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Medical School At Center Of Sleep Train Arena Revitalization Plan Is Denied Full Accreditation

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento City Council approved a plan Tuesday to make California Northstate University's planned teaching hospital the centerpiece of their Sleep Train Arena revitalization plan – known as Innovation Park. But CBS13 has learned the for-profit medical school behind the hospital plan was recently denied full accreditation.

California Northstate University's College of Medicine (CNUCOM) currently has provisional status, which is temporary. The school has asked the accrediting body to reconsider the recent denial at a hearing on Thursday.

Records indicate CNUCOM received its preliminary accreditation in 2015 and received its current provisional accreditation in 2019, which is the year the COM's charter class graduated.

According to the accrediting body, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the "1st (full accreditation) survey visit" typically occurs when the charter class is in its fourth year, which should have been in 2019 for CNUCOM. However, a CNU representative told CBS13 that they weren't scheduled for their full accreditation survey until 2021.

In a recent email to students and faculty, published by the Student Doctor Network, an assistant dean reportedly revealed that, following the accreditation survey in March 2021, "LCME determined that the (college of medicine) was not 'satisfactory' in all areas" and their accreditation was denied.

The email clarifies that the school is asking the LCME to reconsider the denied accreditation at a hearing that is scheduled for February 17.

Neither CNU nor the accrediting body would reveal which noncompliance issues caused the LCME to deny full accreditation. CNU told CBS13 it will make a statement after Thursday's hearing. The school did note that theirs was the first "virtual" accreditation survey.

The school did not respond to questions about whether or not they revealed the failed accreditation to Sacramento City Council members before Tuesday's meeting. The school appears to have informed students of the failed accreditation last month.

CBS13 asked the City of Sacramento if it was aware the school was denied full accreditation. A spokesperson was unable to immediately provide a response.

So what does the provisional status mean for graduates of the school?

Degrees from medical schools with provisional status are recognized. However, we're told that schools with provisional status are at greater risk of probation and students run the risk that the school never gets full accreditation.

According to the LCME, full accreditation must be achieved within five years of achieving provisional accreditation, or the provisional accreditation is withdrawn and the school must start the process over.

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