LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine has received full accreditation by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). The milestone signifies that the College has received final approval to offer the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree; the degree allows graduates to become practicing physicians.
“Accreditation is an achievement not just for the College, but for our community and the state as a whole,” says John Hummer, president of the college. “Because of our efforts, the college graduated 133 new doctors who have joined the physician workforce—many of whom will stay right here in our region to serve our communities.”
COCA accreditation indicates that a college has met or exceeded the national standards for educational quality. In this case, accreditation is effective for four years and is based on an extensive review of the college, including an assessment of standards in curriculum, leadership, finances, facilities, staffing and graduate medical education outcomes. The college will provide the COCA with periodic progress reports demonstrating compliance with all accreditation standards.
“Our accreditation validates the college’s commitment to our mission and is a tribute to the quality education provided by all faculty and staff” says Don Peska, DO, dean and chief academic officer. “I’d like to thank our team members and partners without whom we would not have achieved this status.”
Burrell College earned initial provisional accreditation from COCA in 2015, allowing administration to break ground on the campus and begin recruiting its first class of medical students. In 2017, COCA officials visited the college and granted a second provisional accreditation, or pre-accreditation. In preparation for earning full accreditation, Burrell College began a self-study two and a half years ago. This involved an internal review of operations to ensure compliance with all of COCA’s standards of accreditation. The self-study was submitted in the fall of 2019 and a comprehensive site visit was conducted by COCA in early 2020.
The inaugural Class of 2020 graduated on Thursday, May 8, when students officially earned their DO degrees.
The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine is New Mexico’s first and only osteopathic medical school. Discussions to create the school began in 2012.
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About the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine:
Located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine was established in 2013 to improve the health of the Southwestern U.S. and Northern Mexico. The four-year, private osteopathic medical school is student-centered, utilizing the latest medical education technologies and methods to ensure student success in all fields of medicine — from primary care to subspecialties like surgery, anesthesiology and emergency medicine. BCOM is a freestanding college with clinical training locations in New Mexico, El Paso, TX and Tucson, AZ. Learn more at bcomNM.org.