The Associate of Science in Nursing program at Chattahoochee Technical College recently received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) – a recognition officials said validates the quality and caliber of the nursing program.
According to ACEN, accreditation is a voluntary, peer-review, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality.
“To the nursing profession, accreditation means that our program is providing evidenced-based teaching, curriculum developed using current professional standards, and that our students are prepared to successfully enter practice as a new graduate nurse,” said Program Director and Associate Dean Quetina Pittman Howell.
Recognizing the nursing faculty for their hard work and dedication, Health Sciences Dean Ron Webb said Chattahoochee Technical College has an excellent, student-focused nursing program, and accreditation from ACEN validates the quality of education the college provides.
Achieving accreditation took about three years, with the program first going through a yearlong candidacy process. According to ACEN, candidate status is granted after a professional review of a nursing program’s potential to achieve accreditation. Following this step, ACEN was provided copies of the program’s course catalog, curriculum, student handbook, as well as a 280-page Systematic Plan of Evaluation report. In addition, ACEN reviewed advisory board minutes, evidence of orientating students and financial aid documents.
Initial accreditation is granted to the college for five years.
“Now that we are accredited, I expect for partnerships to grow such as articulation agreements between CTC and RN-BSN programs and hopefully additional clinical space,” Howell said. “I also definitely expect an increase in the amount of applicants that apply to the program. Students can also now apply to jobs that require them to have graduated from an accredited program. Previous doors that may have caused some additional hurdles for students will now be open.”
The fall semester begins on Aug. 22, and the Associate of Science in Nursing program, which is based out of the Paulding Campus, is expecting about 50 students from across metro-Atlanta.