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

July 23, 2018

At its June 20-23, 2018 meeting in Denver, Colorado, 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. Midwestern University Chicago College of Optometry Professional Optometric Degree Program (2019). The program's pre-accreditation classification of Preliminary Approval was continued, based on the Council's determination that the program has clearly demonstrated it is developing in accordance with Council standards. The Council will conduct a site visit in 2019. The program is required to report on its progress related to recommendations to meet Standard II and VIII.

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
II. Curriculum Met in Part As currently progressing, the number of patient encounters in the Eye Institute does not appear to be sufficient to support the minimum number of patient encounters determined by the program to be necessary to develop clinical competency. (2.8)
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 in Part As currently developing, the patient numbers may be insufficient to support a clinical patient care program that fulfills the program's mission, goals and objectives. (8.1)



B. University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry Professional Optometric Degree Program (2019). The program's pre-accreditation classification of Preliminary Approval was continued based on the Council's determination that the program has clearly demonstrated it is developing in accordance with Council standards. The Council will conduct a site visit in 2019.  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:

AArkansas Vision Development Center Residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation and Pediatric Optometry which is affiliated with University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry (2026). 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 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 in Part There is no quality assurance process for evaluating faculty quality of care. (3.5)
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part The program does not have a written infection control policy in place. (5.3.3)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

B. Atlantic Eye Physicians Residency in Ocular Disease which is affiliated with State University of New York College of Optometry (2026). 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 III.

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 in Part The quality assurance process for faculty and the residency supervisor is not well-delineated. (3.5)
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met  
VI. Resources and Facilities Met   

C. Cherry Health, Heart of the City Health Center Residency in Community Health and Primary Care which is affiliated with Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry (2026). 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 The program's orientation does not include a written academic calendar that specifies significant deadlines for program completion. (5.3.9)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met


D. Eyecare Associates, P.C. Residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation which is affiliated with State University of New York College of Optometry (2026). 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 III.

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 in Part There is no quality assurance process ensuring the quality of care provided by the residency faculty. (3.5)
IV. Faculty Met
V. Residents Met
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

E. Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, Inc. Residency in Primary Eye Care/Ocular Disease which is affiliated with Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry (2026). 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. 

F. Newsom Eye Residency in Ocular Disease and Ocular/Refractive Surgery which is affiliated with Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University (2026). 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 There is no written supervision policy provided to the resident as part of the orientation. (5.3.2)

Information on receiving, adjudicating, and resolving resident complaints or grievances was not provided to the resident in written form as part of the orientation. (5.3.7)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

G. University of Houston, College of Optometry Residency in Ocular Disease at Community Eye Clinic Ft. Worth (2026). 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. 

H. University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science Residency in Cornea and Contact Lens (2026). 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 I and III.

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 in Part Resident does not evaluate all core faculty members involved in training the resident. (1.5.3)
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met in Part There is no policy in place for quality assurance for residency faculty. (3.5)
IV. Faculty Met
V. Residents Met
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

I. University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science Residency in Low Vision Rehabilitation (2026). 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 II, III and 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 in Part The supervision policy does not include progressively increasing responsibility based on demonstrated clinical competence. (2.3)
III. Administration Met in Part There is no policy in place for quality assurance for the residency faculty. (3.5)
IV. Faculty Met
V. Residents Met in Part Resident leave benefit is not consistent across all published sources. (5.2.4)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

J. University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science Residency in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy (2026). 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 II, III and 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 in Part The residency reflections are not aligned with program objectives. (2.1)
III. Administration Met in Part There is no policy in place for quality assurance for residency faculty. (3.5)
IV. Faculty Met
V. Residents Met in Part

The PVT residency description does not specifically delineate that attainment of an O.D. degree from an accredited school or college of optometry is required for eligibility. (5.1.1)

Published information on various aspects of the program is not consistent. (5.1.3)

Published information regarding the resident's leave benefits is not consistent. (5.2.4)

No written facility safety information is provided to the resident during orientation at VFVC. (5.3.4)

VI. Resources and Facilities Met

K. University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science Residency in Ocular Disease-Glaucoma (2026).  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 III and IV.

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 in Part There is no policy in place for quality assurance for residency faculty. (3.5)
IV. Faculty Met in Part Supervisor/coordinator does not have sufficient time to educate and train the resident. (4.3)
V. Residents Met
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

L. VA Portland HCS-Salem CBOC Residency in Primary Eye Care which is affiliated with Pacific University, College of Optometry (2026). 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. 

