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U.S. Department of Education

Staff Report
to the
Senior Department Official
on
Recognition Compliance Issues

RECOMMENDATION PAGE

1.
Agency:   Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (1988/2011)
                  (The dates provided are the date of initial listing as a recognized agency and the date of the agency’s last grant of recognition.)
 
2.
Action Item:   Petition for Continued Recognition
 
3.
Current Scope of Recognition:   The accreditation and pre-accreditation (“Candidacy” status) throughout the United States of first-professional master's degree and professional master's level certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine and professional post-graduate doctoral programs in acupuncture and in Oriental Medicine (DAOM), as well as freestanding institutions and colleges of acupuncture or Oriental medicine that offer such programs.
 
4.
Requested Scope of Recognition:   The agency is requesting a clarification of its scope to read "The accreditation and pre-accreditation (“Candidacy”) throughout the United States of professional non-degree and graduate degree programs, including professional doctoral programs, in the field of acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine, as well as freestanding institutions and colleges of acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine that offer such programs."

 
5.
Date of Advisory Committee Meeting:   June, 2016
 
6.
Staff Recommendation:   Renew the agency's recognition for a period of five years.
 
7.
Issues or Problems:   None


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 
 

PART I: GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGENCY

 
ACAOM is a national programmatic and institutional accreditor. Its current scope of recognition is for the accreditation and pre-accreditation (“Candidacy” status) throughout the United States of first-professional master's degree and professional master's level certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine and professional post-graduate doctoral programs in acupuncture and in Oriental Medicine (DAOM), as well as freestanding institutions and colleges of acupuncture or Oriental medicine that offer such programs. It is requesting a clarification, although not an expansion, of its current scope of recognition.

The agency currently accredits 52 Master of Oriental Medicine programs, with an additional four programs in pre-accreditation status; 27 Master of Acupuncture programs; and nine Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine programs, with an additional three programs in pre-accreditation status. The agency accredits or pre-accredits programs and institutions in 22 states. Thirty-eight of the agency's 56 accredited and candidate programs are in single-purpose, freestanding institutions of higher education. Only the accredited freestanding institutions of acupuncture and Oriental medicine may use the agency's accreditation to establish eligibility to participate in Title IV student financial aid and other related programs under the Higher Education Act.

According to the Accreditation Group's records, the Department has received two complaints regarding the agency during the current recognition cycle. Both complaints were resolved in the agency's favor and no further action was taken by the Department.
 
 
Recognition History
 
The Secretary first recognized the agency in 1988 for its accreditation at the professional master's degree level in acupuncture. In 1992, the agency's recognition was expanded to include its accreditation of the first professional master's degree and professional master's level certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. ACAOM was reviewed in Fall 2005 and granted an expansion of scope to include the agency's pre-accreditation ("Candidacy") status. The agency's most recent full petition was reviewed at the Spring 2011 meeting, at which time both Department staff and the Committee recommended that the agency's request for an expansion of scope be granted, that its recognition be continued, and that it submit a compliance report on several issues. That compliance report was reviewed and accepted at the Spring 2013 NACIQI meeting. The agency's current submission is its next regularly scheduled petition for continued recognition.


PART II: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

 
The agency meets the requirements of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition.
 
 

PART III: THIRD PARTY COMMENTS

 
The Department did not receive any written third-party comments regarding this agency.