U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: American Dental Association ( 1952 / 2012)
    (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 of predoctoral dental education programs (leading to the D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree), advanced dental education programs, and allied dental education programs that are fully operational or have attained "Initial Accreditation" status, including programs offered via distance education.
  4. Requested Scope of Recognition: Same as above.
  5. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 06/20/2017
  6. Staff Recommendation: Renew the agency's recognition for a period of five years.
  7. Issues or Problems: None

Executive Summary


The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is a programmatic accreditor. The agency’s accrediting activities include the accreditation of predoctoral dental education programs (leading to the D.D.S or D.M.D degree), advanced general dentistry education programs, advanced dental specialty education programs, and the allied dental education programs, including dental assisting education programs, dental hygiene education programs, dental laboratory technology education programs, and dental therapy education programs, and those developing programs that have attained the initial accreditation status, and those programs offered via distance education.

The agency accredits 1,450 programs currently covering 22 dental education areas. Recognition by the Secretary allows the programs accredited by CODA to participate in Federal programs other than Title IV, specifically, the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS grants are available to accredited dental and dental-related education programs, as described in various sections of the PHSA. Specific sections of the PHSA include, for example, Title 42, Public Health Service Act, (PHSA), Chapter IV, Subchapter B Medicare Program Part 405-426 which provides direct and indirect graduate medical education funding/hospital insurance for residency programs approved by the Commission on Dental Education; Title VII, Health Professions Education Section of the Public Health Service Act, Part B, Health Professions Training for Diversity (Section 736) of the Centers of Excellence and Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (Section 737) which includes schools of dentistry as eligible entities; and Part C, which entails training in Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics, Physician Assistants, General Dentistry, and Pediatric Dentistry. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administers the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which also provides funding to “accredited dental schools and other accredited dental education programs, such as dental hygiene programs or those sponsored by a school of dentistry, a hospital, or a public or private institution that offers postdoctoral training in the specialties of dentistry, advanced education in general dentistry, or a dental general practice residency.”

The agency has a non-Title IV federal link and does not have to meet the separate and independent requirements.

Recognition History

The U.S. Commissioner of Education listed the Council on Dental Education (CDE) of the American Dental Association (ADA) on the first list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies published by 1952. In 1969, the Secretary expanded the CDE’s scope of recognition to include the category “accreditation eligible” to the dental and dental hygiene programs. In 1972, CDE received an expansion of scope to include its accreditation of advanced dental specialty education programs and its accreditation of dental assisting and dental laboratory technician programs in proprietary schools.

In 1975, the Council on Dental Education restructured and became the Commission on Accreditation of Dental and Dental Auxiliary Educational Programs (CADDAEP). The name of the CADDAEP changed again in 1979, to its present name, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA or Commission). The Secretary of Education has continued to recognize the agency since then.

The last full review of the agency was conducted at the June 2012 National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI or the Committee) meeting. The agency completed a compliance report in 2013. The current review for 2017 is the next full review of the agency since that time. There has been one complaint during this period of recognition. Department staff observed a commission meeting in Feb 2017 and a site visit in March 2017 as observations of the agency.


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


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