The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) announced Monday (May 10) that Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) received accreditation from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, the only accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit all osteopathic medical schools in the United States.
After a comprehensive review of ARCOM’s four-year pre-accreditation status, the COCA found that ARCOM met the accreditation requirements thus granting accreditation to the medical school, a news release said.
“We are thrilled with the outcome,” said ACHE President Brian Kim. “The COCA review has become more and more rigorous and thorough, particularly as the COCA itself, undergoes review by the US Department of Education. We are very pleased with the accreditation outcome and are ecstatic to share the news with our students, faculty, staff and community.”
Of the 145 students graduating in the first class from ARCOM May 15, there was a 95% residency placement match rate announced in March. ARCOM receiving this accreditation means all students graduating from the school, including those in that inaugural class, will receive the full recognition and credentials from a fully accredited medical institution upon their graduation, said Dr. Rance McClain, ARCOM dean.
The college had the accreditation needed as those students progressed through school, but all graduates of medical schools need to be fully accredited to be eligible for residencies, said Susan Devero, ACHE executive director of marketing, communications and community relations.
“When we first began this journey to create a medical school in 2014, we were the little engine that could, now we are a maximum engine train running at full steam. The tracks are just being laid to a destination that will be transformative in medical education but also in healthcare, health and wellness in our community, state, and region,” said ACHE CEO Kyle Parker.
ARCOM had over 6,000 initial applications for the 150 positions open for the class that will begin in August, Devero said. The accreditation is likely to bring even more applicants hoping to join future classes at the medical school, Devero said.
Accreditation is a continuing review of quality assurance in educational standards, and the COCA monitors every school on an annual basis. ARCOM will undergo another accreditation review in four years.
Arkansas Colleges of Health Education is a private, not-for-profit institution located on 573 acres at Chaffee Crossing. ACHE School of Physical Therapy will welcome its first class in June. ACHE recently announced the purchase of the ACHE Research Institute Health & Wellness Center, a 317,850 square foot facility that will contain a biomedical research laboratory and space for transformational initiatives in Art, Nutrition and Wellness.