USDE Staff Recommendation: COE Gets Six Months


Thank you for allowing us to make your voice heard- for enabling us to make the practicing DVM the driving force of accreditation reform.  Thank you for that, because you did this :

The USDE is recommending that the COE only get six more months.

Here's the scoop...

Over the past several months, Ryan and I along with several other otherwise unremarkable DVMs volunteered a lot of time and energy as Under The Microscope.  Our goal as UTM was to inform the veterinary profession, and those who care about it, of the state of veterinary education accreditation.  We started by facilitating the submission of written comments from across the spectrum of veterinary medicine to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI).  UTM continued by hosting discussions in the UTM facebook group, and writing what we hope were informative pieces, as well as the blog posts in this back-and-forth with lobbyist lawyer Mark Cushing:

Ahead of the hearing next week in Arlington VA, NACIQI Executive Director Carol Griffiths distributed the USDE staff summary. According to the USDE staff analyst, 935 comments were received- with only 98 in support of the COE. The others

 “... allege inconsistent application of agency standards, undue political influence from the related association, and non-acceptance of the agency's standards and processes. Due to the… overwhelming number of negative comments... the agency remains non-compliant...

Given that the vast majority of negative comments received were from practitioners, the agency has further not demonstrated wide acceptance among practitioners.”

That’d be you. 

Congrats to all of you, the otherwise unremarkable DVMs out there, lost in Vetlandia and lurking on VINlandia and practicing everywhere in between. By simply coming together around a single, simple action- submitting our form letter- we put the COE on a six month leash.  And if it slips that one, it’s on another leash that’s 12 months long.

Here’s the formal language, and our take on it.  

-The agency must demonstrate wide acceptance among educators and practitioners. [§602.13]

This means faculty, administrators and YOU. The only way we see this happening is if the COE becomes an autonomous, self funded entity with its own staff, its own budget, its own offices… and members selected from the entire spectrum of the profession’s stakeholders.


-- The agency must ensure it has and applies a compliant student achievement standard. [§602.16(a)(1)(i)]

This means no more relying on the NAVLE- because many accredited schools don’t have many (or any!) students who take the NAVLE.  So much for fears that foreign schools would swamp the US job market, huh?  

 The NAVLE as an assessment of student achievement is inadequate, anyway.  Its only purpose is to make sure graduates know at least enough not to harm the public in practice.  

“Hey, almost all our grads are not a public threat!”   

This is not a useful assessment of student achievement.

We need something much more rigorous, like the USMLE- and NACIQI knows it. The Basic and Clinical Sciences Exam (BCSE) and the Clinical Proficiency Exam (CPE), which the AVMA already offers to a subset of grads, would be a much more meaningful assessment.


-- The agency must compliant [sic] written policies for its systematic program of review and demonstrate that it involves all of the agency's relevant constituencies in the review and affords them a meaningful opportunity to provide input into the review. [§602.21(a)(b)].  The agency must ensure that it has compliant written policies for its revision of standards. [§602.21(c)]

Hoo boy.  This could be the sticking point.  

I’m not sure the AVMA even recognizes all of its relevant constituencies, to be honest.  

Beyond that, certainly there are a lot of insistently ill informed colleagues out there asking for the impossible: to satisfy their ignorant or outdated expectations for today’s students and schools.  It’s taken me the last three years to get to the level of knowledge I have now, and I’m still constantly moving to a firmer understanding of how the different segments interact: education, accreditation, industry, practice, the public, science and student lending.

 How can the COE, isolated behind the political wall of the AVMA, construct a platform that all these groups trust enough to provide meaningful input on- in just six months?


The upshot is…

COE has a year to demonstrate wide acceptance among practitioners, and only six months to figure out how to engage and listen to everybody.  

COE may view engagement very favorably as they try to work on that "wide acceptance" thing.  Just as us, Ryan and I would do whatever we could to open that dialogue and keep it civil and productive.  Tomorrow the UTM volunteers will start figuring out how we can, as a group, make that happen.

One idea Ryan and I both had was to host a webcast roundtable, maybe at NAVC or Western.  We’re sure the other UTM volunteers will have other good ideas- and so will YOU.

 So we’ll thank you again, in advance this time, for sending your ideas in so we can make them real, too.

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@JustavetFromSDN tweeted this page. 2014-12-02 10:09:10 -0500
New post! Ahead of the Dec 11 #NACIQI meeting... USDE Staff Recommendation: COE Gets Six Months
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