By Ronald Kruzel, ARC/STSA Executive Director

Welcome to 2020 — not just a new year, a new decade! The ARC/STSA continues our commitment to education and programmatic accreditation in surgical technology and surgical assisting, community outreach and development of services. So much is underway as we enter the new decade, so I wanted to take a moment to share just a few highlights.

Associate Degree Transition

Progress toward Associate Degree implementation continues. The ARC/STSA anticipates approval from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for the Standards language this spring. That will move the process forward to CAAHEP. CAAHEP requires a preliminary review of the proposed language at its committee level, then a written public comment period, and finally an open hearing for public comment.

The ARC/STSA will update our programs and communities of interest every step of the way. The target date for implementation is August 1, 2021, meaning any student enrolled in a cohort beginning after that date must complete the program with an Associate Degree or higher. Upon approval of the Associate Degree language by CAAHEP, ARC/STSA will open an optional two-year extension application process for all programs yet to transition.

Education and Accreditation Resource, LLC

For those in attendance at the recent ARC/STSA Accreditation Fundamentals for Educators (AFE) Workshop and AST Educators Conference, you undoubtedly heard about EdAccred! The ARC/STSA Board of Directors has approved the development of a separate division of the ARC/STSA to provide educational services in accreditation compliance and program consultation. EdAccred will also provide learning opportunities in classroom management, lesson planning, syllabi development, and much more to our surgical technology and surgical assisting education community. Be on the lookout for more information this coming summer.

ARC/STSA Workshops

Our February 2020 AFE Workshop, Beginning Site Visitor and Advanced Site Visitor training sessions were awesomely successful! More than 100 program directors, educators and administrators from around the United States met in San Antonio for a full day of accreditation excellence. Our site visitor training was equally amazing. So many of you want to contribute back to the community as an ARC/STSA on-site evaluator, and we look forward to welcoming you on board.

Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting Core Curriculum Revisions

ARC/STSA has been working with both AST and the Association of Surgical Assistants on core curriculum revisions and updates for both professions. I am happy to report to our surgical assisting program directors that the CCSA revision work is complete. Thank you all for your hard work on this project. Excellent work continues by the CCST Revision Panel on the surgical technology document.

Operational Updates

The ARC/STSA is giving the 2020 Annual Report a complete face-lift. It will be leaner and more user friendly for your 2020 submission. Because of the current work, your Annual Report submission period for this year will be June 1 – July 31, 2020. We will reach out prior to that time frame with Annual Report submission information.

Thank you as always for all of your efforts in surgical technology and surgical assisting education. The partnership between education and accreditation is so critical to the success of the students, graduates and communities you serve. We are here for you. Remember, you can reach out to me directly at at any time for accreditation questions or concerns, updates on services, or even to say hello!

Wishing you all the best in this new year and new decade.

Announcing EdAccred — Coming Summer 2020!

Accreditation stress? ARC/STSA is at your service and here to help. Our new education initiative, coming this summer, is designed to provide learning opportunities to sharpen your knowledge on accreditation compliance, classroom management and so much more. Have questions? Email us at