Med school receives preliminary accreditation

The Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is another step closer to its prospective opening. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) provided preliminary accreditation for the School.

According to Seton Hall Interim President Dr. Mary Meehan, the LCME completes a comprehensive review of the school, which includes an evaluation of the school’s curriculum, faculty, governance, facilities and finances.

Kiera Alexander/Asst. Photography Editor.

Meehan said in an email that the University plans to move the School of Nursing and the School of Health and Medical Sciences this upcoming spring. Outstanding building approvals are preventing the schools from moving and occupying the space.

“The LCME [approval] is a huge step forward,” Meehan said. There are still a few remaining approvals that need to be finalized before we accept applications for the medical students.”

Accreditation for the School of Medicine is a threefold process. The first stage includes Preliminary Accreditation, after which the school can commence operation, according to Dr. Bonita Stanton, dean of the Seton Hall Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. Two years later the medical school will be considered for Provisional Accreditation.

“During the two years of preparation leading up to our receipt of Preliminary Accreditation, about 250 individuals, including many faculty from Seton Hall and Hackensack Meridian Health, community members, and University leadership including a few members of the Board of Regents, participated in 11 committees to answer more than 100 questions, requiring in a few cases one word or one sentence responses while for others, 30 to 40-page responses,” Stanton shared in an email.

After the process, the school will be assessed for Full Accreditation. Both of these stages require submission of a detailed report similar to that submitted for the first stage and a site visit from the LCME.

Although the process is intensive and thorough, Stanton is thrilled it is moving along well.

“Speaking for myself, this is a very exciting time,” Stanton said. “This is another step in the process to provide key educational, research and career opportunities to enable the next generation to pursue a career in medicine. We have a vision that every person in New Jersey and eventually in the United States, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will enjoy the highest levels of wellness in an economically and behaviorally sustainable fashion.”

Although the School of Medicine’s accreditation process is moving along, students’ reservations remain about transportation, housing and cost.

Lisa Pastilha, a sophomore nursing student, is looking forward to having a new campus because of the new resources. However, the school’s location poses numerous difficulties for her living arrangement.

“The change to the nursing school is definitely going to affect me in a ton of ways. The biggest issue is moving,” Pastilha wrote in an email. “I have to find an apartment somewhere in between Nutley and Seton Hall, which is hard to find at an affordable price. I’ll have to commute between both campuses for classes as well as my job which will be time consuming because of gas and traffic.”

Sophomore nursing major Darby Debonis currently lives on campus, but because most of her classes will be offered at the new campus, she has chosen to live off campus.

Although challenges will be presented, Debonis said via email that she is looking forward to the school’s labs and technology.

“The aspect of the new campus I am most looking forward to is the simulation labs we will use for clinical courses, and the technology that will be in the classrooms,” Debonis said. “I am not excited about the commute but I can’t complain because I am fortunate enough to attend a university that has invested time and money into the program I am studying.”

Thomas Schwartz can be reached at

Author: Thomas Schwartz

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