Accreditation Status Definitions

Keys to Accreditation Status, Abbreviations, and Special Footnote Descriptions

Abbreviation symbols used in designating the accreditation status are as follows:

  • A1 — Approval (without reporting requirements)
  • A2 — Approval (with reporting requirements)
  • IA — Initial accreditation
  • DIS — Accreditation voluntarily discontinued; program decision affirmed at most recent Commission meeting
  • WDRN — Accreditation withdrawn at most recent Commission meeting
  • X — Intent to withdraw accreditation at upcoming Commission meeting
  • T — Program is in Teach-Out by institution
  • NE — Required period of non-enrollment
Programs that are Fully Operational

Approval (without reporting requirements): An accreditation classification granted to an educational program indicating that the program achieves or exceeds the basic requirements for accreditation.

Approval (with reporting requirements): An accreditation classification granted to an educational program indicating that specific deficiencies or weaknesses exist in one or more areas of the program. Evidence of compliance with the cited standards or policies must be demonstrated within a timeframe not to exceed eighteen (18) months if the program is between one and two years in length or two years if the program is at least two years in length. If the deficiencies are not corrected within the specified time period, accreditation will be withdrawn, unless the Commission extends the period for achieving compliance for good cause. Identification of new deficiencies during the reporting time period will not result in a modification of the specified deadline for compliance with prior deficiencies.

Circumstances under which an extension for good cause would be granted include, but are not limited to:

  • sudden changes in institutional commitment;
  • natural disaster which affects affiliated agreements between institutions; faculty support; or facilities;
  • changes in institutional accreditation;
  • interruption of an educational program due to unforeseen circumstances that take faculty, administrators or students away from the program.

Revised: 8/17; 2/16; 5/12; 1/99; Reaffirmed: 8/18; 8/13; 8/10, 7/05; Adopted: 1/98

Programs that are Not Fully Operational

A program which has not enrolled and graduated at least one class of students/residents and does not have students/residents enrolled in each year of the program is defined by the Commission as not fully operational. The accreditation classification granted by the Commission on Dental Accreditation to programs which are not fully operational is “initial accreditation.” When initial accreditation status is granted to a developing education program, it is in effect through the projected enrollment date. However, if enrollment of the first class is delayed for two consecutive years following the projected enrollment date, the program’s accreditation will be discontinued, and the institution must reapply for initial accreditation and update pertinent information on program development. Following this, the Commission will reconsider granting initial accreditation status.

Initial Accreditation is the accreditation classification granted to any dental, advanced dental or allied dental education program which is not yet fully operational. This accreditation classification provides evidence to educational institutions, licensing bodies, government or other granting agencies that, at the time of initial evaluation(s), the developing education program has the potential for meeting the standards set forth in the requirements for an accredited educational program for the specific occupational area. The classification “initial accreditation” is granted based upon one or more site evaluation visit(s).

Revised: 7/08; Reaffirmed: 8/18; 8/13; 8/10; Adopted: 2/02

Other Accreditation Actions

Teach-Out: An action taken by the Commission on Dental Accreditation to notify an accredited program and the communities of interest that the program is in the process of voluntarily terminating its accreditation due to a planned discontinuance or program closure. The Commission monitors the program until students/residents who matriculated into the program prior to the reported discontinuance or closure effective date are no longer enrolled.

Reaffirmed: 8/18; Adopted: 2/16

Discontinued: An action taken by the Commission on Dental Accreditation to affirm a program’s reported discontinuance effective date or planned closure date and to remove a program from the Commission’s accredited program listing, when a program either 1) voluntarily discontinues its participation in the accreditation program and no longer enrolls students/residents who matriculated prior to the program’s reported discontinuance effective date or 2) is closed by the sponsoring institution.

Intent To Withdraw: A formal warning utilized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation to notify an accredited program and the communities of interest that the program's accreditation will be withdrawn if compliance with accreditation standards or policies cannot be demonstrated by a specified date. The warning is usually for a six-month period, unless the Commission extends for good cause. The Commission advises programs that the intent to withdraw accreditation may have legal implications for the program and suggests that the institution’s legal counsel be consulted regarding how and when to advise applicants and students of the Commission’s accreditation actions. The Commission reserves the right to require a period of non-enrollment for programs that have been issued the Intent to Withdraw warning.

Revised: 2/16; 8/13; Reaffirmed: 8/18

Withdraw: An action taken by the Commission when a program has been unable to demonstrate compliance with the accreditation standards or policies within the time period specified. A final action to withdraw accreditation is communicated to the program and announced to the communities of interest. A statement summarizing the reasons for the Commission's decision and comments, if any, that the affected program has made with regard to this decision, is available upon request from the Commission office. Upon withdrawal of accreditation by the Commission, the program is no longer recognized by the United States Department of Education. In the event the Commission withdraws accreditation from a program, students currently enrolled in the program at the time accreditation is withdrawn and who successfully complete the program, will be considered graduates of an accredited program. Students who enroll in a program after the accreditation has been withdrawn will not be considered graduates of a Commission accredited program. Such graduates may be ineligible for certification/licensure examinations.

Revised: 6/17; Reaffirmed: 8/18; 8/13; 8/10, 7/07, 7/01; CODA: 12/87:9

Denial: An action by the Commission that denies accreditation to a developing program (without enrollment) or to a fully operational program (with enrollment) that has applied for accreditation. Reasons for the denial are provided. Denial of accreditation is considered an adverse action.

Reaffirmed: 8/18; 8/13; Adopted: 8/11

Other Accreditation Terms

Combined Programs: A combined residency program is one that contains education and training in more than one discipline. For questions related to curriculum content, structure, and length, contact the program directly.

OMS Fellowships: A fellowship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a planned post-residency program that contains education and training in a focused area of the discipline. The focused areas include but are not limited to: Cosmetic Facial Surgery; Oral/Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery; Pediatric Craniomaxillofacial Surgery (Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery); Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery; and Endoscopic Maxillofacial Surgery.

ORTHO Fellowships: A fellowship in Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontics is a planned post-residency program that contains education and training in a focused area of the discipline of Orthodontics. The focused areas include but are not limited to: Cleft lip/palate patient care; Syndromic patient care; Orthognathic Surgery; Craniofacial Surgery and Special Care orthodontics.