On Dec. 15, 2009, the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin (AOMA) was granted accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), following a rigorous three-year process.AOMA is the first and only stand-alone, single-degree school of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the nation to be regionally accredited. It is also the only school of acupuncture and Oriental medicine to be accredited by SACS.
"Regional accreditation by SACS is a major accomplishment for the Academy of Oriental Medicine, and for the field of Oriental medicine as a whole," according to William R. Morris, PhD, president of AOMA. "This level of accreditation recognizes the importance of education in Oriental medicine, and the importance of Oriental medicine to our nation's health care system."
SACS accreditation signifies that AOMA has a mission appropriate to graduate education; resources, programs and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain the college's mission; clearly specified educational objectives in line with the degree offered; and proven success in achieving its stated objectives, Morris added.
For AOMA students, SACS accreditation means that courses taken at the college will be eligible for transfer to any other regionally accredited school. This could be anything from large state universities to community colleges. The AOMA masters degree will be accepted as a prerequisite for further graduate work at the doctoral level in other fields.
To become accredited, institutions go through a three-step process, including application, candidacy and accreditation. AOMA submitted its application for candidacy in 2007, which was granted in June of 2008. Work on the request for accreditation began immediately thereafter, and documentation and records were provided to SACS in order to certify compliance with the comprehensive standards that had to be satisfied. Following a review of the submission, SACS sent a six-member team to the Austin campus for an on-site visit in August 2009 to verify the accuracy of the submitted materials, assess the facilities and interview faculty, staff and students. The report from this site visit led to the favorable decision.
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