Icon (Close Menu)


COCA Endorses NYIT Osteopathic School at Arkansas State

3 min read

Arkansas State University said Tuesday that the New York Institute of Technology’s plans for a College of Osteopathic Medicine on A-State’s Jonesboro campus has been endorsed by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.

The commission took up the issue during its meeting last weekend in Chicago, endorsing NYIT’s plans on Sunday, according to a news release.

Arkansas State said the endorsement will allow NYIT to open in August in the renovated Wilson Hall with 115 students. The school expects to fill 80 faculty, staff and administrative positions within two years.

“This is an extraordinary, transformative development for the citizens of Arkansas and the Delta, and for our institutions,” A-State Chancellor Tim Hudson said. “NYIT’s highly regarded osteopathic curriculum is a boon to our university, our community and to all of the new medical students we will welcome to our campus.”

Hudson announced in June 2013 the school’s plans to explore opening an osteopathic college. A-State conducted a feasibility study that showed a need for more physicians in the Delta and said the college would also generate about $70 million in economic activity in northeast Arkansas.

COCA is part of the American Osteopathic Association. In December 2014, it denied NYIT’s application but granted initial approval in April.

NYIT, whose main campus is in Old Westbury, New York, is one of about 30 osteopathic schools in the country. It has more than 1,100 students. In Jonesboro, the NYIT college dean is Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee.

“Since A-State approached us, we’ve developed a new model of medical education for Arkansas,”  she said in a news release. “Together with A-State, the community and our health care partners, we’ll educate physicians in Arkansas for Arkansas.”

The NYIT osteopathic school is one of two under development in Arkansas. Construction is underway now on the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith, developed by the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation. Kyle Parker is CEO of the college, whose dean is Dr. Ken Heiles. The Fort Smith college is also aiming for an August opening after construction is completed in May.

NYIT’s Jonesboro plan had already received approval from the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which granted a certification to NYIT in 2014. 

In September, A-State received state approval to proceed with renovations to Wilson Hall to accommodate the school. The $12.6 million project includes reconfiguring the building’s infrastructure and adding new labs. Revenue generated from leasing the space to NYIT will pay off an $8 million loan to help fund the renovation. 

Plans for the NYIT college in Jonesboro and the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith have raised questions about the availability of residencies for students, including from Dr. Dan Rahn, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who has said there might no be enough capacity for the estimated 265 annual D.O. graduates expected from the two schools.

On Tuesday, A-State said that Ross-Lee and Jason Penry, A-State’s vice chancellor for university advancement, have been working with regional institutions to establish clerkship positions for third- and fourth-year students and are developing “more than 400” residency slots for graduates.

Send this to a friend