The precursor of today’s Universidad Central del Caribe (UCC) was the Cayey School of Medicine, which opened its doors in 1976. By 1978, the Radiologic Technology Program was developed, and the institution’s name was changed to the Universidad Central del Caribe. UCC was the first private medical school incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. During its history, UCC has evolved into a health-sciences university with fully accredited academic programs in Medicine, Medical Images Technology, Biomedical Sciences and Substance Abuse Counseling. Its faculty has carried out an extensive agenda of biomedical, clinical, and psychosocial research and provides specialized health care services.
What distinguishes UCC from other institutions in Puerto Rico is its continuing commitment to preparing high-quality health professionals who can offer preventive care, promote healthy lifestyles, and provide excellent services while maintaining a sense of humanism, compassion and the highest ethical values. Particular characteristics of the Institution are its intensive and extensive programs of practical experiences in clinical settings in the community and a long-standing record of public/private partnerships and service-linked education and its innovative incursion to a research agenda in topics related to health.
In 1984, the university began its relationship with the Health Department of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Since September 1990, all university facilities have been integrated into one campus at the grounds of the University Hospital Dr. Ramón Ruiz Arnau in the city of Bayamón. In addition, the UCC counts with an extensive network of clinical sites that comprise the Northwestern Academic Health Center. This comprehensive network of clinical affiliates provides the state of the art settings for the students to develop excellence in clinical skills and competence in the delivery of health care services as professional members of interdisciplinary teams.
In 1989, the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences was established within the School of Medicine providing Master of Science and Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences with several areas of specialization. In 2009 UCC received authorization from the Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education (PRCHE) and from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to confer a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology. During June 2010, UCC submitted an application to amend its license to the PRCHE requesting authorization to award a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. The UCC received the corresponding authorizations and became a pioneer higher education institution in Puerto Rico to offer a philosophy doctor degree in neuroscience.
In 1995, the Substance Abuse Counseling Program was initiated offering a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling and the Master of Health Sciences in Substance Abuse Counseling. During academic year 2002 the Medical Imaging Technology Program has experienced and exponential growth and currently confers an Associate Degree in Radiologic Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Medical Images; and Post-Associate degree Certificates in: Mammography, Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound, Computerized Tomography, and Magnetic Resonance
The UCC was first submitted to the accreditation of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in 2003. In 2009, the institutional accreditation from MSCHE was reaffirmed and currently holds a full accreditation that will be subject to self-study in 2018-2019. The program leading to the M.D. degree holds full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
The UCC seeks to enrich the educational environment by providing students with an opportunity to interact with other future health professionals and allowing them to engage in biomedical and psychosocial research.