Approval & Accreditation
California Acupuncture Board
In California, a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) is an independent primary care practitioner whose practice encompasses acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, Asian massage, acupressure, and breathing techniques. The University of East-West Medicine (UEWM) is approved by the California Acupuncture Board. Graduates of the MSTCM (Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine) degree program offered by UEWM are eligible to sit for the California Acupuncture Licensing Examination (CALE).
The California Acupuncture Board is a regulatory body under the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The Board’s legal mandate is to regulate the practice of Asian medicine through acupuncture in California and is the sole issuer of acupuncture licenses in the state. The Board establishes and maintains entry standards of qualification and conduct within the acupuncture profession, primarily through its authority to license. In 2014, SB 1246 (Chapter 397, Statutes of 2014), was signed into law. This bill changed the acupuncture training program approval process. An approved acupuncture training program must now obtain approvals from three different agencies:
- Have accreditation, or in pre-accreditation, with ACAOM
- Be approved by the Bureau of Private and Post-Secondary Education (BPPE), and,
- Received the Acupuncture Board’s approval of Curriculum.
The California Acupuncture Board is located at 1747 N. Market Blvd, suite 180, Sacramento, CA 95834; phone (916) 515-5200; fax (916) 928-2204; www.acupuncture.ca.gov
Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)
The University of East-West Medicine (UEWM) and its Master of Acupuncture program with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization available in English and in Chinese [currently named Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine] are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).
Because UEWM failed to demonstrate compliance with nine (9) of the Commission’s Standards and Criteria for accreditation of its Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program within two (2) years as required by both ACAOM and the US Department of Education policies and regulations, ACAOM took adverse action on 11 November 2019 to terminate the DAOM program’s accreditation status, effective 31 December 2020 at the conclusion of an approved teach-out and placed the institution on a Warning Sanction until 15 August 2020.
At its August 2020 meeting, ACAOM placed UEWM and its master’s programs on Probation until the conclusion of the Commission’s August 2021 meeting, for its continued non-compliance with Administration and Assessment accreditation criteria. Probation is a sanction used by ACAOM to alert an institution that if it does not substantially correct deficiencies by the end of the probationary period accreditation status could be in jeopardy consistent with ACAOM’s Commission Actions Policy. UEWM’s accreditation status and notes may be viewed on the ACAOM Directory. ACAOM is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the specialized accreditation agency for institutions/programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. ACAOM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone (952) 212-2434; fax (952) 657-7068; www.acaom.org
The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE)
UEWM is a private institution approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means the institution is compliant with the minimum standards contained in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 and Division 7.5 (Private Postsecondary Education) of Title 5 (Education) of the California Code of Regulations (CCR). BPPE is located at 1747 North Market Blvd., Suite 225, Sacramento, CA 95834; phone (916) 574-8900; fax (916) 263-1897; www.bppe.ca.gov
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
UEWM is a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school. The school’s designated school official (DSO) can issue a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status” to a qualified student.
U.S. Department of Education & Federal Student Aid
Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA; P.L. 89-329), as amended, authorizes programs that provide financial assistance to students to attend certain institutions of higher education (IHEs). UEWM is certified to participate in Title IV by the U.S. Department of Education. UEWM, as a FSA-participating school, can administrate Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS Loans under Title IV of the HEA, for the MSTCM degree program. Federal Student Aid is only available to students who are qualified.
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (NCCAOM) mission is to assure the safety and well-being of the public and to advance the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine by establishing and promoting national evidence-based standards of competence and credentialing. NCCAOM certification, or a passing score on the NCCAOM certification examinations, documents competency for licensure as an acupuncturist by 46 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 98 percent of the states that regulate acupuncture. Graduates of the MSTCM degree program offered by UEWM are eligible to sit for the NCCAOM national board exams.