COE Accreditation Policies and Procedures: Classifications

March 2014 

 

10. Accreditation Classifications

The final evaluation of each college by the Council is determined by review of its total educational program, considering each college's stated objectives and the "Standards of an Accredited College of Veterinary Medicine." A college may appeal any Council on Education decision that results in lowered accreditation status by following the "Appeals of Adverse Accreditation Decisions" procedures (Section 10.11). Each of the classifications defined below (Provisional Accreditation, Accredited, Accredited with Minor Deficiencies, Probationary Accreditation,and Terminal Accreditation) provides an accredited status to the college (see Section 21.3, Appendix C). Accreditation decisions of the Council are not reviewed by any other AVMA entity.

The Report of Evaluation identifies major and minor deficiencies in compliance with each Standard. With respect to the "standard requirements," each college evaluated by the Council may be issued a Letter of Reasonable Assurance (if new) or assigned an accreditation status (10.2-10.5) according to the following guidelines.

10.1. Reasonable Assurance

Reasonable Assurance is the classification granted to a US or Canadian institution seeking initial accreditation. Reasonable Assurance is not a preaccreditation action by the Council and does not confer accreditation of any kind on a developing college. A letter may be granted to an educational institution indicating that there is reasonable assurance of future accreditation of a developing college of veterinary medicine in the US or Canada, if such a college is established according to detailed plans presented to the Council, and if these plans demonstrate intent and a realistic plan to comply with the Standards of Accreditation. Reasonable Assurance may lead to Provisional Accreditation. Reasonable Assurance may be renewed annually by the Council for a maximum of three years based on progress documented in writing twice a year (July and January). If a developing institution granted Reasonable Assurance fails to continue to demonstrate that its plan to develop its program will comply with the Standards, or if the program significantly changes its plan without notifying the Council, the Council may withdraw the classification of Reasonable Assurance.

10.2. Provisional Accreditation

A US or Canadian college granted Reasonable Assurance which is still in effect, will be granted Provisional Accreditation status on the date the initial class is admitted. The college must provide evidence to assure future compliance with each Standard. The semiannual reports must provide that evidence, and the Council may request additional information and documentation. Additional evidence is collected and evaluated through site visits. Provisional Accreditation status may be granted for no more than five years. If a developing program has been assigned Provisional Accreditation but does not provide continuing evidence that its program will comply with the Standards and its plan, or if it has been on Provisional Accreditation status for five years, it may be placed on Terminal Accreditation and be required to follow the procedures outlined for that accreditation, thereby protecting the interests of enrolled students.

10.3. Accredited

An accreditation status granted to a college that has no deficiencies in any of the Standards. Accreditation is granted for a period of up to seven years.  

10.4. Accredited with Minor Deficiencies

 An accreditation status granted to a college that has one or more minor deficiencies in one or more of the Standards of Accreditation. Minor deficiencies have minimal or no effect on student learning or safety. Minor deficiencies are readily corrected in one year and MUST be corrected in one year to avoid a change in accreditation status. The college is required to submit a plan to the COE within 30 days of the status notification. the plan must outline steps to correct the deficiencies and provide a time table for completion. Progress reports to the COE are required every six months, one being the Annual Interim Report. If at, or before, the end of one year, the college provides evidence that the deficiencies have been corrected, the college may be granted Accredited status for the remainder of the accreditation cycle, as determined by the COE at one of its regularly scheduled semi-annual meetings. If minor deficiencies are not corrected within one year, the college will be placed on Probationary Accreditation for one additional year. Progress reports are required every six months.

10.5. Probationary Accreditation*

An accreditation status granted to a college that has one or more major deficiencies in one or more Standards. Major deficiencies have more than minimal impact on student learning or safety. These deficiencies MUST be corrected in two years. This is not an adverse decision. The college is required to submit a plan to the COE within 30 days of the status notification. The plan outlines steps to correct deficiencies and provides a time table for completion. Progress reports to the COE are required every six months, one being the Annual Interim Report. 

