December 12, 2006 - Harrogate, Tennessee — The Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) approved Lincoln Memorial University’s elevation to a Level V institution at its annual meeting on Tuesday.

“This is a landmark day for Lincoln Memorial University,” President Nancy B. Moody said. “Reaching Level V status demonstrates the investments the University, its faculty, staff, and trustees have made in expanding the educational opportunities for the people of Appalachia.”

SACS COC took a number of actions regarding the accreditation status of applicant, candidate, and member institutions in its region at its annual meeting in Kissimmee, Florida. With respect to LMU, it accredited the University at a more advanced degree level, clearing the way for LMU to award the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Up to this time, LMU held Level IV status with the master’s degree and education specialist degree being its highest degrees.

This marks a final step to Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) being able to open the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM) and offer its first doctoral degree program. LMU-DCOM will now move forward by enrolling students for classes in the fall of 2007.

LMU received notification in September from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA COCA) that the new program had been granted provisional accreditation with that organization, which allowed DCOM to accept applications and interview students for its inaugural class. AOA COCA will continue to monitor the program’s progress with yearly site visits. LMU-DCOM will receive full AOA-COCA accreditation just prior to the graduation of its first class.

The Level V accreditation will also pave the way for LMU to develop other doctoral level programs. LMU has experienced unprecedented growth over the past six academic years. The largest increase in enrollment has been in health-related programs and in graduate education.

Concurrent with the growth in enrollment and in keeping with its mission, LMU has significantly expanded its traditionally strong faculty and staff and plans to recruit a diverse group of highly qualified professionals, as it continues to grow. In an effort to address growth in student enrollment, the university will continue to construct new academic buildings and additional residence halls, and renovate existing facilities. LMU broke ground on the state-of-the-art four-story, 105,000 square foot facility, which will house DCOM in May 2007. The facility will also be home to the nursing department of the Caylor School of Nursing and Allied Health, which recently added the Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Practitioner Program.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process. AOA COCA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the only accrediting agency for pre-doctoral osteopathic medical education in the United States.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at

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