October 24, 2014 — On Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, the Life UniversityBoard of Trustees voted to develop a European branch campus to be located in Rome, Italy.
President Guy Riekeman, DC, reflected on the intense work that the Life University administration has been involved in over the last two years in partnership with the Italian Chiropractic Association, various Italian educational institutions, and government agencies.
The project was initiated when John Williams, DC, president of the Associazione Italiana Chiropratici (AIC) and the Association’s Education Committee approached Life University on behalf of the AIC to explore a partnership with LIFE leading to the establishment of an accredited and widely recognized Doctor of Chiropractic Program (DCP). The LIFE Board of Trustees approved the project in concept earlier in the year and authorized Riekeman and his administration to complete a feasibility study and report back to the Board of Trustees with their findings.
As approved, the Rome campus will offer a doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree and will be a branch campus of Life University. As such, Life University will be seeking approval for a “substantive change” that would allow for an extension of LIFE’s programmatic accreditation through The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and institutional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and if appropriate, an application for accreditation by the European Council on Chiropractic Education (ECCE).
Approved as a branch campus, LIFE Italy will grant the DC degree with all of the rights associated with a degree from the main campus. The curriculum, to be offered in English, will be identical to that of LIFE’s main campus. This curricular coordination is designed to allow U.S. students to complete a portion or all of their degrees in Italy while maintaining access to federal financial aid benefits as they would in Atlanta, Georgia.
In addition, these efforts will allow students who graduate from the Rome campus to have the same licensure and registration opportunities that are available to all Life University graduates. Students will also be eligible to take the examination sequence of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). Also, Life University is in conversations with the NBCE regarding international nuances of testing.
LIFE has been working closely with LINK University, an established Italian university, to locate the Life University DCP facilities on a beautiful eight-hectare property in the heart of Rome near St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Life University has a long history of working with groups around the world to make chiropractic care and chiropractic education available worldwide,” Deborah Pogrelis, DC, chairman of the LIFE Board of Trustees, said. “The Board of Trustees of Life University is dedicated to fulfilling that commitment.”
There is much work ahead to fulfill this dream, but it is the intention of Life University Rome to matriculate its first class in September 2017. More details will be available once the necessary approvals have been granted by CCE (US), SACS, and educational partners in Italy.
LIFE looks forward to working with the AIC and hosting a series of meetings throughout Italy to open a dialogue with colleagues about their hopes, dreams and expectations for this program in their country.
The goals are simple but far reaching: support the development of chiropractic worldwide, assist Italy and other countries in establishing professional identity and regulation, and help set international standards for education and licensure in partnership with local chiropractors.
Source: Life University