Basis for ACOE Decisions - July 21, 2017

Consistent with ACOE policy, the ACOE publishes the following information about accreditation and pre-accreditation decisions:   

  • the type of program (professional optometric degree, optometric residency, or optometric technician);

  • the program's sponsor, and in the case of an optometric residency not sponsored by a school or college of optometry, the name of the affiliated optometric institution;

  • accreditation status or action;

  • the year of the next currently scheduled site visit; and

  • the Council's summary of compliance with the standards, which specifies the Council's basis for any final decision. Updates to the summary of compliance will be published in subsequent reports of ACOE meeting actions when the ACOE determines that the standards are met.


Definitions

At its June 21-24, 2017 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education took the following actions: (Note: Date in parenthesis is the date of the next currently scheduled evaluation visit to the programs. Depending on the outcomes of annual reports, progress reports, interim visits, substantive program changes and other significant events affecting a program, the council may decide to schedule a full on-site evaluation visit before the original accreditation period is complete. The accreditation period is eight years for professional optometric degree and optometric residency programs and seven years for optometric technician programs.)  

Preaccreditation Actions - Classification of "Preliminary Approval" continued following a full evaluation visit:

A. University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry Professional Optometric Degree program (2018). The program was granted the status of Preliminary Approval based on the Council's determination that the program demonstrated it is developing in accordance with the 2017 standards for  professional optometric degree programs. The program fully meets the eight standards for professional optometric degree programs.

Initial Accreditation - Classification of "Accredited" granted to the following programs following a full evaluation visit:

A. Erie VA Medical Center Residency in Primary Eye Care, which is affiliated with Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to recommendations to meet Standard V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Residency Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals, Objectives and Program Improvement Met   
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met   
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part The program publications do not consistently state the resident's leave time. (5.1.3)

The program does not provide residents with written information on policies regarding clinical practice protocols. (5.3.1)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

B. Merrimack Vision Care Residency in Primary Care, Vision Therapy and Neuro-Rehabilitation, which is affiliated with Southern College of Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

C. Ossip Optometry and Ophthalmology Residency in Primary Care, which is affiliated with Indiana University School of Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to a recommendation to meet Standard II.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Residency Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals, Objectives and Program Improvement Met   
II. Curriculum Met in Part The program does not consistently adhere to American Optometric Association Clinical Practice Guidelines as specified in its mission, goals, and objectives. (2.2)
III. Administration Met   
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   


Continuing Accreditation - Classification of "Accredited" continued following a full evaluation visit:

A. Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry Residency in Pediatric and Binocular Vision (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

B. Illinois College of Optometry Professional Optometric Degree program (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the eight standards for professional optometric degree programs.

C. Illinois College of Optometry Residency in Pediatric Optometry / Binocular Vision (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.  

D. Indiana University School of Optometry Residency in Pediatric Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

E. Kaiser Permanente Washington (formerly known as Group Health Cooperative Tacoma) Residency in Primary Care Optometry, which is affiliated with Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to recommendations to meet Standards III and V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Residency Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals, Objectives and Program Improvement Met   
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met in Part Professional liability coverage was not in place for the entire term of the residency program. (3.7)
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part Requirements for program completion are not complete in any single document and are not consistent across publications. (5.2.6)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

F. Kansas City VAMC Residency in Ocular Disease/Low-Vision Rehabilitation which is affiliated with University of Missouri, St. Louis, College of Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

G. Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (formerly known as Spokane VAMC) Residency in Ocular Disease  which is affiliated with Pacific University, College of Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to recommendations to meet Standards I and V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Residency Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals, Objectives and Program Improvement Met in Part There are no goals or objectives addressing the contact lens component of the mission. (1.2)
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met   
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part The Mann-Grandstaff residency program description on the PUCO website does not reflect the residents' current schedule and hours. (5.2.2)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

H. New England College of Optometry Residency in Pediatric Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

I. Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry Residency in Primary Eye Care (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program.  The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

J. Salem VA Medical Center Residency in Primary Care Optometry, which is affiliated with Southern College of Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

