Council on Education

The Council on Education (COE) is the U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency for colleges and schools of veterinary medicine in the United States, Canada, and international institutions seeking accreditation by the agency. In order to become an AAVMC member institution, a college or school of veterinary medicine must earn accreditation from the COE. The Council on Education is jointly supported by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The COE is re-certified as the official accrediting body for colleges and schools of veterinary medicine by the U.S. Department of Education every seven years.

Accredited institutions are required to be reaccredited every seven years.

Categories of Accreditation include:

  • Reasonable Assurance
  • Provisional Accreditation
  • Accredited
  • Accredited with Minor Deficiencies
  • Probationary Accreditation

The AAVMC is responsible for appointing eight of the 20 members of the Council on Education (COE), and provides the funding to support these eight members. The AVMA appoints and funds eight members as well. The remaining four members are the three public members and the Canadian representative, who are selected by the COE and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, respectively.

The COE has complete responsibility for the administration of the accreditation process. In addition to evaluating whether applicant institutions meet accreditation standards, council members also periodically review, suggest changes to, and evaluate feedback on the standards before revising them.

The AAVMC appoints members representing preventive medicine and basic science, large animal clinical science, small animal clinical science, postgraduate education, veterinary medical research, another in basic science, and a representative from the AAVMC membership. Terms last six years and are filled as terms expire.

Nominees and applicants must be full-time, permanent faculty members at the rank of associate professor or professor (tenure-track or non-tenure track), or equivalent at an AAVMC-member college of veterinary medicine, or at an institution that is an AAVMC affiliate member. Veterinarians who are engaged in relevant fields outside of academia are also eligible for the position representing preventive medicine.

Council members are expected to travel to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois twice a year for meetings (typically in March and September) and to participate in conference calls as necessary. Council members will be asked to accompany site visit teams as an observer at least once per year.

New Council members are also expected to participate in new site visitor training, which will occur in conjunction with the first scheduled Council meeting in the fall after the member’s appointment. As members become experienced, they may be asked to participate in training programs for new Council members and site visitors.

COE Policies and Procedures Manual

The COE publishes a Policies and Procedures Manual that outlines COE operations and processes. For more specific information on the COE’s Policies and Procedures Manual, please click here.