Topic 2: Student achievement benchmarks for professional optometric degree programs

Excerpt from USDE Staff Analysis

-- The agency needs to clarify and document how it evaluates the institutionally-established student achievement benchmarks against the benchmarks established by ACOE in its monitoring protocols for Professional Optometric Programs. In addition, the agency needs to clarify and document the level of authority formally assigned to the student achievement benchmarks that ACOE applies to Professional Optometric Programs. [§602.16(a)(1)(i)]

 ACOE Proposed changes to address Topic 2:

That the Council accepts the following proposed revision to the Accreditation Manual: Professional Optometric Degree Programs for distribution to the community of interest for comment:  (Wording to be added is underlined.  Wording to be deleted is struckthrough.)

  "The Annual Report

Annual reports are tools to assist the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education with monitoring and evaluating the program's continued compliance with accreditation standards in the interim period between evaluation visits.  The annual report should provide the Council with the following information:

 *      A progress report on efforts to address unmet recommendations (if any) to bring the program into compliance with ACOE standards;

*     Major changes that have occurred in the previous year and notification of the nature and extent of substantive changes that are being considered;

 *      Information regarding the program's continuing compliance with the ACOE standards including the following:

  •  Changes in the program's mission, goals and objectives;
  •  A summary of outcome assessments made during the previous year and National Board of Examiners in Optometry results including the ultimate pass rate by the time of graduation*;
  • Report of significant financial challenges, and the program's plans to address the challenges;
  • Changes relating to facilities, equipment and resources;
  • Faculty additions, separations and openings;
  • Student matriculation data;
  • Steps taken to assess student achievement of outcomes of the curriculum including the clinical component;
  • Changes or challenges as to the quality, quantity and variety of experiences in the supervised care of patients to develop clinical competency for entry level practice;
  • Description of distance learning activities that the program is providing or planning;
  • Changes in the program's patient care delivery program;
  • Steps taken to implement the clinic's quality assessment and improvement program;
  • Changes in the program's support, encouragement and maintenance of research activity in vision and related science; and
  • Description of the most significant problems and concerns currently facing the professional optometric degree program and   strategies planned to overcome the obstacles.

 * The ACOE will review a professional optometric degree program that has less than a 70% ultimate pass rate for two consecutive years on the NBEO or any professional optometric degree program that demonstrates a decrease of 20 percentage points or more from the prior year's ultimate pass rate.  The ACOE will modify these benchmarks only after soliciting input from the community of interest.

 The annual report must be submitted to the Council by May 1 of each year.  The Council will review the reports at its annual meeting, and representatives of the institution may request or may be requested to meet with the Council at its annual meeting in June to explain or elaborate on their report."

 Following adoption of the proposed changes, the ACOE Leadership and Professional Development Committee will modify the ACOE consultant training program to include additional guidance on report writing to instruct teams on evaluating and reporting assessment of the institutionally-established student achievement benchmarks against the benchmarks established by ACOE in its monitoring protocols for Professional Optometric Programs.

Please review the above proposed policy change and send any comments you might have by no later than January 27, 2014 via email to accredit@aoa.org; mail to Joyce Urbeck, ACOE Administrative Director, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Floor 1, St. Louis. MO 63141; or fax to 314/991-4101.

The ACOE will consider the comments received and the adoption of the policy at the ACOE Winter Meeting on February 7-9, 2014.