Biochemistry and Pre-Medicine Concentrations Accredited


By Eric Foster

Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics (BiCEP) has earned accreditation from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for two Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree concentrations: biochemistry and pre-medicine.

The seven-year full accreditation applies across the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses in recognition of their excellence in curriculum, institutional characteristics, and faculty qualifications. The accreditation enables graduating seniors to take the national ASBMB accreditation exam and demonstrate their proficiency in biochemistry and molecular biology on a national stage.

“The ASBMB applauded our efforts to engage students in research/internship, use of active/experiential learning opportunities, and program assessment,” said Michael Borland, biochemistry and chemistry professor and ASBMB Education Fellow. Borland (Bloomsburg) led Commonwealth’s accreditation effort with departmental colleagues Toni Bell (Bloomsburg), Maegen Borzok (Mansfield), Kyle Root (Lock Haven), and Jackie Dumm (Lock Haven).

Borland also emphasized that this accreditation strengthens the Commonwealth University academic array and prepares students for industry positions, graduate school, or professional schools such as in medicine or dentistry. “We are excited about the opportunities our updated curriculum provides to create well-rounded, literate, and competent scientists and/or medical professionals. Our curriculum, with professors teaching all lecture and lab courses, is grounded in best practices; it provides high-impact experiential laboratory learning and a learning community/network to help students attain their professional aspirations,” said Borland.

“Congratulations to Dr. Michael Borland and his colleagues in Commonwealth University’s chemistry, biochemistry, and pre-medicine programs for earning ASBMB accreditation. This achievement will provide important opportunities for our current and future students, and I thank our faculty for their work to enhance our students’ experience,” said Bashar W. Hanna, president.

The ASBMB is the premier professional organization in biochemistry and molecular biology and provides national, independent, and outcomes-based evaluations of institutions and programs. To date, just over 100 B.A. and B.S. programs nationwide have earned accreditation since inception in 2013. Bloomsburg campus was accredited by ASBMB in 2014 and was the first Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institution to earn this distinction. Accreditation by independent professional organizations assists biochemistry and molecular biology educators in meeting the growing demand from collegiate accrediting bodies, university administrators, and other stakeholders for regular outcomes assessment.