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Accreditation Updates

Information about the Commission on Dental Accreditation's activities is available to everyone. The Commission meets twice a year, usually in the winter and the summer. Following each meeting the communities of interest are notified via email that the CODA Communicator is available on the Commission’s website; this newsletter is available to all of CODA’s communities of interest.

If you have not received a notification regarding the CODA Communicator, please contact Mr. Gregg Marquardt, marquardtg@ada.org, and he will add your email address to the Commission’s distribution for the next issue.

Additionally, hearings on standards are held at various meetings during which comments may be submitted to CODA on proposed or revised Accreditation Standards. Please review the left navigation, where you can access the proposed accreditation standards out for comment. CODA's meeting materials may also be of interest.

News and Highlights:

ADA Health Policy Institute Conducting Annual Surveys

On behalf of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI) is conducting the 2020-21 annual surveys of accredited dental education programs. Program Directors will receive an email from educationsurveys@ada.org with the link to this year’s survey.

The Annual Survey distribution timeline is as follows:

Survey of Advanced Dental Education

  • Launch Date: August 18, 2020
  • Due Date: September 25, 2020

Survey of Dental Education (Predoctoral programs)

  • Expected Launch Date: Week of August 24, 2020
  • Due Date: varies depending on survey; Critical Sheet due September 9, 2020

Survey of Allied Dental Education

  • Expected Launch Date: Week of August 31, 2020
  • Due Date: October 9, 2020

As noted in the CODA Policy and Procedure Manual, these online surveys must be completed on an annual basis by each dental education program accredited by CODA, including newly accredited programs. The annual collection and review of data enables CODA to continually monitor educational programs in accordance with good accreditation practice and the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education. 

If you are the director of an accredited program but do not receive the email for this year’s survey by September 4, or if you need further support, email HPI at educationsurveys@ada.org for prompt assistance; please do NOT contact CODA‚Äč.

CODA Accredits Dental Therapy Education Program

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) conducted its Summer 2020 meeting virtually on August 6-7, 2020. On Aug 6, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) granted an accreditation status to a Dental Therapy education program.

The program, sponsored by Ilisagvik College, Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska, was granted the status of “approval with reporting requirements,” the first time a Dental Therapy education program has received accreditation from the Commission.  Students who are enrolled in the program at the time accreditation is granted (August 6, 2020), and who successfully complete the program, will be considered graduates of a CODA-accredited program.  Students who graduated from the program prior to the granting of accreditation will not be considered graduates of a CODA-accredited program.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation’s mission is to serve the public and profession by developing and implementing accreditation standards that promote and monitor the continuous quality and improvement of dental education programs.  The scope of dental therapy practice and licensure authority resides within the jurisdiction of each state licensing agency.

For additional information on CODA’s accreditation application process, visit the Commission’s Accreditation Application Process webpage. Questions may be directed to Dr. Sherin Tooks, director, Commission on Dental Accreditation at tookss@ada.org.

Annual Mandatory Site Visitor Training Launched

In Fall 2019, CODA staff launched the first, annual mandatory web-based training program for site visitors, which included a tracking mechanism through the successful completion of a mandatory quiz. This annual training program will ensure that site visitors have an ongoing, comprehensive understanding of the Commission’s current policies and procedures, as well as accreditation standards and their application to site visits. 

The training program will also provide a mechanism to calibrate site visitors in each discipline under the Commission’s purview related to the interpretation and application of specific standards in accordance with the Commission’s expectations of the requirements. Site visitors must complete the annual training program in order to remain active with the Commission. 

First Phase of Electronic Accreditation System Completed

Commission staff continue to develop an electronic accreditation system for the use of CODA staff, volunteers and programs. Phase I, the internal database, was implemented in August 2019. Phase II, a web portal accessible by programs and CODA volunteers, will begin during 2020. CODA staff will devote significant time and effort to testing in order to ensure the system is error-free before launch. Educational programs and site visitors may be requested to volunteer as the Commission pilot tests the site.  Watch this newsletter and notices on the CODA website for updates.