreditation of educational programs for the preparation of Montessori teachers. IMAC accredits these programs within an umbrella structure involving various associated organizations, committees and other bodies which cooperate together according to specified accreditation standards, procedures and practices.
The Council's purpose is generally to improve the quality of Montessori teacher education programs by: (1) creating goals and standards for program improvement; (2) providing recognition for programs which meet specified standards; (3) assisting prospective students, employers and other interested persons in the identification of acceptable educational programs; (4) providing a more unified and dignified presentation of Montessori education to the world; and (5) offering a basis for the fair and impartial determination of eligibility for government financial assistance to accredited programs.
Programs seeking accreditation must comply with specified Council standards, known as Essentials and Criteria. These standards provide the basis for all Council review and recognition procedures, requiring the program to undergo a series of steps to accreditation, including a formal self-study, on-site visit and recommendation for final IMAC accreditation. These procedures aim to measure the extent of the program's compliance with the Essentials and Criteria. Based on this compliance, the program is eventually granted formal "accredited" status with the Council.
The IMAC "Statement of Basic Accreditation Procedures" sets forth the more complete, detailed function and operation of IMAC in the accreditation process. Accreditation documents, policies and practices contained in this Statement have been adapted from those employed by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA). The Council acknowledges with grateful appreciation the important contribution of CAHEA in this respect. IMAC operates under the Council's Essentials and Criteria as regulated and controlled by its Articles of Association, which is its legal governing instrument.
IMAC Board of Directors
The IMAC Board of Directors includes participation from collaborating organizations and program directors. Current board members are:
Lee Havis, Chairperson (USA)
IMAC Advisory Committee
The IMAC Advisory Committee makes all final decisions in matters of accreditation. All members of this committee are from the general public outside the field of Montessori education. Persons are selected on the basis of interest, experience and background in basic accreditation activities in the field of higher education. Current members are:
Jerry Duvall, Ph.D.
Richard Matteson, Ed. D.
H. Kent Baker, Ph.D.
Two review committees are presently active in IMAC, evaluating self-study reports, conducting on-site evaluation visits and making recommendations for accreditaitonto the IMAC Advisory Committee. The applicant program must submit to the review committee according to is particular style and format of operation. Then, the program must meet that review committee's paritcular set of essentials and criteria.
IMAC provides for the formation of new review committees as new collaborating organizations qualify for participation. Review committees estalbish the specific criteria that is suited to their own emphasis and perception of need for Montessori teacher education. However, all review committees must agree to follow basic IMAC essential standards. In addition, all final decisions for IMAC accreditation are made by the single Advisory Committee.
IMS Review Committee
This committee considers all applciation for IMAC accreditation from teacher education programs that are affiliated with the Internaitonal Montessori Society (IMS). Members are:
Aaron Evans, (Houston, TX)
Donna Curtis, (Vienna, VA)
Generic Review Committee
This committee is sponsored directly by the IMAC board of directors. It considers all applications from teacher education programs that are not afifliated with a collaborating organization. Members of this committee are:
Lee Havis, (Silver Spring, MD)
Judy Iao, (Venice, FL)
G.S. Pitigala, (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Apply for Accreditation
Any teacher education program may apply for IMAC accreditation. Non-IMS programs apply through the IMAC Generic Review Committee. The process begins with an official request from the sponsoring instituion of the program, which must be submitted in writing and signed by the institution's chief executive officer. You may also inquire informally for more information, before submitting a formal request for accreditation. Send all inquiries and applications to:
9525 Georgia Ave. #200
Silver Spring, MD 20910 (USA)