Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is the only organization in the United States, fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to grant national accreditation at the master's degrees and master-level certificates or diploma programs in acupuncture and oriental medicines. The organization was established in 1982 and was originally known as National Accreditation Commission for Schools and Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Like other accrediting bodies, ACAOM strives to set standards of excellence for schools. Currently, there are more than 60 different colleges or universities recognized as either fully accredited or candidates for accreditation within the United States. (Candidate-level accreditation means that a school is in the process of accreditation, which involves examination of the quality, scrutinizing teacher qualifications, and assessing overall academic rigor of the program.)
Through the accreditation process, each candidate program or school is evaluated for its current teaching practices, student outcomes, programs goals, and curriculum to ensure it meets the standards set by the Commission. An ACAOM candidate school must prepare a report outlining their findings, and is reviewed by various officials within the Commission. This program review is both internal and external with the Commission overseeing the accreditation process and providing a visiting team that examines the report and the data at the school or program level.
Part of the ongoing accreditation includes regular reviews of the school or program as well as a continued evaluation of the goals set forth in the accreditation documentation.
Newsletters on accreditation updates and new curriculums and practices in teaching are sent out to member schools and programs on a quarterly basis. More information about ACAOM is available at http://www.acaom.org/aboutus.htm.