ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens of medical students who took a chance by enrolling at University of Central Florida saw their gamble pay off, as the medical school received full accreditation on Monday.
UCF's College of Medicine is now fully accredited, clearing the way to graduate the school's charter class of 41 students in May.
"Initially, many people questioned whether the plans for our College of Medicine would ever materialize," said UCF President Dr. John Hitt. "Today, our fully accredited medical college is part of a bustling medical city considered by many to be the biggest economic game changer for central Florida since Walt Disney World."
At Lake Nona, the med school's 170,000-square-foot building offers gleaming labs and the latest teaching technology.
"We're looking for students who want to roll up their sleeves and work shoulder to shoulder with their faculty, with their dean and make this the best it can be," said Dr. Deborah German of the College of Medicine.
For the first group of students, signing on at UCF was a bit of a leap of faith, but a few years ago they told Channel 9 they had no doubt the school, being built from the ground up, would one day be considered among the best in the world.
While UCF's first medical students didn't know four years ago if the school would earn accreditation, they did know one thing: They wouldn't end up in debt.
The class was the first in U.S. medical school history in which every student received a full scholarship.