JONESBORO — Announced plans by a private college to establish a veterinary school won’t impact Arkansas State University’s research into establishing a college of veterinary medicine in Jonesboro, a university spokesman said Monday.
Lyon College announced it has begun developing plans for proposed veterinary and dental schools in Little Rock as part of the new Lyon College Institute of Health Sciences.
The Batesville-based Lyon College faculty assembly and board of trustees approved both proposals in March, and the proposals for academic changes were submitted to the college’s regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), on March 15.
Following consideration by HLC, the college will submit the prepared accreditation applications with both the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (COE) and the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Pending the accreditors’ approval, inaugural classes could start as early as 2024 or 2025.
ASU announced in January 2020 that it was collaborating with Adtalem Global Education, a private health care developer, on possible creation of a veterinary school for the Jonesboro campus. That research is ongoing.
Bill Smith, chief communications officer at ASU said Lyon’s announcement “does not have any impact on our plans. We remain in preliminary discussions.”
It’s not inconceivable that Arkansas could have two vet schools.
The New York Institute of Technology opened a college of osteopathic medicine on the ASU campus shortly before another D.O. School opened in Fort Smith.
Lyon College has entered into a strategic collaboration with OneHealth Education Group (OneHealth) for both the veterinary and dental schools. OneHealth utilizes private sector capital and consultant solutions to support the launch of professional health science programs. The group aims to reduce the debt burden of graduating professionals and to provide solutions for communities that lack ample access to healthcare.
Last year, Arkansas ranked 51st in the country for dental health and is experiencing a dentist shortage, Lyon said in its announcement.