LMU still working toward full accreditation

Published on November 28, 2018

Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee, will continue its provisional accreditation status. The veterinary college was working toward potentially receiving full accreditation from the AVMA Council on Education as early as this fall. The decision is based on a comprehensive site visit from March 25-29 and came during the COE's Sept. 23-25 meeting at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The council did not release any further information, and the veterinary college declined to comment at this time on the COE decision.

Drs. Johnson and DeBusk gather with members of the university's board of trustees
Dr. Jason Johnson, vice president and dean of the LMU College of Veterinary Medicine, standing center on the left side of the beam, and Dr. Pete DeBusk, LMU chairman of the board (on the right side of the beam), gather with members of the university's board of trustees during a beam signing ceremony in December 2017 for the veterinary college's newest building. (Courtesy of LMU)

Lincoln Memorial is a nonprofit, private, liberal arts institution that sits on a 1,000-acre wooded campus where Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia meet at the Cumberland Gap. The veterinary college is located on LMU's main campus with additional academic facilities in nearby Lee County, Virginia. The program has developed a hybrid distributive model for clinical education in which students may choose from 150 affiliates in their fourth year while also receiving hands-on experience at its DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center from the first semester onward.

The veterinary college is in the process of completing a dedicated building for the program. It is three stories high, covers over 85,000 square feet of space, and is due to be finished in January. The facility will include two large lecture halls that can be combined to accommodate over 500 people, 24 communications laboratories, simulation laboratories, basic and clinical sciences classrooms, numerous study rooms, student break areas, student and academic services offices, clinical relations offices, and the deans' suite, according to a university press release. The building will also provide research space, including a home for the Center for Animal and Human Health in Appalachia.

Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine building
Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine will continue its provisional accreditation status after a decision by the AVMA Council on Education this fall. (Photo by Malinda Larkin)

LMU conducted a feasibility study in 2010 and asked for a consultative site visit from the COE in 2011; the visit to its veterinary college was conducted Oct. 23-27 that year. Lincoln Memorial filed a letter of application with the COE in 2012 seeking a letter of reasonable assurance of accreditation, and a site team traveled to Harrogate for a comprehensive site visit from Jan. 26-30, 2013. The veterinary college received a letter of reasonable assurance in July 2013, and the first class matriculated in the fall of 2014.

Appalachian students made up a quarter of the veterinary college's inaugural class, and four years later, 27 percent of the Class of 2018 is living and working in Appalachia, according to a university press release. Overall, the graduates reside in 24 states, and 34 percent of the graduates are working in large animal or mixed animal practices.

When a student graduates from a veterinary college that is operating under any classification of COE accreditation, the student is considered a graduate of an accredited school for purposes of licensing examinations or other certification that requires graduation from a COE-accredited institution as a prerequisite, according to the council's FAQ. Different classifications of accreditation, however, do exist and reflect the institution's compliance with the standards of accreditation.

Provisional accreditation means LMU must file reports at six-month intervals to demonstrate its progress. Provisional accreditation may remain in effect for no more than five years, which will be fall 2019 for Lincoln Memorial. If the program has the status for a longer period or does not provide evidence that its program will comply, it will be placed on terminal accreditation. Get more information on the COE's accreditation classifications.

Lincoln Memorial is one of 30 COE-accredited veterinary colleges in the U.S. and 19 in Canada and other countries.

Other COE actions from its fall meeting are as follows:

  • University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine received continued probationary accreditation with minor deficiencies. Probationary accreditation is granted to a veterinary college that has one or more major deficiencies that have more than a minimal impact on student learning and safety. The COE reviewed the veterinary school's progress and found that it was lacking in Standard 3 (Physical Facilities and Equipment). The deficiency must be corrected within one year. The veterinary school must also submit reports to the COE every six months.
  • Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences continued its probationary accreditation with major deficiencies. The center received this status from the COE because of several minor and major deficiencies in the required standards including Standard 2 (Finances), Standard 6 (Students), Standard 8 (Faculty), Standard 3 (Physical Facilities and Equipment), Standard 9 (Curriculum), and Standard 11 (Outcomes Assessment).
  • National Autonomous University of Mexico School of Veterinary Medicine will continue its probationary accreditation because of a major deficiency in Standard 3 (Physical Facilities and Equipment). The COE determined its status during a site visit in spring 2018. The veterinary college has two years to correct the problem.
  • Ross University College of Veterinary Medicine will continue its probationary accreditation with a major deficiency in Standard 11 (Outcomes Assessment). The veterinary college received this evaluation on the basis of a site visit in spring 2018. Ross University would not comment on the COE decision.

Related JAVMA content:

LMU models itself on the best (Aug. 15, 2016)

How to build a veterinary college (Aug. 15, 2016)

Lincoln Memorial gets green light from AVMA council (Aug. 15, 2013)