Miskowicz-Retz KC, Williams A. New Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: Steps in Achieving Accreditation. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2008;108(3):121–125. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2008.108.3.121.
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The authors outline the process that an educational institution undergoes to obtain accreditation status from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), the body responsible for accrediting the nation's osteopathic medical schools. Progress toward accreditation status is described for the six newest colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs). In addition, the authors describe how the expansion of a COM's approved class size—whether as a result of planned growth or methodologic changes in educational programming—is considered by US federal administrative regulations a “substantive change” to the institution's mission and programs. Such changes require the review and approval of COCA. Class-size increases for the past decade are detailed.
The applicant COM, and/or its parent institution, must publish policies and procedures regarding student complaints related to accreditation standards and procedures, and must maintain records of the receipt, adjudication, and resolution of such complaints.7
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