Accreditation Resources and Directories of Programs

ACOE offers many accreditation resources and guidelines to assist programs and for general information.

Professional optometric degree program resources

Accreditation Manual: Professional Optometric Degree Programs (Revised Jan. 2019, updated Aug. 2019) contains the standards of accreditation and Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) policies and procedures. Use the table of contents or bookmarks to navigate through the document. 

Professional Optometric Degree Standards (effective July 1, 2017, updated Aug. 2019) may be downloaded to serve as a framework for programs conducting self-studies. Use of these standards is mandatory for all programs being evaluated on or after  July 1, 2017

View the  crosswalk comparison of the 2009 doctor of optometry standards and the new 2017 doctor of optometry standards.

View the  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding 2017 OD Standard 1.4, approved by ACOE at its Feb. 9-11, 2018, meeting.

Directory of  Accredited Optometric Degree Programs (optometry schools and colleges)

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry publishes data and additional information regarding the schools and colleges of optometry

Standards for initial pre-accreditation of new professional optometric degree programs

NEW standards for professional optometric degree programs seeking preliminary approval preaccreditation status (effective Jan. 1, 2019). These standards are for use by newly developing, professional optometric degree programs during the Stage Two Applicant Phase, as outlined in the Accreditation Manual: Professional Optometric Degree Programs. Use of these standards is mandatory for all programs being evaluated on or after  Jan. 1, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on OD Standard 1.4 (2017)

  • How should we publish the graduation and attrition data on our website? The program is required to publish current and reliable data on its website. While there may be other ways to present the data, the following chart shows how this data could be presented: 

Graduation and Attrition Rates

  • In addition to our standard 4-year program, we have a program in which students are expected to graduate in X number of years. How should we present this data? Data should be presented separately for each program offered by the College. 
  • For various reasons, students may complete graduation requirements in more than four years, but less than five years. How should we categorize these studetns? Students who complete graduation requirements in the same calendar year as the end of their fourth year may be included in the four-year graduation rate if the program states this when presenting their data. This is done in the sample chart provided above. 
  • How should we categorize a student who is on a leave of absence? Since the student has neither graduated nor left the pgoram, he or she can be categorized as in the sample chart. 

Student achievement data for the schools and colleges of optometry

Optometric residency programs resources

Accreditation manual: Optometric residency programs (revised Aug. 2019, updated May 2021) contains the standards of accreditation and Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) policies and procedures. Use the table of contents or bookmarks to navigate through the document. 

Optometric residency standards effective Aug. 2019, updated May 2021. Use of these standards is mandatory for all programs being evaluated on or after July 1, 2017. 

Clarification of 5.1.1 of 2017 Optometric Residency Standards

Modification of Examples of Evidence 2.1 and 2.4 Optometric Residency Standards

Modification of Examples of Evidence of 3.5 of 2017 Optometric Residency Standards

ACOE Residency Self-Study Working DRAFT Template 2017 Standards, has been created as a working document to allow for collaboration of participants involved in preparing the narrative to share comments via "track changes" feature in Microsoft Word and to use spell check and other features that aren't available in protected documents. Use of this document is optional; programs may instead use the ACOE Residency FINAL Version Self-Study 2017 Standards. 

ACOE Residency FINAL Version Self-Study 2017 Standards is the document that must be submitted with appendices. This is a Word-protected document. Programs using the self-study working draft template are required to cut and paste the final narrative into this protected Word document and submit it with all appendices. 

NEW!  Guidelines for Electronic Submission of an Optometric Residency Self-Study provides guidelines for residencies to submit self-studies electronically.

View the  crosswalk comparison between the 2009 and 2017 Optometric Residency Standards.

Guidelines for Conducting a Residency Annual Review

Recommended residency titles from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)

Directory of Accredited Optometric Residency Programs

Optometric technician programs resources

Accreditation Manual: Optometric Technician Programs (Revised January 2019) contains the standards of accreditation and Accreditation Council on Optometric Education policies and procedures. Use the table of contents or bookmarks to navigate through the document. 

New Optometric Technician Standards(effective Jan. 1, 2019). Use of these standards is mandatory for all programs being evaluated on or after Jan. 1, 2019. These standards may be downloaded to serve as a framework for programs conducting self-studies. 

Directory of Accredited Optometric Technician Programs

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