The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SDM) has received a full accreditation report from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which completed its site visit to the Alton campus in November 2019.
“Full accreditation with no reporting requirements is the best possible report. We are grateful for our wonderfully talented faculty and staff and their dedication to the school,” said SDM dean Bruce Rotter, DMD, who noted that the school has been continuously accredited since the middle of the 1970s.
“There is so much time and effort put into preparing materials for the site visit and meeting with the site visit team. Meanwhile, everyone kept normal school operations functioning smoothly while the site visit occurred,” Rotter said.
CODA accredits dental schools and programs including advanced dental education programs and allied dental education programs in the United States. It functions independently and autonomously in developing and approving accreditation standards, making accreditation decisions on educational programs, and developing and approving procedures used in the accreditation process.
All accredited programs receive a follow-up site review every seven years. The SDM last received a CODA site visit in 2012. The site visit evaluation’s purpose is to obtain in-depth information about all of the administrative and educational aspects of a program.
The site visit permits a team of CODA-appointed peers to assess a program’s compliance with the accreditation standards and with its own stated goals and objective. It also verifies and supplements the information in the comprehensive self-study document completed by the institution. Every effort is made to review all existing dental and dental-related programs in an institution at the same time, the SDM said.
Established in 1975, CODA is nationally recognized by the United States Department of Education as the sole agency to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level. Its mission is to serve the oral healthcare needs of the public through the development and administration of standards that foster continuous quality improvement of these programs, the SDM said.
SDM students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. Students also offer oral health treatment, screenings, and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a variety of off-campus community outreach events, giving them the training they need to graduate and become dentists, the SDM said.