December 19, 2006 — Washington, DC — The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, a panel of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), has voted to recommend that the Secretary of Education continue recognition of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for a term of five years as a national agency for the accreditation of nursing programs at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels. At its meeting in Washington, DC on December 4, the Advisory Committee concluded that CCNE is in full compliance with the Secretary's Criteria for Recognition of Accrediting Agencies. CCNE was reviewed for continued recognition with no compliance concerns or other issues cited. The Advisory Committee's vote was unanimous. In addition, the committee recommended that the Secretary of Education expand CCNE's scope of accreditation to include distance education.

“Granting such an expansion of scope is significant because it will make CCNE the only national accrediting agency that is recognized for nursing education programs offering distance education,” said CCNE Director Dr. Jennifer Butlin. “The positive review by the Department is indicative of the CCNE Board of Commissioners' effective leadership and the community of interest's continuing commitment to CCNE”

In 2000, the Secretary of Education awarded CCNE initial recognition as a national accrediting agency for two years, the maximum term for a new accrediting agency. In 2002, the Secretary awarded CCNE continuing recognition for a term of five years, again the maximum term. At that time, CCNE's recognition was also granted with no compliance concerns or other issues cited.

In addition to the Department's recognition process, CCNE is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Founded in 1996, CHEA offers formal, non-governmental recognition of higher education accrediting bodies. In 2002, the CHEA Board of Directors recognized CCNE for the maximum period of 10 years. No compliance concerns or other issues were cited.

An autonomous arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) -- the national voice for university and four-year-college education programs in nursing -- CCNE was established in 1996 as an agency devoted exclusively to the accreditation of baccalaureate and graduate degree nursing education programs. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this fall, CCNE is now in its ninth year of accreditation review activities. More than 76 percent of existing baccalaureate and master's degree nursing programs in the United States have affiliated with CCNE. To date, CCNE has accredited 771 nursing programs located at 382 accredited colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is an autonomous accrediting agency contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education programs. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing education programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education. Web site: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Accreditation.

Source: AACN

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