HATTIESBURG — William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCU-COM) has been awarded provisional accreditation status by the Council on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). William Carey’s school is now the 26th osteopathic medical school in the country.
Provisional accreditation allows the WCU-COM to proceed with plans for the first class to begin in Aug. 2010.
“This is what we have been working for during the past eighteen months,” said Dr. Michael Murphy, the WCU-COM’s founding dean. “All the hard work and pounds of paperwork paid off and we can begin accepting applications and interviewing students.”
Gov. Haley Barbour said, “I want to congratulate William Carey University for achieving a significant milestone that carries tremendous potential for improvements in healthcare and economic progress in Mississippi.”
WCU-COM has already begun the process of applying for membership in the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). All applicants to WCU-COM must use the AACOM application service. It is expected that WCU-COM will be named a member “in a few days,” and then begin accepting applications by the end of the month. After reviewing and ranking the applicants, the Admissions Committee will send letters to potential candidates to set up the COM’s first interviews. Classes are scheduled to begin in late Aug. 2010.
The accreditation process will continue under COCA. Each year, a site team will visit to verify that WCU-COM continues to meet their stringent standards. COCA will request periodic reports demonstrating that WCU-COM continues to make progress in completing the buildings, hiring qualified and experienced faculty, and putting the finishing touches on the four-year curriculum. After WCU-COM graduates its first class in 2014, it will be eligible to be granted full accreditation.
The Area Development Partnership (ADP) compiled an independent financial impact study on the effect of WCU-COM on the local and state economy. ADP estimated a financial impact of $8 million annually.