Council on Education recognized by USDE

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The Department of Education has renewed its recognition of the AVMA Council on Education as the sole accreditor of U.S. veterinary colleges.

Emma Vadehra, chief of staff to the secretary of education, sent a letter Sept. 22 confirming the decision to Dr. Karen Martens Brandt, director of the AVMA Education and Research Division and staff liaison to the council.


The notice comes after the council has spent nearly four years vying for the designation.

In December 2012, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity reviewed the COE’s application for re-recognition. NACIQI is an advisory panel comprising 18 volunteer members appointed by Congress and the USDE. Its main job is to recommend to the education secretary whether the accrediting agencies it reviews, such as the COE, deserve the department’s stamp of approval. The USDE then determines whether to recognize those agencies as qualified to evaluate the education and training provided by higher education programs and to accredit or reaccredit them.

Initially, NACIQI gave the council one year to comply with a series of department standards and submit a report demonstrating compliance with issues identified during its review.

When the COE went before NACIQI for a second time, in December 2014, the advisory panel, on the basis of the USDE staff report, identified four areas in which the COE would have to demonstrate compliance before being granted re-recognition, and a fifth one was added during the hearing. The council submitted its compliance report to the USDE in October 2015 and went before NACIQI a final time this past June.

The COE has been recognized by the USDE since 1952, and the USDE’s latest recognition of the council has been renewed for the remainder of the current cycle (1 1/2 years).

Related JAVMA content:

Education council responds to feedback (March 15, 2016)