Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured, from left, are CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner alone with CCC Dean of Health Sciences Beverly Overton and Director of ADN Lorean Willingham.
CLARKSDALE – After several years of hard work and anticipation, Coahoma Community College is proud to announce that its Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program has now been extended national accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Mississippi Institute for Higher Learning (IHL).
Since 2005, the program has been operating under a “provisional” accreditation that allowed the program to admit, graduate and nationally certify students to gain enough data to undergo the national accreditation process. CCC’s ADN program became officially accredited by the ACEN in April. That decision was upheld Thursday with the IHL board formally affirming the program during its meeting in Jackson.
“We’re tremendously excited and somewhat relieved because a considerable number of resources have been given to this program—a lot of time, effort and money—over the years, so to reach this milestone is gratifying for not only our staff and students but our stakeholders as well,” said CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner.
The news makes CCC the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the Mississippi Delta to offer a nationally accredited ADN program.
“We’re happy to reach this unprecedented milestone and accreditation because it creates another option and opportunity for students interested in getting in a health-related field,” said Towner. “We are on an ‘even keel’ so to speak now that we’ve received this affirmation from the IHL.”
CCC Dean of Health Sciences Beverly Overton credits the hard work of her staff for making the process a success.
“It is a very exciting time for us in Health Sciences,” Overton said. “We have been waiting a long time for our Associate Degree Nursing program here at Coahoma Community College to be nationally accredited by ACEN and the IHL.”
Achieving the accreditation status was not easy feat. According to Overton, a number of factors were considered— the program’s faculty and staff, their students, curriculum, resources and outcomes. Other considerations included whether or not learning outcomes had been met by students, graduates’ performance on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), whether or not students were completing the program, student satisfaction and job placement after graduation.
“Once you compose your self-study and the initial accreditation begins, they can find no deficiencies,” Overton explained. “If you have deficiencies and you do not meet your standards, you fail the accreditation. … We met all standards and passed with flying colors—I am delighted!”
CCC’s Director of ADN program Lorean Willingham said the program has no plans to rest on it’s laurels now and will continue to strive for excellence as it works towards the goal of producing highly-trained, professional nurses for the local community.
“This Mississippi Delta is one of the places where nurses have always been in high demand—especially RNs,” said Willingham. “We have a history of educating and training them but then they tend to rotate out. The purpose of this program is to educate individuals interested to become nurses and work in the Mississippi Delta. That was the goal and our outcome so far has been very successful. We plan to continue to grow to be better and better.”
Towner believes the successful accreditation is a testament to the quality educational opportunities CCC provides individuals in its five-county districts and beyond.
“We believe that we have to be able to take care of ourselves, so this program is certainly available to our constituents in our five-county district. We’re happy that they don’t have to go outside of the district and have access to a reputable program right here in Coahoma County,” said Towner. “We think that now we are showing the world that we have an high-end, quality program that’ s really efficient right here in Clarksdale.”
Based on the ACEN’s findings, CCC’s next ADN evaluation will be held in 2019.