The Commission on Dental Accreditation announced April 3 that it directed all CODA-accredited dental programs to submit a report by May 15 on their use of distance learning, enhanced activities and other educational modalities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The request is part of an effort to ensure dental programs continue to provide and maintain the quality of dental education for students, residents and fellows, according to a CODA Alert issue April 3.
“The Commission on Dental Accreditation also recognizes that all CODA-accredited dental and dental related education programs have an obligation and responsibility to ensure the competence of the program’s graduates, including the Class of 2020, in accordance with the requirements of CODA’s Accreditation Standards, policies, and procedures,” the commission said in its alert.
The commission had held a special, closed meeting on April 2 to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on dental and dental-related education programs. It considered the flexibility that may exist based on guidance CODA obtained from the U.S. Department of Education.
According to CODA, a “report of interruption of education” informs the commission that due to unforeseen circumstances there has been a disruption in the educational program that takes faculty, administrators or students away from the program, such as a natural disaster or similar event.
An interruption of education may have a direct and significant impact on the program’s potential ability to comply with the Accreditation Standards.
According to the “Commission on Dental Accreditation Guidelines for Reporting an Interruption of Education During COVID-19,” modification of dental education programs due to an interruption of education will be viewed by the commission as a temporary solution to maintain educational quality and compliance with accreditation standards.
“The institution must provide a comprehensive plan for how the loss of instructional time will be addressed,” according to the guidelines. “The institution’s/program’s plan must address, as applicable, any disruption to didactic, laboratory, preclinical, and/or clinical components of the educational program.”
Based on the report, CODA may approve what actions the dental program is taking, while others may be asked to provide additional information and documentation.
For more information on the guidance and accreditation updates due to COVID-19, visit ADA.org/coda.