Meridian Community College’s Associate Degree Nursing Program was granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
This accreditation was approved by its board of commissioners based on findings by the ACEN site visit team which visited campus during the spring semester. “We’re very happy about it. So much work goes into the process on a continuing basis, and the preparation of the report which begins about a year before they come,” said Dr. Lara Collum, MCC dean of nursing, when she learned of the board’s nod. “They sent us this letter telling us of their deliberations and congratulating us on this outstanding achievement,” she said.
The length of the continuing accreditation, “the maximum we could get,” Collum said, is through Spring 2026.
ACEN accreditation is the result of an intense process that includes a self-study document, site visit and review by a panel of experts from the accrediting agency.
“This is fantastic news and validates what we know to be true: Our ADN program is truly outstanding,” said MCC President Dr. Thomas Hubner Jr. He congratulated faculty and staff members for their work to meet the challenges associated with the rigorous ACEN accreditation process.
“More importantly, though, thousands of patients served by our graduates will be thankful our students—their nurses—were part of a program committed to such excellence,” he said.
Collum also noted the accreditation signals quality improvement and having a high-quality program. She added, “of course, there are things we can do better. We’re always looking for ways to improve processes or outcomes. And you just hope an outside group can see that the same way.”
The accreditation also validated the actions of MCC’s ADN program. “We’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing … meeting all the standards and criteria and functioning within the college’s mission, our own program mission and philosophy, and in the framework of current and future nursing practice,” Collum said.
She acknowledges Associate Degree Nursing Program colleagues’ efforts. “It is really important faculty understand the accreditation process because it does takes everybody being on the same page and working on the same common goals. Then it’s very evident to a group that comes to visit…is it done by everybody.” Collum also credits her predecessor, Dr. Betty Davis, former dean of nursing, for her work with the accreditation process which included site visits to other institutions and sitting on evaluation reviews panels. “I think it gave her a clear understanding of the standards and what we needed to be doing. No doubt that it is beneficial to any nursing program to have people who have served as site visitors.”
So what’s next? “No, we’re not resting,” said Collum as she was working on a 2018-19 systemic plan of evaluation that would be presented to the College’s 40 Associate Degree Nursing Program faculty members. She added, “The plan will go to the committees and then committees will make any needed changes or additions. We’ll vote on it at the end of the month at the division meeting and that’s the plan we’ll work on throughout the 18-19 school year.”