Content Category: Accreditation


COCA Staff

Who what where

Contact COCA staff by phone or email

Here's how to reach staffers from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA).

Brian G. Kim, JD
Secretary, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
Associate General Counsel
142 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611-2864
(312) 202-8039

Andrea Koepke, RN, PhD
Associate Vice President
(312) 202-8249

Wambui Wang’ombe
Director of Accreditation
(312) 202-8162

Wonda M. Stubbs
Program Manager
(312) 202-8074

Daniel Mendelson, MS, CAE
Accreditation Manager
(312) 202-8095

Jaime Williamson, MA
Accreditation Specialist
(312) 202-8173

Ezenna Obilor
Accreditation Coordinator
(312) 202-8097


Accreditation Guidelines

Medical education

Ensuring high academic standards and continuous quality improvement

Access the COCA handbook and accreditation resources for current, new and developing colleges of osteopathic medicine.

The Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. COCA serves the public by establishing, maintaining and applying accreditation standards and procedures to ensure that academic quality and continuous quality improvement delivered by the colleges of osteopathic medicine reflect the evolving practice of osteopathic medicine.

Accreditation signifies that a college of osteopathic medicine has met or exceeded the COCA standards with respect to mission, goals and objectives; governance, administration and finance; facilities, equipment and resources; faculty, student admissions, performance, and evaluation; preclinical and clinical curriculum; and research and scholarly activity.

COCA Handbook and Policies

COCA Handbook

COCA Policies & Procedures

Complaint Review Procedures

Accreditation Services for Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

COCA Progress Report Procedures

Site Visit Team On-Site Requirements

Mid-cycle Report Instructions and Schedule

Accreditation Services for New and Developing COMs

Application for New Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine


Accreditation Standards

Policy updates

COCA updates standards for continuing and new colleges of osteopathic medicine

Access COCA standards for continuing COMs and for new and developing COMs, as well as the substantive change policies and procedures.

Accreditation Standards

Disclaimer: The Standards of Accreditation document is edited and revised periodically by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), and is, therefore, subject to change without notice. Inquiries concerning changes to the document and requests for the current version of the document should be sent to the Department of Accreditation via email to By requesting this document, the user acknowledges that he/she has reviewed this disclaimer and understands its terms.

These newly formatted documents include both a bookmarked table of contents, as well as a linked table of contents within the PDF document for easier use.

Please note that the evidentiary submissions documents for continuing COMs and for new and developing COMs have been incorporated into the respective Standards documents, and the evidentiary submission document for substantive procedures has been incorporated as an appendix into the Substantive Change Policies and Procedures document. Accordingly, there are three volumes:

A comparison table of the 2016 Standards and the 2017 Standards that was previously posted will be made available following some revisions to the document. You can access the 2016 COCA Standards below.

Please continue to check this website for additional postings and information related to the Standards.

Page Last Updated: July 2018


COCA Reports to AOA House of Delegates

Year in review

Examining the growth of osteopathic medical education one year at a time

The following reports reflect actions taken by the Commission of Osteopathic College Accreditation for the prior fiscal year.


COCA Members

Change leaders

Meet the members of the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)

COCA oversees accreditation standards and procedures for colleges of osteopathic medicine.

2018-2019 COCA membership roster

Janice A. Knebl, DO, MBA, FACOI, FACP, Chair
Director, Center for Geriatrics
DSWOP Endowed Chair and Professor in Geriatrics
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Fort Worth, Texas
Educator (2018-21)

David A. Forstein, DO, FACOOG, Vice Chair
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
New York, New York
Educator (2017-20)

Juan F. Acosta, DO, MS, FACOEP-D, FACEP
Associate Medical Director
Saint Catherine of Siena Medical Center
Smithtown, New York
Director of Medical Education (2018-21)

Susan Belanger, PhD, MA, RN, NEA-B
System Ethicist
Covenant Health
Tewksbury, Massachusetts
Public Member (2018-21)

William T. Betz, DO, MBA, FACOFP, dist.
(Senior Associate Dean for Osteopathic Medical Education
University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine)
Member-at-Large (2016-19)

Michael B. Clearfield, DO, FACOI, FACP
Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine-CA
Vallejo, California
Dean, Private College (2016-19)

Jennifer L. Gwilym, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP
Assistant Professor Family Medicine
Ohio University-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Athens, Ohio
Member-at-Large (2017-20)

John M. Kauffman, Jr., DO, FACOI, FACP
Dean and Chief Academic Officer
Campbell University-Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
Buies Creek, North Carolina
Member-at-Large (2016-19)

Lori A. Kemper, DO, MS
Midwestern University/Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Glendale, Arizona
Member-at-Large (2017-20)

J. William McCord, Jr., DO
McCord Anesthesia and Consulting
Brownsboro, Alabama
Member-at-Large (2017-20)

Franklin J. Medio, PhD
Consulting Services for the Health Professions
Charleston, South Carolina
Public Member (2016-19)

