Student Complaints Regarding Non-Compliance with AOA Accreditation Standards
American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is responsible for accrediting osteopathic medical education programs leading to the D.O. degree in the United States. Accordingly, the COCA evaluates compliance with national standards intended to assess the quality of the osteopathic medical education program and serve the interests of both the public and the students attending colleges of osteopathic medicine. The Heritage College is committed to complying with and exceeding the accreditation standards set by the COCA with respect to mission/governance, leadership/administration, finances, learning environment, curriculum, faculty/staff, scholarly activity, students, graduate medical education, and program/student assessment and outcomes.
The current COCA accreditation standards can be found at:
An explanation of this policy can be found here: Heritage College Policy 2.03
Students who believe that the College may not be in compliance with a standard of accreditation have the right to file a complaint through the following procedure:
1. Submitting a signed and dated complaint with the Office of Student Affairs. The complaint will be kept on file in a confidential manner in the Student Affairs Office.
2. The Senior Director of Student Affairs will consult with the Executive Dean and follow up by contacting the appropriate Assistant/Associate Deans associated with the complaint to fact find and discuss.
3. The results of the fact finding will include an objective description of the standard and how it is being met by the Heritage College, a recommendation to the Executive Dean on whether there is standard compliance and suggestions for corrective action. This will be submitted in the form of a written report to the Executive Dean and Assistant/Associate Dean involved with the complaint.
4. The Executive Dean will consider the report and will seek further clarification if necessary. The Executive Dean will make the final decision about standard compliance and consult with the appropriate Assistant/Associate Dean about any additional action.
5. The Executive Dean will meet with the student who filed the complaint and provide written follow-up concerning the decision and any corrective action. This should occur within 30 days of the Executive Dean receiving the initial report on the complaint.
6. As part of continuous quality improvement within the institution, the Initial complaint, resulting report and Executive Dean’s action will be forwarded to the appropriate College committee charged with addressing this standard as part of the strategic plan.
7. Records of the receipt, adjudication and resolution of such complaints will be maintained by the Senior Director of Student Affairs.
For more information, please contact Marie Barone.
In accordance with Heritage College Policy 2.03, students may also choose to file a confidential complaint directly with the COCA. The contact information is listed below.
AOA Contact Information
Secretary of the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)
American Osteopathic Association
142 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611