COE Accreditation Policies and Procedures: Required Reports

September 2020

9. Required reports from colleges

9.1. Reports of substantive change*

The COE must be notified and the COE must grant approval prior to implementation of any of the substantive changes in the program listed below. Approval of substantive changes is at the discretion of the COE based upon the information received and continued compliance with the standards. A site visit may be required to verify the reported substantive changes.

  • Any change in the established mission or objective of the college.
  • Any change in the organizational structure, legal status, form of control, or ownership of the college.
  • The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure, in either content or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the COE last evaluated the institution.
  • A change in the clock hours (student contact hours) to credit hours ratio.
  • A substantial change in the number of clock hours (student contact hours) or credit hours awarded for successful completion of the program.
  • The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 25 percent of the entire professional program.
  • The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers an educational experience in which 25 percent or more of any class is enrolled.
  • An anticipated entering class size change of 10 percent or more students from the last approved request or the most recent accreditation site visit.
  • A cumulative total enrollment change of 15% or more over 5 years.

Failure to notify the COE of a substantive change and receive approval prior to the implementation is likely to result in a focused site visit to ensure continued compliance with the standards.

9.2. Interim reports

The Council requires an annual interim report from each college in Accredited status except when a site visit has been conducted less than six months previously, or when a site visit is planned to occur in the first six months of the ensuing year. Colleges that are Accredited with Minor Deficiencies, Probationary Accreditation, or Terminal Accreditation status are required to submit interim reports every six months.The interim report should describe any recent or anticipated changes and the ways in which previous Council recommendations have been met. When an accredited college contemplates fundamental changes in administration, organization, association with the parent institution, curriculum, faculty, increased enrollment, instructional program, or stated objectives, the Council should be given an opportunity to review the proposed change prior to adoption. Student suggestions, comments, and complaints regarding the college's compliance to the Standards of Accreditation must accompany the interim report.

Individual members of the Council are assigned a specific report(s) for an in-depth review and are required to prepare a draft written summary of the findings (see Section 21.2, Appendix B). The assigned individual leads Council discussion of the report and his/her summary (included in the COE meeting agenda), and makes a recommendation on the accreditation status of the college. When all issues arising from the annual report have been discussed, the Council votes (a majority is required) on extending the current accreditation status or taking an adverse action to lower the status. If the Council votes to extend the accreditation status, with or without comment, staff will notify the college in writing. Comments, however, are included in the transmission letter when appropriate. If the Council notes deficiencies that may result in an adverse accreditation action, the Council will defer the accreditation action and will provide the college with an opportunity to respond in writing pursuant to Policy 10.6 of this manual. If the Council lowers the accreditation status after the college has had the opportunity to respond under Policy10.6, then the college will be reminded of the appeal process.

Please note that the COE understands that some data are not collected annually, but summaries of those results should be reported when they become available. Evidence for the requested delineators should be collected no less than two to three times during the seven-year accreditation cycle.

9.3. Self-study reports

The Council evaluates each college of veterinary medicine in terms of the degree with which it meets its own stated objectives and the established criteria for accreditation. To maintain accreditation, veterinary colleges must provide an extensive self-evaluation and arrange for a site visit at intervals of not more than seven years. More frequent site visits are scheduled for colleges with probationary accreditation. The Council reserves the right to schedule site visits on a more frequent basis, if information of concern is provided in an annual report, or in response to complaints, or for a developing college still under a reasonable assurance designation.

The Council expects that every college of veterinary medicine engage in ongoing evaluation of all elements of the educational programs as they relate to the Standards. The self-evaluation report is a summary of the current state of regular self-evaluation.

Administrators, faculty, students and alumni of the college are best qualified to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the college, and should be consulted in preparation of the self-study. Committees composed of the above groups should be established by the administration for the purpose of composing the self-study. Department input should be included in the self-study, but not as a separate section of the document. As an outside group, the Council gains its best perception of a college through the eyes of those most intimately involved.

The Self-Study Report is the single most important document of the accreditation process and serves as the principal element of evidence that the program and resources of the college comply with the Standards of Accreditation. Each site team member is provided a copy of the self-study, and it is made available to all interested Council members. The accreditation site visit serves to clarify and verify that the self-study is a true reflection of the conditions of the college.

The Council is seeking evidence-based documentation indicating that the college complies with each Standard. The Council broadly evaluates student outcomes that address technical knowledge and skills and life skills (for example, problem solving, communication, business and personal finance, etc.). Thus the system of self-evaluation used by each college must include these outcomes.

Specific compliance with each standard is judged by the Council based upon the adequacy/quality of the professional education program as documents in the self-study and site visit. Programs that do not have, or have unacceptable program elements addressed by the standards will be cited for lack of compliance with that specific standard.

9.4. Reporting to the community

The COE provides written notice of its accrediting decisions to the USDE*, appropriate state licensing or authorizing agency*, appropriate accrediting agencies**, and the public*** according to the following requirements of the USDE:

(A) Within 30 days:

  1. A decision to award initial accreditation or preaccreditation to a veterinary school
  2. A decision to renew or provide initial accreditation or preaccreditation to a veterinary school

(B) At the same time the school is notified, but no later than 30 days after the decision:***

  1. A final decision to place a school on probationary accreditation
  2. A final decision to deny, withdraw, suspend, revoke, or terminate the accreditation or preaccreditation of a veterinary school****

* The USDE and appropriate state licensing or authorizing agency will be notified by letters sent electronically or by mail.

** Accrediting agencies are notified by posting written notice on appropriate listserve for regional and programmatic accreditors.

*** Please note: All public notification is provided in the public area of the AVMA web site and will include the date of the COE meeting the decision was made. This is done within 24 hours of notification of the program for (B) (1) and (2).

**** Not later than 60 days after any final decision to deny, withdraw, suspend, revoke, or terminate the accreditation or preaccreditation of a veterinary school, the COE will notify the USDE, state and other authorizing agencies, and public with a  brief statement summarizing the reasons for the agency's decision and the official comments that the affected school may wish to make with regard to that decision, or evidence that the affected school has been offered the opportunity to provide official comment.

The COE will provide written notice to the USDE, appropriate state licensing or authorizing agency, appropriate accrediting agencies, and, upon request, the public if:

  1. A school decides to withdraw voluntarily from accreditation or preaccreditation, within 30 days of receiving notification from the school that it is withdrawing voluntarily from accreditation or preaccreditation; or
  2. Lets its accreditation or preaccreditation lapse, within 30 days of the date on which accreditation or preaccreditation lapses.

Information related to currently accredited veterinary medical colleges and schools, the accreditation status, and the date of the next accreditation or preaccreditation site visit is published annually in the AVMA House of Delegates Report and on the AVMA website (at in the public access area. The COE does not provide the AVMA with non-public information regarding accreditation decisions, except to the extent such information constitutes privileged legal information.

When the accreditation decision is finalized, each college of veterinary medicine must notify the public of its performance in educating veterinarians by posting on its website 1) the accreditor (AVMA COE), accreditation status of the college, and the date of the next site visit; 2) an explanation of the reasons for non-compliance if probationary accreditation has been assigned and the college must provide an evaluation of the impact of non-compliance on the enrolled students; 3) the NAVLE pass rate for the college compared to the pass rate required by the COE standard for Outcomes Assessment (currently 80%); and 4) any other outcomes information that the college feels would educate the public regarding the quality of education at the specific institution. Information released to the public must be readily accessible. The information released to the public must be sent to the COE for verification in the annual report of each college.

* Adapted and modified from USDE regulations