The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on Wednesday granted AOA’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) renewed recognition as an institutional and programmatic accrediting agency for a period of three years.
The USDE provides oversight over the postsecondary accreditation system through its review of all federally-recognized accrediting agencies, according to its website. The Department holds accrediting agencies accountable by ensuring that they enforce their accreditation standards effectively. The USDE has granted recognition to COCA continuously since 1952.
The renewal by USDE ensures that COCA remains the only accrediting agency in the U.S. with the authority to accredit institutions that grant, or programs that lead to, the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
“On behalf of COCA, we are extremely pleased with this outcome,” said Brian Kim, vice president and associate general counsel of the AOA and COCA secretary. ‘The COCA strives to ensure that the highest quality of osteopathic medical education is delivered in every COM.”
Accreditation from the COCA permits graduates from a college of osteopathic medicine to enter residency programs, get licenses as a physician in any state, and become board certified. Accreditation of a college of osteopathic medicine also allows students of those COMs eligibility for federal student loans for their post-secondary education.
“The USDE’s recognition of COCA is a testament to the commitment of COCA Commissioners who safeguard the quality of osteopathic medical education,” Kim said. “We are grateful to the USDE in granting this public trust to the COCA.”