At its meeting on February 20, 2012, the Institutional Action Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) approved expansion of Marian University’s accreditation to include the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO). Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is the proper name for the degree granted by osteopathic medical schools in the United States and is represented by the acronym DO.
“Approval by the Higher Learning Commission is an essential and important milestone in our efforts to build a new medical school for Indiana,” said Dr. Paul Evans, founding dean of Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM). “The next steps are to receive pre-accreditation with permission to recruit in April 2012 and provisional accreditation in July 2012 from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). If approved by the COCA, applications for the first class should begin in the summer of 2012. The start of the DO Class of 2017 is planned for August 2013.”
This is the first doctoral-level degree offered by Marian University in its 75 year history. Approval by the HLC is a significant indicator of the university’s future direction as a comprehensive institution with the ability to grant bachelor’s, master’s, and now doctoral degrees. “The approval by HLC is not the end of a process, but the beginning of a plan to create at least one additional graduate level degree each year in various disciplines over the next five to 10 years,” said Marian University’s chief academic officer, Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. Enneking, Ph.D.
The new medical school for Indiana will directly address the shortage of physicians in our state—an issue that has both economic and social ramifications. Indiana is already facing a shortage of doctors, and as the population ages, by 2020, there will be a shortage of 5,000 physicians, 2,000 of which are primary care physicians Directly addressing this need for more doctors will improve healthcare in Indiana.
The Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences, which will house the new medical school and the School of Nursing, is a $47 million construction project scheduled to open in the summer of 2013. Both medical and nursing students will train together in the building. The building is part of a larger health and life sciences initiative on campus with financial needs totaling $160 million. For more information, visit the web site.
About the Higher Learning Commission
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region. For more information, visit www.ncahlc.org or call 800.621.7440.
About Marian University
Marian University is the only Catholic liberal arts university in central Indiana. It is a private, co-educational school offering classes to both traditional and non-traditional students. Located two miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis, it is dedicated to excellent teaching and learning in the Franciscan and liberal arts traditions. It is one of Indiana’s 31 independent colleges, and one of 244 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States. On July 1, 2009, Marian College became Marian University. On January 15, 2010, Marian University announced it would develop the first college of osteopathic medicine in the state of Indiana. The university celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2012.