A storm has been brewing over the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) for more than two years. It began in mid-2009 when the CCE released the first draft of its Accreditation Standards: Principles, Processes & Requirements for Accreditation for review and comment.1 The storm clouds darkened considerably with the release of the second draft in early 2010.The first draft evoked only 28 responses, whereas "nearly 4,000 stakeholders" responded to the second draft.2 Draft 2 of the new Standards included language changes that generated a number of concerns within the profession, most notably:
- "Adding the words or their equivalent to DC degree programs, thus authorizing the DCM degree;
- Deleting every reference to the word subluxation; and
- Deleting the "without the use of drugs and surgery" provision."3
In January 2011, the CCE announced that the final version of its 2012 Standards had been approved unanimously at the council's January meeting and would take effect in January 2012.4 With the Standards now finalized, opponents to the drafts understood clearly that their requests for reconsideration had fallen on deaf ears, despite the CCE's insistence that it had "spent considerable time analyzing and discussing the many comments and suggestions from the CCE's constituents and stakeholders."4
The winds of dissent began to blow even harder through the remainder of 2011, leading to the CCE's appearance before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) last month. NACIQI is the committee empowered by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education to review applications by accrediting bodies and make recommendations to the Secretary of Education.
In 2006, the CCE had a similar appearance before NACIQI. At that time, the council received recognition for a five-year period. However, during those proceedings, a few comments were made that are relevant to the current situation. One of the committee members, Dr. Lawrence J. DeNardis, noted that "we can consider measures that will try to send a message to the prevailing control group (of the CCE) that they should try to be more inclusive rather than less inclusive, and I suggest that we try to figure out what is within our range of alternatives to do that."5
The CCE's Dec. 14, 2011 appearance in front of the NACIQI was tumultuous indeed. More than four hours of proceedings yielded only a one-year recommendation for recognition by the Department of Education. What's more, the "Education Department staff who reviewed the council's application for renewal of its federal recognition found that the organization needed to make more than 40 policy changes to be in compliance with federal statutes." As Arthur J. Rothkopf, vice chair of the committee, told the CCE, "You've hit the jackpot on deficiencies."6
Among the issues cited by the committee is the need to demonstrate that the CCE's policies are widely accepted by the chiropractic profession. Given the currently climate in that regard, it is likely that considerable effort will be required in order for the CCE to weather this storm before its next appearance before NACIQI in December 2012.
- "CCE Releases Draft of Revised Accreditation Standards for Review and Comment." Dynamic Chiropractic, Sept. 15, 2009.
- Wickes DJ, chair, Council on Chiropractic Education. An Open Letter to the Profession From the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). Nov. 22, 2011.
- Edwards J. "What Is the CCE Trying to Pull?" Dynamic Chiropractic, Oct. 21, 2010.
- "CCE Revisions Finalized, Take Effect in 2012." Dynamic Chiropractic, April 9, 2011.
- United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity proceedings, June 6, 2006.
- Kelderman E. "Chiropractic Accreditor Gets Extra Scrutiny From Federal Panel." The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 15, 2011.