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The Council on Education (COE) received the official letter from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) dated March 9, 2015. The USDE has granted the COE an extension of its recognition, for good cause, for a period of six months from the date of the letter.
The USDE Under Secretary upheld the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). The COE is required to provide evidence that it is meeting the criteria referenced below. The USDE requires that the COE submit a compliance report within 30 days after the completion of the extension period, addressing the criteria raised by the NACIQI. For more details on each criterion, visit the USDE’s Basic Eligibility Requirements page or the USDE staff report.
- §602.13 Acceptance of the agency by practitioners
- §602.15 (a)(6) Application of clear conflict of interest controls
- §602.16 (a)(1)(i) Application of student achievement standard relative to course completion and placement rates
- §602.21 (a)(b) Opportunity for broad stakeholder review of standards
- §602.21 (c) Written policy on time required to implement changes to standards
Accreditation is vital to preserving the integrity of veterinary medical education, and provides assurance that graduates are competent, entry-level veterinarians. USDE-recognition of the COE as the accrediting body is required for students to be eligible for Health Professions Loans (HPL) under Title VII of the US Public Health Act (the COE’s recognition does not play a role in Title IV federal financial aid eligibility), and loss of recognition would prevent access to these loans. The council recognizes that the HPL provide critical financial assistance to approximately 12% of veterinary students, and fully intends to preserve USDE recognition to ensure continued financial assistance.
The COE is taking steps to address these criteria within the allotted time to ensure continued recognition and to protect the accreditation status of veterinary programs.
The council has been soliciting stakeholder feedback on the current accreditation process and received supportive and critical responses, including concerns that are not within the COE’s purview. The non-COE-related comments have been shared with AVMA leadership, and the COE-related comments are being discussed by the COE.