ROCK SPRINGS – The Nursing Program at Western Wyoming Community College will host a public forum on Wednesday, Feb. 4, as part of an accreditation site review by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Citizens of Southwest Wyoming are invited to meet the program evaluators and share comments about the program at the forum, which will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 1309 on the Rock Springs campus.
Western’s Nursing Program is listed as a Candidate for Accreditation with ACEN, and is on track to regain its accredited status as early as this year. The ACEN site visit is the next step in the accreditation process.
ACEN will also accept written comments about the Nursing Program. Comments may be mailed to: Dr. Marsha Stoll, Chief Executive Officer, Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. Or, they may be emailed to Dr. Stoll at firstname.lastname@example.org All written comments should be received by ACEN no later than Jan. 28, 2015.
Western was notified in August of its candidate status with ACEN. The department has until August 2015 to complete the accreditation process, but Director of Nursing Kathy Luzmoor has said she expects the program to complete its required steps well in advance of that deadline.
“We look forward to hosting the ACEN program evaluators on our campus,” Luzmoor said. “We certainly encourage our graduates and other community stakeholders to attend this very important public forum and let the Commission representatives hear from them. This is an important part of our reaccreditation process, and we encourage anyone with an interest in nursing education at Western to participate.”
The ACEN team will meet with college administrators, student services personnel, general education and nursing faculty, nursing students, and the program’s clinical partners during their visit, Luzmoor said.
“Their role is to verify, clarify and amplify the information provided to them in our self-study,” she explained.
Final determination of accreditation is up to the ACEN Governing Board and will be made in July 2015.
WWCC’s Nursing Program had been continuously accredited by ACEN from 1999-2012. Changes in the interpretation of accreditation standards related to the faculty members without master’s degrees resulted in the loss of that accreditation in 2012. Those concerns have now been resolved, with all nursing faculty having master’s preparation, clearing the way for the program’s reapplication for accreditation.
ACEN accreditation is program-specific and is not related to Western’s institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Western is one of approximately 200 institutions that participates in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) process with the Higher Learning Center, and its accreditation through the Commission was unaffected by the nursing program’s accreditation issues with ACEN.