Time to get involved: Council on Education seeks new site visitors

Published on July 08, 2016
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“It is an amazing opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes.’ Your perspective (or misconception) of how students are trained will never be the same.”

Advancing veterinary medical educationThat’s how one veterinarian described her experience on accreditation site visits in an email encouraging her colleagues to volunteer as official site visitors for the AVMA Council on Education (COE).

The COE has issued a call for veterinarians interested in joining the pool of trained site visitors who review veterinary colleges seeking new or renewed accreditation. The Council is looking especially for veterinarians engaged in private clinical practice or other non-academic roles. Applications are due August 1.

This is a unique opportunity to share your passion and enthusiasm for veterinary medicine with colleagues, while helping to advance veterinary medicine by ensuring the high quality of veterinary education.

Put on your walking shoes…

The work of a site visitor involves a careful review of the self-study documents submitted by a veterinary medical college, verification of that information during a comprehensive site visit at the institution, and submission of a report to the Council on Education for its consideration. Site visitors make recommendations to the COE, but do not attend COE meetings, discuss their findings, or otherwise participate in accreditation decisions.

If chosen as a site visitor, you could expect to spend approximately 5-6 days per year away from home (assuming one site visit in a year), with additional preparation time for site visits and training.

All site visitors receive training prior to participating in site visits. Applicants must be available for the 2016 training session, which will be held Sept. 23-26 at AVMA Headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Dr. Melanie Marsden, the Colorado delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates, observed a recent COE site visit and participated in a veterinary technology site visit with the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Accreditation and Activities. "No doubt, it is a time commitment, and you better wear your walking shoes," she told her HOD colleagues in an email about the COE’s request for site visitor applicants. "However, ... I highly encourage you to consider this opportunity to help our profession."

A more detailed description of the application process and the responsibilities of site visitors is available in the Volunteer Opportunities section of the AVMA website, along with the application form.

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