If at, or before the end of the two-year period, deficiencies have been corrected and there is evidence to support full compliance, the college may be granted Accredited status for the remainder of the accreditation cycle, as determined by the COE at one of its regularly scheduled semi-annual meetings.

A college that fails to correct minor deficiencies during one additional year on Probationary status or major deficiencies within two years will be placed on Terminal Accreditation unless an Extension for Good Cause is granted (see Section 21.4, Appendix D) or pending an appeal. Progress reports are required every six months.

10.5.1. Procedures for Colleges with the Classification of Probationary Accreditation

During the period of Probationary accreditation, the Council may appoint a team to visit the college to report on the progress toward accredited status. When time is necessary to correct deficiencies (construction or major renovation of physical facilities), and if the college has presented evidence that it is making acceptable progress toward accredited status at the end of two years, Probationary accreditation may be extended for good cause.
 
A Letter of Intent to Place on Terminal Accreditation is an official letter from the COE warning the college that the accreditation status may move to Terminal Accreditation if the correction of deficiencies is not completed in the time specified. The letter is sent to the college in the 18th month of Probationary Accreditation. This is not an accreditation status.
 

At the end of an assigned period of Probationary accreditation, or earlier at the invitation of the college, the Council will conduct a comprehensive site visit, a focused site visit, or determine that no site visit is necessary to determine the compliance of the college with the standard in question. On the basis of this evaluation the Council must:

  • Award Accredited status
  • Continue Probationary Accreditation for good cause, or
  • Assign Terminal Accreditation following written due process, or
  • Withdraw accreditation (for accredited foreign colleges)

10.6. Terminal Accreditation

An accrediation status assigned to a college that is unable to correct deficiencies within the specified time period. This is an adverse accreditation decision. Due process will be initiated prior to a final decision. The college may respond in writing within 30 days of notification of the adverse action.

In addition to the circumstances noted above which may result in a program being placed on Terminal Accreditation or if a program voluntarily closes, the Council may revoke accreditation, when evidence indicates that the number or severity of deficiencies in the program with regards to complying with each of the accreditation Standards cannot be corrected before the admission of the next first-year class. "Procedures for Colleges with the Classification of Terminal Accreditation" must be followed to protect the interests of enrolled students.

10.6.1. Procedures for Colleges with the Classification of Terminal Accreditation

This classification of terminal accreditation is intended to protect enrolled students from the disadvantage of graduating from a non-accredited college and may continue no longer than necessary to protect the educational interests of such students. The dean of the college and the president of the university are notified immediately in writing of the classification status and the reasons therefore. Not later than 30 days after the date of receipt of the final report, the college may respond in writing to the specific deficiencies. If written due process fails, the college may initiate appeal proceedings as described in the Accreditation Policies and Procedures of the AVMA Council on Education manual (Section 10.12). During the first six months after the assignment of terminal accreditation, the college will submit a detailed plan describing how it will ensure that the educational interests of currently enrolled students will be met. In January of each year that the college holds terminal accreditation status, the college will provide a detailed report to the Council on Education describing how the plan is being followed and how it has been altered with respect to students who entered when the program held accredited, accredited with minor deficiencies, or probationary accreditation status.


To maintain terminal accreditation status, the college must: immediately cease enrollment of additional students; commit adequate resources to complete the education of currently enrolled students; ensure that deficiencies cited do not worsen. During a period of terminal accreditation, representatives from the COE will visit the college annually and report on whether the college is meeting the conditions for terminal accreditation as stated above. The COE visit report and information furnished in writing by the college will be considered by the Council to determine if terminal accreditation should continue. Following a period of terminal accreditation, the classification of accreditation withheld will be assigned.

10.7. Accreditation Outcomes

The full Council utilizes the self-study, site visit findings, and the Report of Evaluation to determine the appropriateness of granting Reasonable Assurance, Provisional Accreditation, Accredited, Accredited with Minor Deficiencies, Probationary Accreditation, or Terminal Accreditation status. Decisions on accreditation or reasonable assurance evaluations for site visits that occurred less than 90 days prior to the next scheduled COE meeting will usually be deferred to the following meeting. The COE meets twice annually.


