National Accreditation FAQs

Question: Are the nursing programs at South Central College (SCC) programs approved?
Answer: Yes!  Both the Practical Nursing and Associate in Science Nursing programs at SCC are approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system and through the Minnesota Board of Nursing (MBON). The state boards sets and regulates standards as well as provides approval of nursing schools curriculum designed to train nursing students.  The goal of both boards is for nursing students to be eligible to sit for the National Council of Licensure Examination (NCLEX) examination upon completion of their nursing education.  As one of the two year colleges in MnSCU, South Central College has been accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and School since 2010.   

Question: Are SCC’s nursing programs currently nationally nursing accredited?
Answer: No, the nursing programs are not yet accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or by the NLN Commission for Nursing Accreditation (CNEA). 

Question: What is the current status of SCC's nursing accreditation process?
The nursing programs at SCC are working on pursuing accreditation by ACEN.  Preparation of the Systematic Evaluation Plan, the comprehensive tool for program evaluation and assessment is almost complete for both programs. The SEP Standards evaluate the program administration, faculty, students, curriculum, resources, and outcomes.   

Since the first time pass rates of the Associate in Science nursing (ASN) program is above 80%, a requirement of ACEN, the plan is to prepare the candidacy application for submission in July or November of 2016. Since SCC is seeking initial nursing accreditation, candidacy application is the first step.  The goal is to request a site visit from the ACEN in the spring of 2017 or fall of 2017.   The Practical Nursing program pass rates have not reached the goal needed for candidacy application. 

Question: Did SCC Nursing programs lose their national nursing accreditation?
Answer:  No!  South Central College is seeking their initial national nursing accreditation. 

Question:  What effect do NCLEX pass rates have on the national nursing accreditation process?
Answer:  Eighty percent for first time pass rates of nursing student graduates is presently one of the criteria in Standard 6 of the ACEN accreditation.  This makes it a priority in step two of the accreditation process.  Seventy five percent It is also a the requirement for the MBON.  South Central College engaged in a Corrective Action Plan with MBON for the pass rates being less than 75% in 2014 and 2015.  The  ASN is above the MBON pass rate level.  The PN program is under Corrective Action with MBON for 2016.  With the recent improvements in curriculum and the newly approved curricular changes, anticipation of pass rates being greater than 75%, is high

Question: If SCC nursing programs are not yet nationally nursing accredited, can nursing students still sit for their NCLEX board exams to become either an LPN or RN?
Answer: Absolutely YES! Our nursing graduates are well prepared upon completion of their nursing program at SCC to take their NCLEX board exams. Upon successful passing of boards, our SCC nursing graduates are going on to find jobs either as an LPN or an RN, depending on the type of program from which they graduated.

Question: Without having national nursing accreditation yet, can SCC graduates transfer to a four-year university for their baccalaureate of science or arts (BSN or BAN) completion?
Answer: Yes! A growing number of our RN graduates have successfully transferred to four-year universities to complete their BSN or BAN program. SCC has articulation agreements with several MnSCU colleges to allow for seamless transition from our two year college to a four year program. SCC graduates may also transfer to private universities in pursuit of their BSN degree. Interested students should contact the college they wish to transfer into for specific BSN program requirements.  At the completion of their BSN or BAN, nursing students will have graduated from an accredited nursing program. 

Question: If a student graduates from a nursing program not yet nationally nursing accredited, can those graduates still get jobs as an LPN or RN? 
Answer: Yes!  South Central College has a high placement rate of their nursing graduates in the surrounding and metro area workforces. Many clinical sites have seen our nursing students in action, know our program, and look forward to being able to offer nursing positions for our graduates. There are some employers who prefer nurses who have graduated from a nationally accredited nursing program and some employers who require it. Locally, there are many employers hiring our graduates even though SCC has yet to receive national accreditation.

Question: Are nursing programs required to have national nursing accreditation?
Answer: Yes.  The MBON is requiring all nursing schools to become nationally nursing accredited by 2018.  SCC expects to meet Minnesota’s 2018 deadline. 

Questions: What benefit to the student is there to attend a nationally accredited nursing education program?
Answer:  National accreditation assists in eligibility for student aid and employment feasibility.  

Question: What are helpful websites to learn more about national accreditation?
Answer:  Click on either link for more information - Commission of Nursing Educational Accreditation (CNEA) and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).