College of Osteopathic Medicine receives positive mid-cycle accreditation review


As the 2020-21 academic school year begins, the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine remains one of only 37 colleges of osteopathic medicine nationwide accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, or COCA, as part of the American Osteopathic Association.

After working to address compliance since the college’s last full review and site visit in 2018, the college recently received an “all standards have been met” approval status – following the submission of its mid-cycle report in summer 2020. 

Dr. Kirsten Waarala, associate dean for medical education, said the accreditation is an affirmation of the college’s dedication to continuously improve and maintain the highest quality of medical education and standards for students, faculty and the public.

Previously, the college was found to be compliant with 59 of 61 elements and was reaccredited through April 2022. With this latest review, Waarala said the focus will continue to be maintaining compliance with all COCA standards for continuing accreditation.

“The response to our mid-cycle report is a vote of confidence from our accrediting body that we’re currently in compliance with all standards,” Waarala said. “This is an indication of all the hard work that our faculty and staff have put in and also represents the strong performance of our students.”

Waarala highlighted a few initiatives that helped the college earn its accreditation maintenance:

  • Advances in interprofessional education, including offering an online interpersonal educational event on implicit bias with the MSU College of Nursing.
  • Stronger integration of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine in the clerkship program. 
  • Improvements to facilities on the East Lansing campus in addition to technological progress at all three Macomb, Detroit and East Lansing sites, such as the installation of new audio-visual labs.
  • Continued progress with strategic diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including hiring an associate dean of diversity and campus inclusion to create a strong foundation for all students to succeed and provide better patient care.

The college is now entering the second half of the accreditation cycle, and a team of faculty, staff and students is now turning its focus to prepare for its next accreditation review, which will include a full self-study and site visit in the 2021-22 academic year.

“As we enter the second half of our accreditation cycle, many within our college community will join in preparations for the next self-study and site visit,” Waarala said. “We look forward to keeping everyone informed about our progress as we continue our commitment to maintaining and exceeding accreditation standards.”