The COE received two important letters this week: one from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), and the other from the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The USDE letter served as notification that the COE has been found acceptable as an agency to accredit foreign veterinary colleges. This is a new recognition, and originated from a change to the Higher Education Act. Prior to this change, the USDE evaluated individual foreign veterinary medical colleges for the purposes of awarding Title IV federal financial aid to US citizens who choose to attend. Effective July 1, 2015, the USDE established a new program to evaluate the standards and accreditation processes of accrediting agencies that accredit foreign veterinary medical schools. The new approval program is separate from the USDE recognition process for domestic accrediting agencies. It’s important to remember that the USDE views Canadian schools as foreign; therefore, COE approval as a foreign accrediting body is critical to maintaining financial aid support to US citizens attending Canadian veterinary schools.
The letter from CHEA provided notification that the COE’s interim report to CHEA was recently received with no change in the recognition status. Recognition by CHEA “affirms that standards and processes of accrediting organizations are consistent with quality, improvement, and accountability expectations that CHEA has established.” Recognition by CHEA involves a peer-review process to ensure that the accrediting agency meets a number of strict criteria.
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