receives praise, commendations during evaluation
organization identifies college as ‘role model’
The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic
College Accreditation recently granted continuing full accreditation
to Ohio University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The AOA commission conducted the on-site evaluation in late October,
and issued their final report last month. The college received four
commendations and praise from the commission, and no negative
requirements or recommendations.
“It’s unusual, almost unheard of, for a school to come out with no
requirements and no recommendations. This was an extremely positive
outcome,” said OU-COM Dean John Brose, D.O., who has served on the
commission and reviewed many accreditation results for other
institutions. Requirements are deficient areas that call for action
and solutions, while recommendations are advice for improvements,
Continuing accreditation is granted to those colleges that meet or
exceed the accreditation standards for educational quality.
Accreditation status is reviewed on a seven-year survey cycle of
self-study and includes a comprehensive on-site evaluation. The AOA
commission receives authority from the U.S. Department of Education
to accredit colleges of osteopathic medicine.
During the debriefing after the commission’s on-site evaluation, one
inspector stated that OU-COM should be held up as a model for all
osteopathic medical schools, Brose said.
At the October debriefing and in last month’s final report, OU-COM
received commendations, the highest possible praise from the AOA, in
college’s achievements in research productivity,
Office of Student Affairs financial literacy programs for students,
recruitment of a diverse student body, including access programs
that resulted in an average of 24 percent minority students for
entering classes, and
development and commitment of the college’s executive committee.
“The enthusiasm and esprit de corps expressed to
the team were very impressive,” the final evaluation report from
the Commission stated.
The report commended the college for its research approach.
“OU-COM has a well developed and implemented program to encourage
research achievement by basic science and clinical faculty,” the
final reported stated. “There is considerable collaborative effort
between OU-COM scientists and those in the OU chemistry, life
science and engineering departments.”
Brose expressed the most satisfaction with this commendation.
“The research component has been a major thrust of mine as dean,” he
said. “The college has done an incredible job to push our research
The accreditation team noted research space available throughout the
medical college and campus buildings, and cited the opening next
year of the new Academic & Research Center, a joint project
sponsored primarily by OU-COM and the Russ College of Engineering
The final report also recognized the substantial increase in
research productivity by both preclinical and clinical faculty over
the past few years, as measured by grant revenues, grant
applications and publications.
Grant revenues for the 2006-2007 academic year totaled $3.2 million,
including 41 external research grants of $1.8 million, and 38
external program grants of $1.2 million.
New research and program grant proposals totaled $28.2 million.
The report concluded its commendation by praising OU-COM processes
designed “to further increase the level of faculty research” such as
the college’s Competitive Grant Program, which assists faculty in
developing successful research grant proposals for the National
Institutes of Health using constructive feedback from experts across
diversity recruitment, financial literacy programs for students
The accreditation evaluation recognized OU-COM for its efforts to
recruit minorities, for its diversity initiatives and for the
dedication of the student affairs personnel.
The Office of Student Affairs’ financial literacy programs for
students particularly impressed the accreditation team that visited
campus. The office’s one-on-one financial aid counseling for
students, debt management presentations and the Business of Medicine
lecture series earned one of the college’s four commendations.
“Customer service is a top priority, and we are committed to
providing service to the students,” said Pat Burnett, director of
The Business of Medicine program was cited in the commendation,
which noted that attendance at its regular lunchtime sessions often
numbers more than 150 out of roughly 200 first- and second-year
students. The report cited the variety of topics, including managing
credit, budgeting, investing and planning for retirement, among
The commission also commended OU-HOM for its commitment to expanding
opportunities for populations underrepresented in the medical
profession and for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. The
hiring of an assistant director in admissions for diversity
initiatives, efforts to recruit students from colleges and
universities that traditionally serve minority students and the
Summer Scholars and Post Baccalaureate programs were specifically
cited in the final report.
The pipeline programs such as Summer Scholars advance the college’s
diversity priority, while providing a boost for the students
involved, according to Director of Admissions John Schriner.
“They help build their confidence and show OU-COM is a supporting
environment to lead to their success,” he said.
proved beneficial; practice makes perfect
The college practiced for last fall’s commission visit with a mock
accreditation drill, which Burnett and Schriner credited as
Keith Watson, D.O, associate dean for graduate medical education,
led the three-member team that conducted the mock accreditation
“We went to extreme measures to dot all the i’s and cross all the
t’s,” Watson said. “We worked hard to make sure things were letter
Watson said the mock accreditation practice helped secure such
positive results from the commission site visit.
Brose praised the faculty and staff of the college for the
outstanding accreditation evaluation.
“We have an outstanding faculty and staff,” Brose said. “Not only do
they do things extremely well, they keep an eye on the educational
requirements and compliance, and we go way beyond that as well.”
“The things we do, we do not do for a good accreditation, but to
promote student learning and student success,” Brose said.