The self-study and supporting documentation furnished by the college, the draft report of evaluation, the dean's response to the report, and any other appropriate information from other sources to determine whether the college complies with the Standards are made available to the Council prior to the COE meeting. Council members read and review draft reports of evaluation (provided in the COE meeting agenda distributed online prior to the meeting) for each college being considered for accreditation and come to the meetings prepared to discuss the findings of the site team and/or seek additional information necessary to evaluate that college.

 A Council member who has a conflict of interest with or observed the site visit of the college under consideration absents himself/herself from the room during discussion and voting that leads to accreditation actions. A copy of the self-study for each college under consideration is provided at the meeting. Two COE members are assigned as primary and secondary reviewers to conduct a pre-site visit review of the self-study and post site visit review of the report of evaluation. The COE reviewers evaluate the self-study to identify and communicate concerns regarding compliance with each standard to the site team chair three weeks prior to the site visit. The reviewers also discuss the report of evaluation with the site team chair following the site visit to clarify any areas of concern. The COE reviewers may request clarifying information from the site team chair or ask COE staff to gather additional evidence from the college, as needed to facilitate reiew by the full Council. The primary COE reviewer presents an accurate summary of the draft report of evaluation, leads discussion, and provides the directives and recommendation of the site team for each Standard. Each Standard is presented and discussed separately, followed by a recommendation from the COE reviewer regarding the college's compliance with that standard. COE members then vote on that recommendation. After compliance with all Standards has been approved/disapproved, an individual voting in the majority regarding a specific standard may propose a motion for reconsideration of that Standard based on substantive reason(s). The Council may reconsider that Standard with additional discussion and confirm its decision or, with supporting evidence, reverse its decision. When Standard 11, Outcomes Assessment, is considered, the Council votes to approve or disapprove the college's performance in advancing student achievement.

At the conclusion of review of all the standards and upon recommendation of the COE reviewer, the accreditation status and the assigned length of time for that status is determined by a vote of the Council, unless the Council notes deficiencies which may result in an adverse action. If major or minor deficiencies with a Standard(s) are noted, the Council proposes a remedy for each deficiency under the Directives section for the affected Standard(s). Notation is made in the Recommendation section of the final report of evaluation when specific deficiencies are not identified, but the Council wishes to provide suggestions for improvement of the educational program.

When the Council notes deficiencies which may result in an adverse accreditation action, it will defer the accreditation decision, give written notice to the college of each deficiency and recommendation, and provide the college with an opportunity to respond in writing. The college's response must only include documentation, data, or other information relevant to the deficiencies identified by the Council that may result in an adverse accreditation action. The college must notify the Council of its intent to respond within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the draft report of evaluation and file its response with the Council within thirty (30) days after receipt of the draft report of evaluation. An adverse accreditation action is defined as withholding initial or renewed accreditation, denial of a reasonable assurance status, or assignment of terminal accreditation.

If the Council notes deficiencies regarding Standard 2, Finances, that may result in an adverse accreditation action, the college may submit new financial information only if the following conditions are met:

  1. The financial information was unavailable to the college until after the Council made the adverse findings regarding the college's finances; and
  2. The financial information is significant and bears materially on the financial deficiencies identified by the Council, i.e., the information is of such a nature that if found to be credible it could result in the finding that Standard 2, Finances, is now met; and
  3. The only remaining deficiency cited by the Council on the college's failure to meet Standard 2, Finances.

An affected college may seek the review of new financial information as described in this section only once per accreditation cycle and any determination by the Council made with respect to that review does not provide a basis for an appeal.

The Council will consider the written response and documentation sent by the college within 30 days of receipt. The Council reserves the right to conduct a focused site visit, as needed to validate information submitted for reconsideration. Should a Letter of Reasonable Assurance be denied, or another adverse accreditation action taken for a specific college, the college is notified in writing of the reasons for the action and reminded of the appeal process. Within 30 days after action of the Council, staff prepares a letter for the dean of the college and the president of the parent institution that accompanies the report of evaluation conveying the accreditation status, length of time a given status is assigned, and any special instructions. A formal statement of classification or reasonable assurance decision, signed by the Chair of the Council, accompanies the letter and the report.

