A New Direction for the CCE?

Published: 2010-11-20 20:04:03
Author: Christopher Kent | Dynamic Chiropractic | November 18, 2010

By now, you are undoubtedly aware of the new standards proposed by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). In his excellent article addressing the proposal, James Edwards, DC, notes that the "left-wing fringe of the profession, through revision to CCE standards, is now attempting to abolish all references to the subluxation, willing to designate our degree as DCM (Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine), and willing to delete all language that states chiropractic is a drugless and non-surgical profession." How could this happen? Well, let's take a look at CCE's history.

The CCE: A Look Back

Major changes in chiropractic education were initiated in the early to mid-1970s. At this time, chiropractic colleges were accredited by either the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) or the International Chiropractors Association (ICA). In an effort to "upgrade the image" of the profession, both the ACA and the ICA decided to pursue federal recognition for their respective accrediting bodies. The ACA had the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and the ICA schools were represented by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC). (Note: That ACC is not related to the current ACC.)

Heated debate characterized the efforts of the two bodies to approach the federal government with one agency. An agreement was reached to defer the submission of formal applications for Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW) recognition by both groups. It was hoped that the two associations would be able to resolve their differences and approach the federal government with one agency. Despite this agreement, the CCE submitted an application and obtained approval, while the ACC waited as promised.

No time was wasted persuading state boards to mandate that only graduates of CCE-accredited colleges could apply for licensure. Student support was obtained by dangling the carrot of student loans. The CCE's approach in the days immediately following DHEW approval was autocratic. CCE was not content to coerce dissenting colleges into membership and compliance. Free speech was cast to the wind, with the CCE demanding "loyalty, advocacy, and support of the Council" from all sponsors.

CCE faculty/student ratio requirements necessitated the rapid hiring of large numbers of faculty. In the basic sciences, enthusiastic DCs were often replaced with PhDs unfamiliar with chiropractic. At least one told first-year students that as far as he was concerned, "chiropractic is a lot of bunk." In the past, most chiropractic college applicants had a positive personal experience with chiropractic care, and wanted to share it with others. Many were "second career" students who left successful jobs and businesses to study chiropractic. This was soon to change.

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