July 15, 2002


 Mission statement integral to accreditation standard revisions

Posted July 1, 2002

Back in April, the Executive Board had approved revisions proposed for five of 11 accreditation standards for veterinary schools and colleges. The board had referred the remaining six revised standards back to the Council on Education for clarification.

Revisions to the standard on organization describe the administrative placement of a school or college within a university. Also, the council will enforce the requirement within this standard that deans at foreign or U.S./Canadian schools and colleges must be veterinarians. Following consultation with the U.S. Department of Education, the council deleted the civil rights statement to reflect that the council is not the policing body for the federal or state governments relative to civil rights.

The standard on finances was revised for clarity and brevity.

Revisions to the standard on students eliminate redundancies with other standards, eliminate references to postgraduate programs, clarify the need for support services, and reflect the need to assess student suggestions, comments, and complaints regarding the standards annually.

Revisions to the standard on faculty clarify the language describing the requirements, eg, redefining research as a scholarly activity. Also, the requirement for "a balanced program of teaching, research, and public service" was eliminated because it is reflected in the new mission statement requirement in the standard on organization.

The revised standard on curriculum involves deletion of philosophic statements; consolidation and grouping of curricular elements; addition of areas not previously covered, eg, foreign diseases; and elimination of guidelines for formation of a curriculum committee. The standard now suggests that the school or college add elements to the curriculum requirements that correspond to the physical facilities, eg, therapeutic surgery, and the expected education of a veterinarian prepared to enter practice or other sectors. Using the self-study guidelines, the college will be required to demonstrate that basic biological sciences, clinical arts, and life skills are included in the curriculum.

The standard on outcomes assessment is new, replacing provisions previously included under the standards on students and on curriculum. Adopting this new standard will enable the council to evaluate critical elements of the educational processes of each program. The council developed self-study guidelines for outcomes. The guidelines will require an institution to provide such elements as evidence of passage rates on the national examination, student attrition rates, graduate employment rates, results of satisfaction surveys of graduates and employers, and success in placing graduates in postgraduate educational experiences.