After the opportunities to respond in writing or appeal have passed or the processes completed, the action of the Council is considered final and a final report of evaluation is prepared, including directives and recommendations and a classification of accreditation or reasonable assurance. Copies of the final report are sent to the dean of the college, the chief executive officer of the institution, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). The officials of the college and the institution are authorized to disseminate all or part of the content of the report at their discretion. An institution must publicly disclose its accreditation accurately; including the specific academic program covered by that status, and specify that the AVMA COE, the accrediting agency, is located at 1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173 (phone 847-925-8070). Any incorrect or misleading information regarding preaccreditation or accreditation released by the institution will be corrected by the COE. These corrections include, but are not limited to 1) the accreditation or preaccreditation status, 2) content of reports of on-site visits, and 3) the accreditation or preaccreditation action by the COE with respect to the program. The content of the report is not available from AVMA, CVMA, RCVS, Council members, or the site visit team. Except under the conditions cited above, the self-study, all correspondence, directives, recommendations, and related information and documentation of the site visit and the evaluation are confidential to the Council and will not be publicly disclosed.

The AVMA publishes the final accreditation or reasonable assurance classification of the college and the dates of the last and next evaluation of the college. All requests for details of the report are referred to the dean or the university president.

10.8. Reviews and Return Visits

The Council reviews annual/interim reports from colleges in the same manner as the comprehensive site visit report. Based on the annual/interim report, the Council determines any subsequent action it shall take. The Council may request a report of additional progress and/or an appearance by an institutional representative before the Council. Focused site visits are conducted at an institution when it is necessary for the Council to review information about the program than can be obtained or documented only on site, or when items have not been adequately addressed in the annual report and the COE deems a site visit necessary to ensure educational outcomes. A special site visit may be focused, limited to specific standards, or comprehensive.

 

A focused site visit is conducted during the interim between complete evaluation and site visits in response to:

  1. Questions or inconsistencies noted in the annual report.
  2. Noted deficiencies in one or more standards identified at the time of the most recent complete site visit wherein the college informs the Council that such deficiencies have been addressed, and verification is necessary for continued accreditation.
  3. Confirmed information (evidence) received from third party (public, student, faculty, or others) concerning noncompliance with a standard requirement.

The focused site visit team shall:

  1. Consist of three COE site visitors with at least one who served on the site visit team that made the accreditation recommendation, and one Canadian representative. The team will be appointed by the COE Chair with the concurrence of the Chair of the Committee on Evaluation. Support staff from the AVMA Education and Research Division may accompany the team.
  2. Establish a date for the visit which is agreeable to all parties.
  3. Address only those standards found deficient or noncompliant during the original visit.
  4. Prepare a report addressing how the deficiencies in the standard have been corrected, and make a recommendation to the COE at its next scheduled meeting regarding the accreditation status of the college.

Based upon the outcomes of the focused site visit, the COE could recommend:

  1. No change in status.
  2. Extension of accreditation for the full time allowed.
  3. A change in the accreditation status.
  4. A comprehensive site visit.

10.9. Adverse Outcomes

The Council is aware of the consequences of loss of accreditation or denial of reasonable assurance status, and considers these matters seriously. However, there are situations wherein the college that is noncompliant could harm students enrolled in the program and/or the public. Each situation which could result in adverse action by the Council will be considered individually.

10.10. Withholding Accreditation

The COE will not renew accreditation  or award provisional or initial accreditation  for any college where the institution offering the program is subject to: 
  1. A pending or final action brought by a state agency to suspend, revoke, withdraw, or terminate the institution's legal authority to provide postsecondary education in the state;.
  2. A decision by a recognized agency to deny accreditation or preaccreditation;
  3. A pending or final action brought by a recognized accrediting agency to suspend, revoke, withdaw, or terminate the institution's accreditation or preaccreditation.

