Changes to Accreditation Standards, March 2017

​The Council on Education annually reviews three to four standards in depth to ensure that the Standards of Accreditation meet the needs of the profession, students enrolled in colleges offering veterinary medical educational programs, and society. The Council recently reviewed Standard 7-Admission, Standard 8-Faculty, and Standard 9-Curriculum. In addition the Council considered the addition of language into the standards regarding diversity. After extensive review including consideration of comments received during a period of public comment the Council on Education made revisions to:

Standard 1, Organization

Standard 6, Students

Standard 7, Admission

Standard 8, Faculty

Standard 9, Curriculum

Standard 11, Outcomes Assessment


Rationale for revisions of Standards 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11


The Council on Education received a number of comments in response to the proposed standard changes regarding the incorporation of diversity and inclusion into the standards, which were reviewed at the Council's March 25-28, 2017 meeting. The majority of comments received were in support of the revisions; however, suggestions regarding revisions in the language were provided. Based on comments received the Council revised the proposed language in the standards to clarify the Council's intent and be less prescriptive. The Council also listed items to be included in the self-study to assist the Council in assessing compliance with the revised standards. The Council believes that a college that fosters a climate of diversity and inclusion will have a rich learning and social environment that promotes the development of graduates prepared to deliver a broad array of veterinary services to a diverse population.

The intent of the Council is not to require colleges to meet specific numeric goals; rather, to have appropriate policies, processes, and practices in place that, in keeping with the mission of the college, are designed to promote the recruitment and retention of a diverse academic community and to promote, from qualified applicants, the recruitment and admittance of a diverse student body, consistent with applicable law. In addition, the Council believes that, within the framework of the law that each college must function, diversity may be utilized as part of a holistic admission process.

In addition to language incorporating diversity and inclusion into the Standards:

  • The Council also modified language in Standard 1, Organization, to clarify the expectation of the role of Chief Executive Officer for a college of veterinary medicine, and that regardless of where the clinical educational experience is provided, the officer(s) responsible for the professional, ethical, and academic affairs of that experience must be veterinarian(s).
  • The Council also modified language in Standard 7, Admission, to clarify that methods should be in place to assess the admissions process to ensure the process is fair and consistent.
  • The Council revised the competencies defined in Standard 11, Outcomes Assessment to define communication skills more broadly and not limit communications skills to client communications.
  • Clarified the importance of professional development in learning theory and instructional practices.