New Jersey Site Team Approves Life University

Decision Rebukes CCE Accreditation Policies

In a stunning victory for Life University, and a stinging rebuke to CCE’s accreditation policies, the New Jersey State Board of Chiropractic Examiners provisionally approved Life’s chiropractic program.

In a unanimous vote, the Board accepted the recommendations of its Site Team, which performed an exhaustive on site review of the entire campus. Led by Anthony DeMarco, D.C., a former president of the NJ Board with extensive experience evaluating
chiropractic programs, the team also included Lawrence O’Connor, D.C., Robert Apuzzio, D.C., and Kevin Earle, Executive Director of the Board.

After spending two full days comprehensively reviewing all aspects of the chiropractic program and talking with administrators, instructors and students, the team was satisfied that Life University’s chiropractic program qualified for approval. The report indicates that Life had implemented, or was in the process of implementing, all criteria necessary for approval.

The highly detailed report addresses all aspects of the institution including its Organization, Faculty, Interviews with Department Chairs, Plant, Library, Medical Museum, Auxiliary Equipment, Clinical Facilities, Resources, Administration, Records, Requirements for Admission, Publications and Curriculum.

Although the report included recommendations for improvement, as well as the recommendation that the team return in one year to ensure that all recommendations have been implemented, the Site Team commended the University for the significant and substantial improvements in its program, curriculum, and governance since June 2002. In presenting their findings to the full Board, team members stated that they were enthusiastically received by Life’s administration, and were afforded full cooperation and total access to all areas of the campus as well as access to all documents.

In commenting on CCE’s refusal to reconsider Life’s accreditation for two years, Dr. DeMarco stated, “Not having been at the CCE inspection in April, I can only speak to what we saw when went down there, and what we saw when we went down there was certainly an adequate institution that more than meets the particular standards of this state. We believe they are educating and graduating good chiropractors that are safe for the consumers of New Jersey.”

Dr. DeMarco further added, “I do believe, as far as CCE goes, not looking at them (Life) now after changes have been made is probably doing a disservice to the college.” Joseph Lauro, D.C., one of the State Board Members also questioned the purpose of CCE’s appeal process if changes made during that time period would not be considered in their final decision.

While this decision to allow Life graduates to qualify for NJ licensure is certain to lift the spirits of many Life students, it is also likely to put further pressure on the CCE. The CCE has thus far steadfastly refused to reconsider its decision that the institution must wait two years before it can regain its accreditation. As a result, there is a large and growing segment of the profession that views CCE’s refusal to reevaluate Life’s chiropractic program as a political ploy primarily designed to contain and eliminate traditional chiropractic programs. This perception is strongly supported by CCE’s decision earlier this year to restructure its corporation and reduce the number of votes that both Palmer and Cleveland Colleges receive on CCE’s Council. It is anticipated that NJ’s decision will now prompt other states to question CCE’s motives and possibly send their own Site Teams to Life for evaluation.

Additional information concerning questioning of CCE’s policies can be found at @ 7:14 am | Article ID: 1039187641