The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) announced Tuesday (June 29) it had been granted Early Initial Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Board of Trustees.
According to the official action letter sent by the HLC, ACHE has been approved to offer doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of physical therapy, doctor of occupational therapy, a master’s degree in biomedicine, and a master’s degree of physician assistant studies.
“Achieving accreditation is a rigorous process and we are ecstatic to have met the high standards set by the HLC. ACHE continues to make great strides in its mission to improve the lives of others,” ACHE CEO Kyle Parker said in the statement.
The HLC Board based its actions on the following findings.
• The institution meets the eligibility requirements, the assumed practices, and the criteria for accreditation, including all core components without any concerns.
• The institution is currently in compliance with all federal compliance requirements.
• The Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission has determined based on the preceding findings and evidence in the record that the Institution meets the requirements for Early Initial Accreditation.
“Institutional accreditation is the foundation for all degree programs currently offered by ACHE and will help pave the way for additional programs to be added in the future,” noted ACHE President Brian Kim.
ACHE received candidate status from the commission on Nov. 7, 2019. With the award of Early Initial Accreditation, the institution now enters the initial 10-year cycle of accreditation. As a new institution, this status will be considered for reaffirmation in year four of the 10-year cycle of the standard pathway.
ACHE was formed when Fort Smith-based Degen Foundation used part of $70 million from the sale of Sparks Health System in November 2009 to what was then Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates to build the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) at Chaffee Crossing. The $32.4 million college and its 103,000 square feet is now home to 600 medical students. ACHE has since built a 66,000-square-foot College of Health Science building on the campus that is home to physical therapy and occupational therapy degree programs. ACHE is also underway on standing up its Research Institute Health and Wellness Center.