Robyn Phillips-Madson, DO, MPH, FACOFP
Founding Dean
University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine
San Antonio, Texas
Member-at-Large (2017-20)

Evelyn A. Schwalenberg, DO, FACP, FACOI, FNAOME
Associate Clinical Professor/Director Medical Student Clinical Education and Advising
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Biddeford, Maine
Member-at-Large (2018-21)

Kayse M. Donnelly Shrum, DO
President and Dean
Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Dean, Public College (2018-21)

Jeffrey Stroup, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS
Chief Operating Officer
Oklahoma State University Medical Authority and Trust
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Hospital Administrator (2016-19)

James M. Turner, DO, FACOFP, FACO
William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hattiesburg, MS
Member-at-Large (2018-21)

AOA Staff to the Commission
Brian G. Kim, JD, Secretary, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation


COCA Final Actions

Shaping education

COCA announces accreditation decisions for colleges of osteopathic medicine

COCA establishes, maintains and applies accreditation standards and procedures.

The AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the accreditor of colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs). Accreditation from the COCA signifies that a college has met or exceeded the Commission’s standards for educational quality.

The next COCA meeting will take place Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018.

The following final actions have been taken by the commission:










Third-Party Comments

Get in touch

Share your comments about COM accreditation matters

The AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) welcomes any written or oral third-party comments at its meetings.

COCA will receive, review, and consider third-party comments in regard to accreditation action, request for substantive change or request to enter into a teach-out agreement. Written notice must indicate to which college of osteopathic medicine (COM) the comment is addressed, and a general overview of the comments to be made.

Persons wishing to present third-party testimony at a meeting must provide written notice 30 days prior to the meeting they wish to attend. Although, persons wishing to present third-party commentary are not required to present oral testimony; it is expected that all third-party testimony will include a written portion. The COM will be notified of the third-party presentation, and receive a copy of the written comments, so that they can have an opportunity to comment.

Notice of opportunity to comment will be provided with announcements of the meeting as issued in the AOA website, press releases from the AOA Department of Communications, and other vehicles as may be developed.


CME Sponsor Accreditation

Getting credit

Your guide to AOA Category 1 CME

The AOA's continuing medical education (CME) program strives for growth of knowledge, refinement of skills, and the deepening of understanding for the osteopathic profession. Here's what you need to know.

The AOA Board of Trustees establishes accreditation policy for osteopathic CME sponsors. The Council on Osteopathic Continuing Medical Education (COCME) has been delegated authority by the AOA Board of Trustees to review standards and procedures for accreditation of osteopathic CME sponsors.

CME Information

CME Credit for Osteopathic Specialists/Subspecialists:

The AOA Board of Trustees approved a resolution to assist specialists and subspecialists in obtaining AOA Category 1-A credit. In addition, the AOA approved those Category 1 CME Sponsors having recognized specialty and/or sub-specialty certificate holders numbering less than 300 members the ability to satisfy a portion of their AOA Category 1-A CME requirement using ACCME Category 1 credits. Following are physician totals by Specialty/Subspecialty:

CME Sponsors Webinar:

The CME Sponsors Conference has been replaced by a series of webinars that will be introduced shortly. For more information, contact Delores J. Rodgers, director of CME Policy and Accreditation, at (312) 202-8054 or


Policies and Forms

2016-2018 AOA Specialty Continuing Medical Education Policy

This document has been designated by the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists as being acceptable for specialty CME program requirements.

Acceptable Presenters for AOA Specialty Credit by Boards

This table has been designated by the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) as Acceptable Presenters for AOA Specialty Credit by Board. Each qualification assumes the speaker has experience/expertise in the topic area on which he/she is speaking and that the speaker is covering pertinent issues. A shaded cell indicates that qualification is acceptable to the particular specialty board.

Request for Pre-Approval of Specialty CME Credit for Sponsors of CME Programs

This form is for requesting pre-approval of specialty CME credit for sponsors of CME programs. The form is to be completed by the CME sponsor and emailed to or mailed to AOA Client and Member Services along with a copy of the program. Please use the second page of the form to indicate the specialties for which specialty CME pre-approval is requested. (Mark the number of specialty credits being sought per session.)

COCME Resources

Handbook of the Council on Osteopathic Continuing Medical Education

Procedural manual for use by the COCME and other AOA officers. Includes a description of the Council’s purpose, function, structure, operational procedures, and more.​


COCME Members

Meet the members of the AOA Council on Osteopathic Continuing Medical Education.


COM Accreditation

Establishing, maintaining and applying accreditation standards and procedures for colleges of osteopathic medicine.

Quality control

COM, Postdoctoral Training, OPTI and CME Accreditation

The Council on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) accredits osteopathic medical schools, and the AOA accredits postdoctoral training programs, OPTIs and osteopathic CME sponsors.