The COE will consider granting accreditation (renewal or initial) or preaccreditation where the institution offering the program is subject to probation or an equivalent status imposed by a recognized agency. Within 30 days, the Council will provide the USDE with a thorough and reasonable explanation, consistent with COE standards, why the action of the other body does not preclude the awarding accreditation or preaccreditation, if accreditation or preaccreditation is awarded. The decision to award accreditation or preaccreditation will be based on a thorough review of the evidence. The standards will be applied consistently as described for all accreditation decisions to determine compliance. However, special attention will be paid to the reasons for institutional probation and the potential impact on compliance with each standard, including sustainability.

10.11. Reevaluation

A college may request a reevaluation at any time for reasons of reclassification. The request should justify the reasons for requesting a different classification. A current self-evaluation, or an updated report of a self-evaluation less than two years old, must be submitted approximately six weeks before the date of a site visit. The report should indicate the changes that have occurred since the previous evaluation with particular reference to the recommendations previously made. When there appears to be reasonable probability that the classification can be changed, the Council will make every effort to implement a new evaluation, but in no case less than one year after a previous evaluation (the meeting at which the Council made the relevant decision).


The Council is receptive to a request by any college to be evaluated for reaccreditation at less than the maximum established interval for any reason, such as the coordination of self-evaluation reports and site visits required by other agencies. Such requests are honored according to the ability of the Council in consideration of its prior commitments to other colleges.

10.12. Appeals of Adverse Outcomes

The action of the Council on Education is final with respect to the accreditation or reasonable assurance classification assigned to a college of veterinary medicine, except that any adverse decision may be appealed by the affected college. An adverse decision on accreditation or reasonable assurance is defined as withholding initial or renewed accreditation;  or denial of a reasonable assurance; or assignment of terminal accreditation. When an adverse accreditation or reasonable assurance decision is made by the Council, the college is informed in writing of the decision and the reasons for such decision, and reminded of the right to appeal.

In the event of an adverse decision by the COE, the affected college may appeal the decision on the grounds that that Council 1) has ruled erroneously by disregarding established AVMA criteria for accreditation, 2) failed to follow its stated procedures, or 3) failed to consider all the evidence and documentation presented. No other grounds for appeal will be allowed. When a college appeals an adverse decision, the following procedures will apply:

Not later than 30 calendar days after receipt of notification (registered mail, return receipt requested) of an adverse decision, the college shall notify the AVMA Executive Board in writing, through the Executive Vice President, that it intends to appeal the decision. Not later than 60 calendar days after the date of notification of the adverse decision, the college shall submit documentation (one original and 15 copies) supporting its appeal and a $10,000 deposit to be applied to the expenses of the hearing. Expenses shall be paid by the appellant college, and any balance remaining from the deposit shall be returned to the college, or the college will be invoiced for additional expenses.

The Executive Board shall appoint a hearing panel comprised of seven persons, none of whom shall be current members of the Council on Education or AVMA staff. The hearing panel will include veterinary educators and practitioners, and one public member who have completed service on the Council within the last seven years (one accreditation cycle). Hearing panel members will be credentialed using the same procedures used to credential COE members. As a refresher, panel members will receive the same training provided new Council members, and specific training to review all changes made in the COE policies and procedures since their service on the Council to ensure panel members have the requisite knowledge and understanding to make decisions consistent with the policies and requirements of the Council on Education. The Executive Board shall designate the chair of the panel. Hearing panel members are required to sign a Conflict of Interest Statement.

A hearing shall be held at or near the AVMA office in Schaumburg, not more than 120 calendar days following receipt by AVMA of the documentation supporting the college's appeal. The Executive Vice President will schedule and organize the hearing and notify the hearing panel, the college, and the members of the Council on Education by mail not less than 10 or more than 40 calendar days prior to the date of the hearing. The notification will include the date, time and place for the hearing, as well as a list of the members of the hearing panel.

