U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: American Osteopathic Association ( 1952 / 2016)
    (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 preaccreditation ("Provisional Accreditation") throughout the United States of freestanding, public and private non-profit institutions of osteopathic medicine and programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Osteopathy or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
  4. Requested Scope of Recognition: Same as above.
  5. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 06/23/2016
  6. Staff Recommendation: Continue the agency's recognition as a nationally recognized accrediting agency at this time, and require the agency to come into compliance within 12 months with the criteria listed below , and submit a compliance report due 30 days thereafter that demonstrates the agency's compliance.
  7. Issues or Problems: It does not appear that the agency meets the following sections of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition. These issues are summarized below and discussed in detail under the Summary of Findings section. -- The agency must clearly distinguish the differences between its preaccreditation and provisional accreditation status. The agency must also clearly identify which status (preaccreditation or provisional preaccreditation) comports to the Secretary’s definition of preaccreditation in 602.3, and amend all related standards policies and procedures associated with that status. [§602.11] -- The agency must provide information and documentation to demonstrate that it is widely accepted by practitioners and employers in the professional/vocational fields within the agency's jurisdiction. [§602.13] -- The agency must provide information and documentation to demonstrate that its site-visit teams include academics. The agency must also demonstrate that a single individual fulfills one defined category/role at a time on the site review teams. The agency policies and procedures must be amended to meet the requirements of the criteria. [§602.15(a)(3)] -- The agency must provide additional clarity and evidence of the use of the self-study throughout the accreditation review process. The agency must also provide additional documentation of full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit in order for Department staff to determine whether the agency consistently applies its policies, procedures, and accreditation standards. [§602.16(a)(1)(i)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(ii)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(iii)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(iv)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(v)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(vi)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(vii)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(viii)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(ix)] -- The agency does not meet the requirements of this section of the criteria. The agency must provide additional full cycles of review from other programs/institutions they accredit for the review of compliance and consistency with agency standards, policies and procedures as well as Department criteria for this section. [§602.16(a)(1)(x)] -- The agency must clearly distinguish the differences between its preaccreditation and provisional accreditation status. The agency must also clearly identify which status (preaccreditation or provisional preaccreditation) comports to the Secretary’s definition of preaccreditation in 602.3, and amend all related standards policies and procedures associated with that status. [§602.16(a)(2)] -- The agency must provide a completed mid-cycle report and self-study of the same institution to demonstrate its use and review as outlined in the COM accreditation standards and procedures.
    [§602.17(a)] -- The agency must provide evidence of completed mid-cycle, annual reporting and commission actions taken on findings of these reports for the same institution(s) for Department staff to assess for compliance with the criteria for this section. [§602.19(b)] -- The agency’s standards, policies and procedures must be amended to ensure that immediate action is taken when the Commission determines the COM is out of compliance with agency standards. The agency must also provide evidence of the full cycle of review in order for Department staff to assess for compliance with this criterion. [§602.20(a)] -- The agency must revise its current policies and procedures to require notification to the entities required by this criterion when it places and institution on warning status. The agency must also provide documentation to demonstrate the application of its revised policy. [§602.26(b)]

Executive Summary

PART I: GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGENCY

The Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is a standing committee of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The COCA currently accredits 23 osteopathic colleges of medicine and provisionally accredits another six. Because these osteopathic medical education programs may be offered in either freestanding institutions offering only these programs or in larger institutions offering other educational programs, the agency is considered both an institutional and programmatic accreditor.

Of the 29 colleges of osteopathic medicine accredited or provisionally accredited by AOA COCA, three are located in freestanding institutions. For these institutions, AOA COCA accreditation is a required element in enabling them to establish eligibility to participate in Title IV, HEA programs. During this recognition period, the Department has received no third party comments and no complaints for the American Osteopathic Association.


Recognition History

The AOA COCA, as previously configured, was first recognized by the U.S. Commissioner of Education in 1952 and has received periodic renewal of recognition since then. The agency was last reviewed for continued recognition in 2005. In 2006 the Secretary granted continued recognition to the AOA COCA for a period of five years and granted it a waiver of the separate and independent requirements. At this time, the Secretary also required the AOA COCA to submit an interim report on outstanding issues which the Secretary accepted in 2007. The agency's renewal petition is the subject of this analysis.


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.