Basis for ACOE Decisions

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 Feb. 9-11, 2018 meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, 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.) 

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

A. State University of New York, College of Optometry Optometry Residency 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 a recommendation to meet Standard V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2017 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 Inconsistencies in various publications about policy regarding accrual of leave time. (5.2.4)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   


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

A. Albuquerque VA Residency in Primary Eye Care - Department of Veterans Affairs, which is affiliated with  University of Houston 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 a recommendation to meet Standard II.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2017 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 have a written residency supervision policy specific to the optometry clinic which affords the resident progressively increasing responsibility. (2.3)
III. Administration Met
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

B. Huntington VAMC Residency in Ocular Disease, 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 recommendations to meet Standard V.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2017 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 Publications do not specify that the applicant must have graduated from an ACOE accredited school of optometry. (5.1.1)

Published salaries are inconsistent. (5.2.3)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

C. State University of New York, College of Optometry, Residency in Low Vision 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.

D. VA Maryland Healthcare System, Perry Point Residency in Primary Eye Care/Ocular Disease, 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 fully meets the six standards for residency programs.

E. University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science 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 recommendations to meet Standards I and II.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2017 ACOE Professional Optometric Degree Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
I. Mission, Goals and Objectives Met in Part Graduation and attrition rates are not published on the School's website.  (1.4)
II. Curriculum Met in Part

The curriculum revision has been underway for some time now and has not been completed. (2.4)

The nature of student-patient encounters (i.e., shared, unique or observational) is not currently tracked for all on-campus clinical experiences. (2.8.1)

Detailed affiliation agreements are not available for all externship sites. (2.10)

The criteria for selection of externship sites outside of Canada do not address clinical practice guidelines employed by those sites.  (2.10.1)

III. Research and Scholarly Activity Met
IV. Governance, Regional Accreditation, Administration and Finances Met   
V. Faculty Met
VI. Students Met
VII. Facilities, Equipment and Resources Met
VIII. Clinic Management and Patient Care Policies Met

F.  US Air Force Ophthalmic Apprentice Course (Technician) (2024).  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 5.

Summary of findings related to compliance with the 2010 ACOE Technician Accreditation Standards:

Standard Level of Compliance Reason for met in part or not met
1 Mission, Goals, Objectives Met
2 Curriculum Met
3 Administration Met
4 Resources and Facilities Met   
5 Students Met in Part Requirements for program completion are inconsistent in publications and student recruitment materials. (5.7)


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Definitions

Pre-Accreditation Classification

In the case of a program which 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.