K. State University of New York College of Optometry Residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

L. St. Louis VA Medical Center Residency in Primary Eye Care, which is affiliated with University of Missouri, St. Louis, College of Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to recommendations to meet Standard V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Residency Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals, Objectives and Program Improvement Met   
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met   
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part There are inaccuracies in published material.  (5.1.3)

Criteria for evaluation are not given to residents at orientation.  (5.3.9)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

M. University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry Professional Optometric Degree program (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to  the recommendation to meet Standard VI.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Professional Optometric Degree Accreditation Standards: 

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals and Objectives Met   
II. Curriculum Met
III. Research and Scholarly Activity Met
IV. Governance, Regional Accreditation, Administration and Finances Met   
V. Faculty Met
VI. Students Met in Part Discrepancies between information provided during student recruitment and actual practices. (6.6)
VII. Facilities, Equipment and Resources Met   
VIII. Clinic Management and Patient Care Policies Met

N. VA Salt Lake City Health Care System Residency in Primary Eye Care - Department of Veterans Affairs, which is affiliated with Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to the recommendation to meet Standard V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Residency Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals, Objectives and Program Improvement Met   
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met   
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part The program's publications, advertising and recruitment materials do not provide an accurate representation of the duration of the program.  (5.1.3)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

O. William Chappell VA Outpatient Clinic Residency in Primary Care Optometry, which is affiliated with Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry (2025). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program is required to report on its progress related to recommendations to meet Standards I, II, III and V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2009 ACOE Residency Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals, Objectives and Program Improvement Met in Part Evaluations are not consistently completed. (1.5.1)
II. Curriculum Met in Part Residents do not participate in all of the clinical experiences necessary to fulfill the residency's mission, goals, and objectives. (2.2)
III. Administration Met in Part The residency does not adhere to all of its program completion requirements. (3.6)
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part Written policies regarding counseling and remediation are not given to residents. (5.3.5)

Written policies regarding due process are not given to residents. (5.3.7)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

Continuing Accreditation-Classification of "Accredited" continued following an interim evaluation visit:

A. Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry Professional Optometric Degree program (2021). The program was granted the status of Accredited, based on the Council's determination that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. The program fully meets the eight standards for professional optometric degree programs.

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Definitions

Pre-Accreditation Classification

In the case of a program that is not fully operational, the council may grant the pre-accreditation status of preliminary approval following satisfaction by the program of the requirements for initial application in chapter 4 and the Council's review of an evaluation team report following a site visit:

Preliminary Approval — A pre-accreditation classification granted to a professional optometric degree program that has clearly demonstrated it is developing in accordance with council standards. The program has approval to begin student recruitment, selection and admissions, and to begin offering the program.  The council shall review the preliminary approval classification annually during the first three academic years of the program through written reports and/or site visits as deemed necessary by the council.  A request for accreditation status shall be made not less than 12 months prior to graduation of the program's first class.  As required by the USDE, the council will not grant pre-accreditation status to a program for longer than five years.

When the council awards preliminary approval to a program or at any time during the Council's monitoring of a program holding preliminary approval status, the ACOE may issue recommendations or specify conditions for monitoring, which must be attained in order to maintain the pre-accreditation status.  

Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education may decide to grant one of the two following accreditation statuses to a program following adoption of the evaluation team report and recommendations. Accreditation status may be lowered or revoked if the council determines that the program is not making sufficient progress on recommendations from the council.

Accredited — A classification granted to an educational program indicating that the program generally meets the standards for accreditation. This classification indicates that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program. However, recommendations relating to marginal compliance with certain standards, and suggestions relating to program enhancement, may be included in evaluation reports.

Accredited with Conditions — A classification granted to an educational program with major deficiencies or weaknesses with reference to the standards of accreditation. This classification indicates that the educational effectiveness of the program is in jeopardy. Programs with this classification will be required to submit progress reports and shall undergo a full on-site evaluation visit within a prescribed period of one year for programs that are less than one year in length; 18 months for programs that are at least one year in length but less than two years in length; and two years for programs that are more than two years in length. 

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Accreditation manuals containing information on the ACOE's policies and procedures may be found in the Accreditation Resources section.