Proposed FAQ Section on ACOE Website

The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) has received a number of questions/inquiries regarding what standard 1.4 in the new 2017 professional optometric degree program standards requires of programs regarding publication of information. 

Standard 1.4 states:
1.4     The program must publish on its website current and reliable information on its performance with respect to student achievement.  Data must include, but not be limited to: graduation rates; attrition rates; and first time pass rates for all students taking the exam in each administration for parts I, II, and III of the NBEO exam and the ultimate passage rate for each cohort graduating within each of the three previous academic years, or pass rates on CACO or equivalent examinations.

Examples of Evidence

  • Published performance measures
    • Graduation rate, i.e. four and five year program completion rates for each of the three most recent graduating classes
    • Attrition rates for each of the three most recent academic years, i.e. proportion of students leaving the program for academic or other reasons
    • First time pass rate for each part of the NBEO exam and ultimate pass rate for each cohort graduating within each of the three previous academic years
    • Career placement  

The ACOE, with input from its Professional Optometric Degree Committee, has developed the Frequently Asked Questions section to be published in the Accreditation Resources section of the ACOE web site.  The memo and proposed section draft can be viewed below or downloaded here.


DRAFT----Frequently asked questions on publishing graduation and attrition data (Standard 1.4)

How should we publish the graduation and attrition data on our website?

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 these data?

For various reasons, students may complete graduation requirements in more than four years, but less than five years. How should we categorize these students?

Due to university regulations, students who complete graduation requirements in the summer of their fourth year are not awarded a diploma until the fall of that year. Should we include these students in the four-year graduation rates?

How should we categorize a student who is on a leave of absence?

Question: How should we publish the graduation and attrition data on our website?  

Answer:
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 these data could be presented:  

graduation and attrition rate chart

Question: 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 these data?  

Answer:
Data should be presented separately for each program offered by the College.

Question: For various reasons, students may complete graduation requirements in more than four years, but less than five years. How should we categorize these students?  

Answer:
Students who complete graduation requirements in the summer 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.  

Question: Due to university regulations, students who complete graduation requirements in the summer of their fourth year are not awarded a diploma until the fall of that year. Should we include these students in the four-year graduation rates?

Answer:
If the diploma is awarded in the same calendar year that the student completes graduation requirements, it may be included in the four-year graduation rate. For example, if a student completes graduation requirements in the summer of her fourth year and receives her diploma in the fall of that same year, she can be included in the four-year graduation rate.  

Question: How should we categorize a student who is on a leave of absence?

Answer
:
Since the student has neither graduated nor left the program, she can be categorized separately as in the sample chart.