Q: Why does COE seek recognition from the U.S. Department of Education?
A: Recognition by the U.S. Department of Education is a voluntary process and is not required for the COE to accredit veterinary medical colleges, but it’s important to the Council, the AVMA, and the profession. Continued recognition by the USDE is important to the COE for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the eligibility for veterinary students attending participating U.S. colleges to receive Health Professions Student Loans (HPSLs) under Title VII of the U.S. Public Health Service Act. Last year, the HPSL program distributed about $12 million to approximately 12% of U.S. citizens attending veterinary school. It is this link to a federal program that allows COE to meet one of the eligibility requirements for recognition by the USDE. Another significant reason is that the AVMA and COE highly value and plan to preserve their vital role in assuring the quality and integrity of veterinary medical education – a role we have proudly served since 1921 when the Essentials of an Approved Veterinary College were first established by the AVMA Committee on Intelligence and Education, which became the COE in 1946. USDE recognition requires compliance with 100 pages of guidelines.