At any hearing, an officer or other representative of the appellant college and a member of the Council on Education shall have the right to present witnesses and to submit documents and other written materials pertinent to the case. The appellant college and the Council may be represented by legal counsel who may make the presentation on behalf of the appellant college and the Council, respectively. The appellant college shall be responsible for all fees and expenses related to its legal counsel. The hearing panel may also have legal counsel present to advise it with respect to procedural matters. Following presentations by the appellant college and the Council, the hearing panel will allow opportunity for response and rebuttal by the appellant college. Before permitting testimony relating to the character or general reputation of anyone, the panel shall satisfy itself that the testimony has a direct bearing on the case at issue.

The hearing shall be restricted to a review of documents and testimony relevant to the standard(s) on which the adverse accreditation or reasonable assurance decision was based, or a review of the process and procedure used to arrive at a recommendation as appropriate, depending on the basis of the appeal. Documentation may include extracts from the college or school self-study, with appendices or attachments, and from the report of evaluation of the site visit team. All documentation and testimony shall be relevant to conditions existing at the college or school during the dates on which the site visit was made or on which the adverse decision was based.

The hearing panel may either affirm, amend, or reverse an adverse decision, or remand the adverse decision to the Council for further consideration. If the hearing panel reverses or amends the Council's decision, the hearing panel will remand the matter to the Council with specific instructions to implement the hearing panel's decision. If the hearing panel remands an adverse action for further consideration by the Council, the hearing panel shall identify specific issues that the Council must address. In all cases where a decision is implemented by or remanded to the Council, the Council shall act in a manner consistent with the hearing panel's decision and instructions. The conclusion of the panel shall be produced in the form of a written report and become a permanent record of the Council on Education. The chief executive officers of the college and the university will be provided with copies of the hearing panel report. The panel report will be confidential to the Council. All questions will be referred to the college which may respond as deemed appropriate.

An appeal is not a de novo hearing, but a challenge of the Council's decision based on the evidence before the Council at the time of its decision. The Council's decision should not be reversed by the appeal panel without sufficient evidence that the Council's decision was plainly wrong or without evidence to support it. Accordingly, the appeal panel should not substitute its judgment for that of the Council merely because it would have reached a different decision had it heard the matter originally.

The accreditation status of the petitioning college shall remain unchanged during the review; there shall be no public notice of the adverse decision until the review is complete and a final decision rendered. The fact the college has filed an appeal will, however, be a matter of public record.

At the discretion of the hearing panel or upon advance request in writing by either the petitioning college or the Council, a transcript of the proceedings may be made. The transcript will be shared by all parties.

The report of the hearing panel will be considered at the next regular meeting of the Council on Education. The Council must act in a manner consistent with the hearing panel's decision and instructions. All deliberations of the Council and the factors considered prior to the final decision shall be confidential to the Council. The appealing college will be notified in writing of the final accreditation status assigned by the COE.

If the decision by the COE is upheld, the appellant will be responsible for all expenses associated with the appeal. If the decision by the COE is reversed in its entirety, the appellant will be responsible for all expenses associated with transportation, food, and lodging for the college representatives; legal fees associated with college representation; and any other expenses incurred by the college in making the appeal. All other costs associated with the hearing including, but not limited to, panel and COE transportation, lodging, and food; legal counsel for the panel and/or the COE; conference telephone calls; mailings; meeting facilities; and a transcript of the proceedings will be shared equally by the college and the AVMA.

10.13. Reconsideration of Accreditation Classification

The Council may reconsider and alter the classification of a college when in the Council's judgment:

 

  1. Conditions affecting compliance with one or more standards have deteriorated sufficiently so that the college fails to meet one or more of the standard requirements.
  2. A previously identified deficiency has worsened and causes the college to fail to meet one or more of the standard requirements.
  3. A college or its parent university fails to respond in a timely and satisfactory way to the reasonable requests of the Council for information, or fails to cooperate in the evaluation process.

10.14. Loss of Legal Authority to Provide Postsecondary Education

If the COE learns that a school it accredits or preaccredits, or an institution that offers a program it accredits or preaccredits, is the subject of an adverse action by another recognized accrediting agency or has been placed on probation or an equivalent status by another recognized agency, the COE will promptly review the accreditation or preaccreditation of the school to determine if it should also take adverse action or place the program on probation or show cause.
 
