Posted on behalf of Dr. Fred Derksen – Chair, Council on Education
The AVMA Council on Education (COE) recently participated in an accreditation renewal hearing with the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). This hearing was part of a routine assessment process conducted by the USDE with all of its accrediting bodies.
Experts and other stakeholders testifying in support of the COE included Dr. Trevor Ames, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC); Dr. Sheila Allen, dean of the University of Georgia CVM ; Dr. Cyril Clarke, dean, VA-MD Regional CVM; Dr. Jeff Klausner, Chief Medical Officer, Banfield The Pet Hospital, Dr. Joan Hendricks, dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM); Dr. Kent Hoblet, dean , Mississippi State University CVM; Dr. Deborah Kochevar, dean, Tufts University SVM; Dr. Michael Lairmore, dean, University of California, Davis SVM; Dr. Phil Nelson, dean , Western University of Health Sciences CVM; Dr. Jeffery Newman, president of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association; and Mr. Mark Cushing, JD, Animal Policy Group. The NACIQI also heard testimony from colleagues critical of the COE’s role as an accreditor. Based on the USDE staff analyst’s report and the comments in support and in opposition, the NACIQI has recommended the COE be given six to twelve months to come into compliance with the remaining outstanding recognition criteria.
Our next step is addressing the remaining recognition criteria by the USDE within the next six to twelve months. First and foremost, the AVMA COE is committed to protecting the quality of veterinary education. As an employer, accreditation provides you with peace of mind that your associates possess the knowledge and clinical competence to provide high-quality care for your practice’s clients and patients. As a graduate of an accredited school, accreditation provides you with the confidence that the education you received provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful veterinary career.
We have learned from this experience, and look forward to working with our members and colleagues to uphold professional standards and preserve the integrity of the veterinary professional degree. We’ll keep you informed through our website, blog posts, and other avenues as the process continues, and we welcome your input.
A transcript of the hearing will soon be available, as will information on specific steps COE has taken and will take to address USDE standards and questions. If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve got many resources on our site about the COE and the accreditation process, including the COE’s policies and procedures manual, standards of accreditation, accreditation classifications, pathways to accreditation and more.