On August 8 to 11, ACAOM had their summer meeting; on their long to-do list was POCA Tech’s application for initial accreditation. We don’t know their decision yet — we expect to hear within a couple of weeks — but one thing we do know right now is how much it cost POCA Tech to get to this point of even being considered for accreditation.
Of that total, $54,250 was directly related to ACAOM: yearly dues, fees for submitting our self-study and eligibility report, expenses from the site visits we hosted, that kind of thing.
$9,495 was related to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission of Oregon, which provides us our state license to operate as a school, which is required by ACAOM.
Another $500 was related to getting a similar license in Utah, also required by ACAOM if we want to have an Away Clinic there.
On August 6th, POCA Tech received a $7000 grant from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. FSPA has supported POCA Tech throughout the accreditation process. How significant has the Sisters’ support been? From 2014 through 2018, FSPA has donated $33,000 to POCA Tech to help with accreditation costs — over half of what we needed to get here.
As I’ve written before, though, the moral support from FSPA has been even more significant. When we were first sketching the plans for POCA Tech, more than one person warned me that ACAOM would be very skeptical if our budget depended, to any degree, on fundraising, because it had long ago been proven that acupuncture schools couldn’t fundraise. During our last site visit, though, nobody questioned our fundraising at all. Nobody questioned our tuition, either.
And of course it wasn’t just our finances that were the issue; the question was, would POCA be able to build a school that could actually serve the needs of its members? The answer, thank God, is yes; and thanks, again, many times over, to FSPA for supporting us in this counter-cultural undertaking. The POCA Tech graduates who are now working in POCA clinics, providing treatments to people who need relief from pain and stress, are a testament to FSPA’s encouragement.
The world needs Franciscan values — care for the Earth and its creatures, dignity of all human persons, respect for people who are poor and vulnerable — now more than ever. POCA Tech is very grateful to be the beneficiary of Franciscan Sisters living their values, and to be able to use these resources which have been so generously given, to build the future of community acupuncture.