WVSOM re-accredited by HLC

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) received continued accreditation by the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for the next five years.

Since WVSOM graduated its first class in 1978, the school has remained fully accredited by the appropriate body of the American Osteopathic Association, which is currently the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. WVSOM voluntarily sought additional accreditation by the HLC and has been accredited by the organization since 2014.

“HLC accreditation is the gold standard for institutional accreditation and validation of the quality of the institution,” said WVSOM President James W. Nemitz, Ph.D. “Achieving continued HLC accreditation is a testament to the outstanding efforts by WVSOM’s faculty and staff to provide a quality education to help our hard-working, dedicated students achieve their goals.”

Receiving re-accreditation status remains part of the school’s strategic plan in fulfilling its mission of educating lifelong learners.

Edward Bridges, Ph.D., WVSOM’s vice president for administration and external relations, said administrators are pleased the organization recognized the value WVSOM brings to the osteopathic medical community.

“Achieving accreditation standards such as these demonstrates that we are meeting our mission to serve West Virginians and emphasizing primary care in rural areas,” he said. “For nearly two years, various groups worked to draft a report detailing how the school is meeting the HLC’s accreditation criteria. I want to thank all the students, staff, faculty and Board of Governors members who participated in the process. We owe this excellent news to everyone's hard work in delivering the outstanding educational experience that makes WVSOM a leader in rural primary care.”

The commission’s review of the school involved a rigorous self-assessment process, a site visit by a team of educators and a review of the site visit report by the HLC.

Tracey Anderson, Ed.D., WVSOM’s director of accreditation, said the accreditation process takes a team effort.

“No single person can maneuver all the moving parts alone. Helping people understand how the work they do every day contributes to the big picture of accreditation is a vital part of achieving continued accreditation status,” she said. “When an institution successfully demonstrates that it meets its mission, conducts its activities with integrity, provides quality education, continually evaluates and improves all facets of the institution, and plans for the future, a positive outcome is achieved.”

While the comprehensive evaluation visit is complete and continued accreditation has been granted, Anderson said, the school soon will begin preparation for the next review visit, which will take place in the 2024-25 academic year.

Date Added: 
Monday, August 19, 2019