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Site Visit Process and Schedule

The purpose of the site visit evaluation is to obtain in-depth information concerning all administrative and educational aspects of the program. In addition, the site visit permits a team of Commission-appointed peers to assess a program's compliance with the Accreditation Standards and with its own stated goals and objectives. The site visit verifies and supplements the information contained in the comprehensive self-study document completed by the institution. Information provided in the self-study is confirmed, documentation is reviewed, interviews are conducted and the program is observed by the visiting committee. Information related to the site visit is viewed as confidential.

The Commission recognizes that there is considerable latitude in determining procedures and methodology for site visits. Experience has shown that the conference method for conducting a site visit is widely favored and effective. Conferences are scheduled with identified administrators, faculty and students at specified times.

In addition to formal scheduled conferences, committee members may informally discuss department and division programs with chairpersons and faculty members throughout the site visit. In accord with CODA policy, the visiting committee chairperson will make every effort to schedule hearings with individuals or groups of individuals wishing to present information about a program. Program administrators are excused during conferences scheduled with faculty members, students or other invitees.

Executive sessions of the visiting committee are a critical part of the on-site evaluation process. These sessions are scheduled at intervals during the day and evening and provide time for the committee to meet privately to prepare its findings and recommendations.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation formally evaluates accredited programs at regular intervals. Comprehensive site visits based on a self-study are routinely conducted every seven years. Site visits of programs in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery are conducted at five year intervals.

The Commission's 2014/2015 site visit schedules for allied, advanced and dental education programs can be downloaded below. The United States Department of Education (USDE) procedures require accrediting agencies to provide an opportunity for third-party comment, with respect to institutions or programs scheduled for review. All comments must relate to accreditation standards for the discipline and/or accreditation policies.

Comments should be submitted to: Third Party Comments, Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL., 60611; or faxed to 312.440.2915. View the entire policy on Third Party Comments in the Evaluation Policies & Procedures manual.