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|Date: December 11, 2000
Who/What: Accreditation Reviews on track for Three LC Programs
Where: Lewis-Clark State College
Contacts: Dr. Jann Hill, Chair, Education Division; 792-2260; Mr. Bill Clouser, Director, Social Work Program; 792-2811; Dr. Donna Brandmeyer, Chair, Division of Nursing; 792-2250
LCSC Programs are Golden on National Accreditation Reviews
Three Lewis-Clark State College programs received high marks from their national accrediting organizations. LCSCs programs in education and social work have been fully accredited and the nursing division has passed the first phase of its review process with no problems noted.
The Division of Education received full accreditation this month from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Less than half the education schools in the country are officially accredited by NCATE, which is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education as the professional accrediting body for schools and colleges of teacher education.
In this years accreditation review, LCSCs teacher education program passed all tests with flying colors. All 19 NCATE standards were met, with no weaknesses identified, for a 100% score. "Its unusual for programs to be accredited with no weaknesses at all," according to Dr. Jannette Hill, education division chairperson. Dr. Hill credits the strength of the program to the colleges qualified, dedicated faculty and tremendous involvement by LCSC area educators. "Because we work so closely and so well with those people, our program is constantly being refined and improved to meet changing needs in the schools." Dr. Hill praised LCSC education faculty, saying, "They worked hard to address needs and were anxious to show off the program to the NCATE board of examiners." The next NCATE accreditation visit will take place in 2005.
The colleges baccalaureate program in social work was accredited by Council of Social Work Education in February. The organization is the only national certifying body for social work programs. Social work is a program within LCSCs Social Science Division and is offered at both the Coeur dAlene center and the main campus at Lewiston. In their overall comments, reviewers stated, "This is a program that exhibits significant strengths." Among those recognized were faculty and student involvement in the program and the community at large, the programs advisory board, instructional and technical resources, administrative support, and college-wide efforts to promote diversity.
Bill Clouser, director of the program, noted that LCSC offers the only accredited social work program in northern Idaho. During the review process, "We had to provide hard evidence of how all the standards were metnot just how we intended them on paper." Clouser feels the L-C program is good preparation for both employment and graduate work. "Our graduates are going to work. Were getting good responses from employers about them being prepared and ready to practice." Clouser hopes to build strength in the research area, to supplement the programs current emphasis in practice skills. The school hopes to develop a masters level program in the future.
LCSCs school of nursing also got high marks in the first phase of its accreditation process, which marks nearly a year of self study and preparation by faculty. The initial review considered such things as the programs mission and philosophy, resources, level of institutional commitment, curriculum and teaching practices, as well as student performance and faculty accomplishments.
According to division chair Donna Brandmeyer, reviewers commented that the school offered a "great environment," with qualified faculty who were "creative and responsive to current health care trends and well represented in collegiate governance and in their relationship to the local community." Others included praise for the distance learning technology available to students and the programs accelerated track. Brandmeyer also cited their praise for curriculum emphasizing health care based on sensitivity to patients needs and "satisfied graduates truly prepared to go to work in todays health care environment."
The nursing division at Lewis-Clark State College has been accredited since the 1980s. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which accredits baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, is the reviewing organization. The final decision on accreditation is expected from the CCNA Board of Commissioners in April of 2001.
In all three site visits, faculty salaries were noted as an area needing attention, to foster continuity and stability in the programs.
LCSC administrators praised faculty and staff efforts in bringing about the positive reviews. Acting President, Dr. Niel Zimmerman said "This is an exciting time for us. We are defining and re-defining ourselves; looking to provide a top quality product to students and recognizing the vital efforts of faculty and staff behind the programs we offer. National, professional accreditations help us do both." Dr. Dan Regan, Vice President for Instruction added, "Accreditation is a measure of accountability. Its an indicator that L-C is providing a top quality product to studentsa wise investment for them and for Idaho taxpayers. Were providing quality education to Idaho residents, which translates into solid additions to communities here and elsewhere."
State College, 500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, ID 83501 (208) 792-5272