The Nursing Program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College received national accreditation after completing a comprehensive program review process and site visit.
The Accreditation Commission on Education in Nursing (ACEN) granted initial accreditation of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s Associate Degree in Nursing at its March 2020 board meeting. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College received official notification in April 2020.
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing evaluates nursing schools and programs in the United States. Accreditation is the process that evaluates nursing programs to determine if a program is meeting specific state and national standards. ACEN accreditation is voluntary and ensures that the nursing program meets standards of educational quality specific to nursing education.
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College hosted a three-day site visit by a three-member team in October 2019 in accordance with the ACEN accreditation process. The team evaluated the program on the components that comprise ACEN’s standards for accreditation, held meetings with students and community members, and observed learning experiences in classrooms and at clinical sites. The team’s site-visit report then passed additional review by ACEN staff. The ACEN Board of Commissioners passed the final approval action.
The ACEN accreditation process covers six standards composed of fifty-two criteria that cover institutional capacity, the quality of the program’s faculty and staff, the quality of the program’s curriculum, the program’s resources, outcomes, and the integrity of processes related to students.
The Nursing Program met forty-eight criteria free of concern and have few data-related processes to improve, outstanding results for a program undergoing accreditation for the first time. The evaluators cited the quality of program faculty and curriculum, as well as the community support evident during the site visit. The nursing program maintains a focus on rural and tribal healthcare and students benefit from the mutual emphasis shared with local healthcare providers.
Participating in the ACEN accreditation process gives a program the opportunity to validate that it is committed to providing a quality nursing program and through the review of the program by peers, the extent to which the program meets expected standards of educational quality specific to nursing education. ACEN accreditation requires that a nursing program continually assesses and make improvements in the educational quality of the nursing program based on data. This assessment evaluates specific standards and criteria, which include mission, faculty, students, curriculum, resources, and outcomes.
In addition to achieving ACEN accreditation for the college’s nursing program, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) was reaffirmed in January 2020. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has been regionally accredited by the HLC since 1998. In addition to regional accreditation, all programming related to American Indians is accredited by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). Its Law Enforcement program is approved by the Minnesota POST Board. Its Nursing program is also approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

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