M. Vance Thompson Vision Residency in Ocular Disease/Refractive and Ocular Surgery which is affiliated with Illinois College of Optometry (2026). 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 II and 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 in Part The resident patient encounters log does not indicate the type of encounter (i.e.: direct, precepting, or observational.) (2.2.1)

The program does not fully follow its written supervision policy of documenting clinical experiences necessary for receiving additional clinical privileges. (2.3)
III. Administration Met  
IV. Faculty Met
V. Residents Met in Part

The program does not have a written policy for scheduling after-hours on call clinic as part of its orientation. (5.2.2)

The program does not have a written policy describing the due process available to the resident in the case of an adverse decision as part of its orientation. (5.3.8)  

The program does not include on its calendar significant dates for program completion (in addition to the program start and end dates currently provided) as part of its orientation. (5.3.9)  

The program does not have written criteria for assessing resident performance as part of its orientation. (5.3.10)

VI. Resources and Facilities Met

Initial Accreditation - Classification of "Accredited with Conditions" granted following a full evaluation visit:

A. University of Virginia Ophthalmology Department Residency in Ocular Disease with Emphasis in Contact Lenses which is affiliated with Indiana University School of Optometry (2019). The program was granted the status of Accredited with Conditions*, based on the Council's determination that the program has major deficiencies or weaknesses with reference to the standards and indicates that the educational effectiveness of the program is in jeopardy. The program is required to submit reports on its progress related to the recommendations to meet Standard I, II amd V and shall undergo a full on-site evaluation within no more than eighteen months.

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 in Part The program does not have clearly assessable objectives for each goal. (1.3)
II. Curriculum Met in Part

The resident is not engaging in patient care that allows complete fulfillment of the program's mission. (2.2)

The record of patient encounters is not adequate. (2.2.1)

The program does not follow the written supervision policy. (2.3)

III. Administration Met  
IV. Faculty Met
V. Residents Met in Part

There is inconsistency with all published materials across the various websites and printed formats. (5.1.3)

The resident did not receive during orientation all information in a written format. (5.3.1, 5.3.2, 5.3.6, 5.3.7, 5.3.8, 5.3.9, 5.3.10)

VI. Resources and Facilities Met

*A decision to grant the category of accredited with conditions is not final until the ACOE appeals process has been exhausted, or until 30 days from notification of the action to grant accredited with conditions.

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

A. Child and Family Optometry Residency in Pediatric Optometry/Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation which is affiliated with Southern College of Optometry (2026). 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 I, III and 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 in Part Not all residents received final performance evaluations. (1.5.4)
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met in Part There is not a process to assess the quality of care provided by the residency faculty. (3.5)

Not all program requirements are clearly stated. (3.6)
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part The program's orientation does not include written policy on standard precautions for infection control. (5.3.3)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

B. Dorn VAMC Residency in Primary Eye Care which is affiliated with Southern College of Optometry (2026). 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 written Dorn VA Supervision Policy implies a time-based, rather than competency based, progression for increasing responsibility. (2.3)
III. Administration Met
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met
VI. Resources and Facilities Met


C. Eye Care Associates of Nevada Residency in Ocular Disease/Refractive and Ocular Surgery which is affiliated with Pacific University, College of Optometry (2026). 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. Family Eyecare Associates, P.C. Residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation, which is affiliated with Southern College of Optometry (2026). 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 The mission statement is not accurate across all publications. (5.1.3)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met

E. Jack C. Montgomery VAMC Residency in Primary Eye Care and Ocular Disease which is affiliated with Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry (2026). 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. 

F. Miami VAMC Residency in Primary Eye Care with Emphasis in Ocular Disease which is affiliated with Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry (2026). 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. New York Harbor Health Care System Residency in Ocular Disease / Primary Eye Care Optometry which is affiliated with State University of New York College of Optometry (2026). 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 I and 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 in Part The program does not evaluate semiannually, in writing or electronically, the core faculty members responsible for the residents' training.  (1.5.3)
II. Curriculum Met
III. Administration Met
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part Admission criteria does not specify attainment of an O.D. degree from a school or college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE). (5.1.1)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met


H. Ochsner Medical Center Residency in Hospital-Based Primary Eye Care which is affiliated with Southern College of Optometry (2026). 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 II and 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 in Part The program does not provide the resident with clinical experience/training to fulfill multiple aspects of the goals and objectives. (2.2)
III. Administration Met
IV. Faculty Met   
V. Residents Met in Part

The program does not have consistent language in the publications of the program completion requirements. (5.1.3)

There is no complete academic calendar provided to the resident during orientation. (5.3.9)

No written information is provided to the resident on the criteria used to evaluate resident performance during the resident's orientation. (5.3.10)

VI. Resources and Facilities Met


I. Providence VAMC Residency in Primary Care/Ocular Disease which is affiliated with New England College of Optometry (2026). 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. Southern College of Optometry Residency in Cornea/Contact Lens and Refractive Surgery (2026). 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 There are discrepancies on the SCO website about admission eligibility and between the SCO and ASCO website for requirements for completion. (5.1.3)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met


K. Southern College of Optometry Residency in Pediatric and Visual Rehabilitation Optometry (2026). 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. University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Optometry Residency in Family Practice Optometry (2026). 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.

M. White River Junction, VT VAMC Residency in Primary Eye Care/Ocular Disease which is affiliated with New England College of Optometry (2026). 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 Completion requirements are not consistently published. (5.1.3)
VI. Resources and Facilities Met



Continuing Accreditation-Classification of "Accredited with Conditions" raised to "Accredited" following a full evaluation visit:

A. MCPHS University School of Optometry Professional Optometric Degree Program (2020). 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 II and VIII.

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
II. Curriculum Met in Part The number of patient encounters prior to externships is very low. (2.7.1)
The overall number of patient encounters is low. (2.8)
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 in Part The patient census in the Eye and Vision Center appears to be insufficient to fully support the program's mission, goals, and objectives. (8.1)




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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.