Accreditation of the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Within the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specialized accreditation is sought by such units as the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, and others. The accreditation review of the School of Veterinary Medicine is conducted by the Council of Education (COE) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). As noted by the COE, the accreditation process focuses on “protecting the rights of the students, assisting the schools/colleges to improve veterinary medical education, and assuring the public that accredited programs provide a quality education.” Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.
In brief, AVMA accreditation of veterinary medical programs and institutions assures
- prospective students that they will meet a competency threshold for entry into practice, including eligibility for professional credentialing and/or licensure;
- employers that graduates have achieved specified learning goals and are prepared to begin professional practice;
- faculty, deans, and administrators that their programs measure satisfactorily against national standards and their own stated missions and goals;
- the public that public health and safety concerns are being addressed; and
- the veterinary profession that the science and art of veterinary medicine are being advanced through contemporary curricula.
The COE develops and publicizes a series of standards that must be met by a program of veterinary medical education in order to be accredited and conducts reviews of such programs to determine their accreditation status. The COE may, after accreditation review of an educational program, confer several levels of accreditation, as described in detail on the AVMA website. In brief, these levels of accreditation include the following:
- Reasonable Assurance – Reasonable Assurance is the classification granted to an institution seeking initial accreditation.
- Provisional Accreditation – A U.S. or Canadian college granted Reasonable Assurance which is still in effect, will be granted Provisional Accreditation status on the date the initial class is admitted. The college must provide evidence to assure future compliance with each Standard. Provisional Accreditation status may be granted for no more than five years.
- Accredited – An accreditation status granted to a college that has no deficiencies in any of the Standards. Accreditation is granted for a period of up to seven years.
- Accredited with Minor Deficiencies – An accreditation status granted to a college that has one or more minor deficiencies in one or more of the Standards of Accreditation. Minor deficiencies have minimal or no effect on student learning or safety. Minor deficiencies are readily corrected in one year and MUST be corrected in one year to avoid a change in accreditation status.If at the end of one year, the college provides evidence that the deficiencies have been corrected; the college may be granted Accredited status for the remainder of the accreditation cycle, as determined by the COE. If minor deficiencies are not corrected within one year, the college will be placed on Probationary Accreditation for one additional year.
- Probationary Accreditation – An accreditation status granted to a college that has one or more major deficiencies in one or more Standards. Major deficiencies have more than minimal impact on student learning or safety. These deficiencies MUST be corrected in two years. This is not an adverse decision.If at, or before the end of the two-year period, deficiencies have been corrected and there is evidence to support full compliance, the college may be granted Accredited status for the remainder of the accreditation cycle, as determined by the COE. A college that fails to correct minor deficiencies during one additional year on Probationary status or major deficiencies within two years will be placed on Terminal Accreditation unless an Extension for Good Cause is granted for up to one year or pending an appeal.
- Terminal Accreditation – An accreditation status assigned to a college that is unable to correct deficiencies within the specified time period. This is an adverse accreditation decision. In addition to the circumstances noted above, which may result in a program being placed on Terminal Accreditation or voluntarily closes, the Council may revoke accreditation when evidence indicates that the number or severity of deficiencies in the program with regards to complying with each of the accreditation Standards cannot be corrected before the admission of the next first-year class.
Accreditation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Accreditation of U.S. schools and colleges consists of two types: institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is provided by the Higher Learning Commission.
Current University of Wisconsin-Madison accreditation status: Accredited
Current UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine accreditation status
Full accreditation status was most recently re-affirmed in 2022 following a full accreditation review by the Council on Education. The Council, on the basis of that review, granted full accreditation status for a period of seven years, subject to annual approval of reports submitted to the Council by the SVM.
Following the award of the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (or equivalent), the new veterinarian must receive a license in order to engage in the clinical practice of veterinary medicine. An important step in that process is successful completion of an examination prepared and delivered by the International Council for Veterinary Assessment. That examination is the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination, or NAVLE®. The examination is administered twice annually in November/December and in April. The success rate, or pass rate, of the graduates of a veterinary medical educational program on the NAVLE examination is one of the factors considered by the COE in its annual consideration of the accreditation status of a school or college.
The NAVLE pass rates of UW-Madison SVM graduates, as compared with all candidates taking the examination over the previous 5 years is as follows: