The administrative unit in Academic Affairs is gearing up for the school’s accreditation site visit, set to take place in early 2015.
Every seven years TUSDM is required to be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). In advance of these visits, the school is expected to perform an accreditation self-study to identify the school’s strengths, as well as aspects that need improvement. There are six standards to be addressed for the D.M.D. program: the institution as a whole, curriculum, faculty and staff, physical structures and student services, patient services, and research. All of the advanced education programs at the school are required to complete a self-study except for oral and maxillofacial surgery, which operates on a different accreditation cycle.
The Office of Academic Affairs is overseeing the self-study and accreditation process. Dr. Nadeem Karimbux, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, is the chair of the self-study, and is assisted in logistics and coordination by Mary-Ellen Marks, the Academic Affairs Administrator.
After the self-study has been completed, the visits from the CODA site team will take place February 24-26, 2015. Dr. Karimbux said that the timing of the accreditation process was fortuitous as it aligns with both the curriculum revision and strategic planning processes within TUSDM.
“The accreditation process will feed into those other initiatives,” he said. “They can really inform each other and create a unified plan for the future of the school.”
As of now, the Steering Committee for the self-study has been formed, and the leaders of the six standards have been identified. The standards working groups will include students, staff and faculty. The groups will meet in the next few months to begin the self-study process. The committee has also established a time-table for completion of the self-study, as well as mock site visits to prepare for CODA’s official visit.
“The biggest challenge is getting people to pay attention to the spirit of the self-study,” Dr. Karimbux said. “This is an audit of our programs, identifying our strengths but also our weaknesses, and a process whereby we can identify specific ways to improve.”