The COE will share information about the accreditation or preaccreditation status of a program and any adverse actions it has taken against an accredited or preaccredited program upon request with other appropriate recognized accrediting agencies and recognized state approval agencies. This includes Probationary Accreditation. 

10.15. Loss of Institutional Accreditation

The Council will revoke the accreditation of a college which has lost its institutional accreditation. The Council will notify the Secretary of Education within 30 days of the action to revoke accreditation. Further, the Council will notify the appropriate postsecondary institutional accrediting body and the public no later than 24 hours following the withdrawal of accreditation or after any appeal has been resolved. The Council will not consider evaluating a college that has lost its institutional accreditation.

 

10.16. Decisions of Other Accrediting Agencies

The COE monitors programs throughout the accreditation cycle via annual reports, third party comment, and focused site visits. The Council will respond to any program not meeting the standards, even if the parent institution or program is involved in litigation. Conditions could exist within an institution where compliance with a Standard of Accreditation or reasonable assurance may change to noncompliance, due to action of another agency. If any of the following conditions are confirmed, the Council will notify the institution in writing, within 30 days of confirmation, that accreditation will not be renewed based upon an unfavorable outcome wherein:

 

  1. An institution is subject to an interim action by a recognized institutional accrediting agency which could lead to suspension, revocation, or termination of accreditation or reasonable assurance.
  2. An institution is subject to an interim action by a recognized state agency which could lead to suspension, revocation, or termination of accreditation or reasonable assurance.
  3. An institution has been notified of a threatened loss of accreditation and due process procedure is not complete.
  4. An institution has been notified of a threatened suspension, revocation, or termination by the state of the institution's legal authority to provide postsecondary education and the due process procedure is not complete.

10.17. Policies on Reporting to USDE

An updated listing of accredited colleges of veterinary medicine, noting those institutions wherein an adverse action has been taken or those that have voluntarily withdrawn from the accreditation process, will be submitted to the Secretary of the Department of Education within 30 days of the decision. Additionally, a listing of colleges and the accreditation status of each is submitted annually. The COE will notify the Department of Education within 30 days regarding the following:

  • A list of the accreditation and reasonable assurance decisions made.
  • A decision by the COE to award provisional accreditation or reasonable assurance to a newly formed college.
  • A final decision by the COE to deny, withdraw, suspend, or terminate the accreditation or provisional accreditation of a college; or to take other adverse action against a college.*
  • A decision by the COE to place a college on probationary accreditation. Within 24 hours of notification of the program, the COE will notify the public of its decision via the AVMA web site.
  • A decision by an accredited college to withdraw voluntarily from accreditation or provisional accreditation.
  • A decision by an accredited college to let its accreditation or provisional accreditation lapse.

If the Secretary requests additional information on a preaccredited or accredited program, the COE will respond in a timely manner. The COE will forward a copy of its annual data noting major accrediting activities during the previous year, if so requested by the USDE. The COE does not currently prepare an annual report of its accreditation activities. However, if such a report is developed at a future date, the document will be forwarded to the USDE on an annual basis. If the COE believes a college or school is failing to meet its Title IV, Higher Education Authority responsibilities or is engaged in fraud or abuse, the name of that institution will be provided to the USDE.

The Secretary will be provided with information regarding any proposed change that will alter the COE's scope of recognition or compliance. Within 60 days of a final decision regarding accreditation or reasonable assurance status, the COE will make available to the Department of Education, appropriate state postsecondary education review entities; and to the public upon request, a brief statement summarizing the reasons for the final decision to deny, withdraw, suspend, or terminate accreditation or provisional accreditation of a college, and the comments the college may wish to make with regard to the decision.


* In a Report of Evaluation, those recommendations pertaining to a specific Standard that specifically address a lowered accreditation status, deny a Letter of Reasonable Assurance, or not a condition resulting in substantial compliance are clearly identified. All other recommendations are made to improve the educational quality of the program being evaluated.

* When an adverse action is taken by the Council, the USDE, the appropriate State licensing or authorizing agency, and the appropriate accrediting agencies will be notified at the same time as the program but no later than 30 days following the action.