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Higher Learning CommisionAt its meeting on May 23, 2012, the Institutional Actions Council (IAC) of the Higher Learning Commission voted to continue the accreditation of Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center with the next comprehensive evaluation to be scheduled for 2021-22.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools was founded in 1895 for the purpose of establishing close relations between the colleges and secondary schools of the 19-state region (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming). In concert with the North Central Association, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits degree-granting organizations of higher education and is legally empowered to conduct accrediting activities for educational organizations.

Message from the provost

DMU’s Higher Learning Commission Comprehensive Review took place January 30-February 1, 2012. As a result of that visit, DMU has been awarded continued accreditation with the next comprehensive evaluation scheduled for 2021-2022. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the members of the HLC Steering Committee who diligently worked to complete the self-study document (Dr. Andy Brittingham, Dr. Traci Bush, Dr. Jodi Cahalan, Dr. Craig Canby, Ms. Cheryl Dahms, Dr. Don Matz, Dr. Luke Mortensen, Mr. Mark Peiffer, Dr. Tim Steele, and Dr. Tim Yoho), Julie Probst for her excellent work in assembling the document, Ms. Cecelia Munzenmaier for multiple edits and continued efforts to improve the document, and the campus community at large for a successful visit!

DMU will now move into the HLC Open Pathway – Assurance and Improvement process. Academic year 2012-2013 will mark our first year in this pathway where we will begin to accumulate evidence to be used in our 2015-2016 assurance filing and review by the Higher Learning Commission. Our evidence will address the revised criteria developed by the HLC.

Together we will continue to improve lives in our global community by educating diverse groups of highly competent and compassionate health professionals.

Karen McLean signature

Karen McLean, Ph.D., provost

2011 self-study document resources

For specific requests regarding resource room documents please contact Amanda Radkay, administrative assistant, Office of the Provost. Phone: 515-271-1504 or email


Complete information, including examples of evidence for each criteria, is available on the Higher Learning Commission’s website.

Criterion one – Mission

The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

 Core components

1.A. The institution’s mission is broadly understood within the institution and guides its operations.

1.B. The mission is articulated publicly.

1.C. The institution understands the relationship between its mission and the diversity of society.

1.D. The institution’s mission demonstrates commitment to the public good.

Criterion two – Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Core components

2.A. The institution operates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows fair and ethical policies and processes for its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff.

2.B. The institution presents itself clearly and completely to its students and to the public with regard to its programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, control, and accreditation relationships.

2.C. The governing board of the institution is sufficiently autonomous to make decisions in the best interest of the institution and to assure its integrity.

2.D. The institution is committed to freedom of expression and the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning.

2.E. The institution ensures that faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover, and apply knowledge responsibly.

Criterion three – Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support

The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

 Core components

3.A. The institution’s degree programs are appropriate to higher education.

3.B. The institution demonstrates that the exercise of intellectual inquiry and the acquisition, application, and integration of broad learning and skills are integral to its educational programs.

3.C. The institution has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services.

3.D. The institution provides support for student learning and effective teaching.

3.E. The institution fulfills the claims it makes for an enriched educational environment.

Criterion four – Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

 Core components

4.A. The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs.

4.B. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning.

4.C. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs.

Criterion five – Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness

The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.

 Core components

5.A. The institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

5.B. The institution’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission.

5.C. The institution engages in systematic and integrated planning.

5.D. The institution works systematically to improve its performance.

Program accreditations

Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation

DMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Additional program accreditations are listed below:

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). As an accredited college, COM is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, or AACOM.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Des Moines University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email; website:

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

The Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery is accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education.  Accreditation is an indication of public approbation, attesting to the quality of the podiatric medical education program and the continued commitment of the institution to support the educational program.  The Council is recognized as the professional institutional accrediting agency for podiatric medical education by the U. S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.  For further information, please contact the Council on Podiatric Medical Education at the following address: Council on Podiatric Medical Education, 9312 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD  20814.

Master of Healthcare Administration

The MHA program is a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration

The MHA program has been approved for candidate status by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The 2013-2014 academic year will serve as a self-study year as part of the process to achieve full accreditation for the M.H.A. program. Read more.

Master of public Health

The MPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health

Physician Assistant

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Des Moines University.  Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.  The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2015.  The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.