Content Category: Accreditation


COCA Meetings

Shaping medical education

View details on upcoming and past COCA meetings

COCA reviews site visit reports, change requests and other items pertaining to the accreditation of osteopathic medical schools.

Next COCA meeting:

Dec. 6-7, 2019
Hyatt Rosemont
6350 N. River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

Past meetings:

Aug. 23-25, 2019
Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) met Aug. 23-25, 2019, at the National Osteopathic Advocacy Center, 1090 Vermont NW, Fifth Floor, in Washington, D.C.

Final actions:

View all final actions taken by the commission at past meetings dating back to 2011:


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).

Josh Prober, JD
Interim Secretary, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
General Counsel
142 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611-2864

Wambui Wang’ombe
Associate Vice President – Operations
(312) 202-8162

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

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

Ezenna Obilor
Administrative Specialist
(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

Complaint Review Procedures

Complaint Form

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

On June 25, 2019, the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) approved the 2019 accreditation standards for continuing COMs and for new and developing COMS, as well as the evidentiary submissions that accompany those standards. The revised standards are effective July 1, 2019.

All COMs with continuing accreditation must comply with the 2019 accreditation standards beginning July 1, 2020, although COMs with continuing accreditation may voluntarily begin to comply with the revised 2019 accreditation standards beginning July 1, 2019, if their current circumstances permit.

New and developing COMs, whose applications are for either candidate status or pre-accreditation status, must complete their current phase of the respective application processes under the 2017 standards. Once that phase of the development process is achieved, a new and developing COM must comply with the 2019 revised standards for the next phase of the accreditation process.

All COMs and new and developing COMs are expected to comply with the 2019 revised accreditation standards by July 1, 2020.

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. Samples of the tables referenced in the evidentiary submissions are provided below. Spreadsheets for entering the requested data will be provided through the COCA-online platform when an application/report is initiated.

The COM Substantive Change Policies and Procedures dated July 1, 2017 are still applicable.

You can access the 2017 COCA Standards below.

Page Last Updated: July 2019


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.

2019-2020 COCA membership roster

David A. Forstein, DO, FACOOG, Chair
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
New York, NY
Educator (2017-20)
COCA Executive Committee Member

John M. Kauffman, Jr., DO, FACOI, FACP, Vice Chair
Dean and Chief Academic Officer
Campbell University-Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
Buies Creek, NC
Member-at-Large (2019-22)
COCA Executive Committee Member

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

Susan Belanger, PhD, MA, RN, NEA-B
System Ethicist
Covenant Health
Tewksbury, MA
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 (2019-22)

Linda Boyd, DO
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Stratford, NJ
Member-at-Large (2019-22)

Michael B. Clearfield, DO, FACOI, FACP
Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine-CA
Vallejo, CA
Dean, Private College (2019-22)

Jennifer L. Gwilym, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP
Assistant Dean, Southeastern and Central Ohio
Ohio University-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Athens, OH
Member-at-Large (2017-20)
COCA Executive Committee Member

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

Brian A. Kessler, DO, FACOFP
Vice President and Dean
Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
Harrogate, TN
Member-at-Large (2019-21)

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

J. William McCord, Jr., DO, FAAFP
McCord Anesthesia and Consulting
Huntsville, AL
Member-at-Large (2017-20)

Richard C. Osborn, MA, PhD
Vice President
WASC Senior College and University Commission
Almeda, CA
Public Member (2019-21)

Robyn Phillips-Madson, DO, MPH, FACOFP
Founding Dean
University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine
San Antonio, TX
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, ME
Member-at-Large (2018-21)

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

Jane Sistek, RN, BSN, MPA
Nurse Surveyor
Health Care Facilities Accreditation Program
Sewell, NJ
Public Member (2019-22)

Jeffrey Stroup, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS
Chief Operating Officer
Oklahoma State University Medical Authority and Trust
Interim Provost and VP of Strategy
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Tulsa, OK
Hospital Administrator (2019-22)
COCA Executive Committee Member

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

AOA Staff to the Commission
Joshua L. Prober, JD, Interim 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 following final actions have been taken by the commission:











Third-Party Comments

Your voice matters

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 will 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 on the AOA website, press releases from the AOA Communications Department and other vehicles as may be developed.

Please send any requests to submit third-party testimony or questions to


CME Sponsor Resources

Refining skills

Policies and procedures for osteopathic CME accreditation

The AOA's continuing medical education (CME) program strives for growth of knowledge, refinement of skills, and increased awareness of osteopathic medicine.

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.

Notice to ACCME and AAFP CME Providers

The AOA automatically recognizes AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ as AOA Category 2 credit. The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) providers that are sponsoring an AMA PRA Category 1 ™ program do not need to request pre-approval from the AOA to publicize that their programs will receive AOA Category 2 credit.

Likewise, the AOA recognizes the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Prescribed and Elective credit as AOA Category 2 credit. Programs with AAFP Prescribed or Elective credit do not need to request pre-approval from the AOA to publicize that their programs will receive AOA Category 2 credit.

AOA-certified members may request that Category 2-A CME credit be recognized as Category 1-B CME credit when there are not equivalent courses available within the osteopathic profession. Submit a request to inquire about obtaining a conversion of credit.

COCME Resources