Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine received preliminary accreditation today, completing a major milestone that will keep the university on track to enroll its inaugural class of students in August 2017.

The announcement was made by founding dean, John Tomkowiak during a news conference earlier today, in which the dean noted the impact this step will have in educating future physicians for underserved regions across Washington. The dean also thanked legislative members, community leaders across the state, and the late WSU President Elson S. Floyd for all of their work in getting the college to reach this point.

The accreditation comes 19 months after lawmakers passed legislation in April 2015 allowing the university to pursue medicine as an academic discipline. The university continues to move on schedule through the accreditation process. The next step will be membership approval from the American Association of Medical Colleges.

You can watch Dean Tomkowiak’s announcement below: