The Council on Podiatric Medical Education has granted the College of Podiatric Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences initial full accreditation through October 2016, the university announced recently.

The college's founding dean, Lawrence Harkless, learned on Nov. 2 the institution had earned accreditation, according to a statement from the university.

The Council on Podiatric Medical Education is an autonomous accrediting agency for podiatric medical education, the statement said.

The council is empowered to develop and adopt standards and policies as necessary for the implementation of all aspects of its accreditation, approval, and recognition purview, the statement said.

The accreditation committee conducted a site visit to Pomona in August.

The College of Podiatric Medicine will celebrate its first commencement ceremony for its inaugural class in May.

Harkless said the students were risk takers who wanted to be part of something new, creative, innovative and different.

"They had a different attitude and spirit about them. They are not people that can't deal with uncertainty," he said in the statement. "They had to have faith and hope, as I did, that what we wanted to do made sense, that we had a good plan and the appropriate people that were committed to that plan and willing to work hard and be patient, and allowed to grow and develop."