Education · Fresno

Fresno State irons out its nursing program accreditation issues

Following a year of tumult in Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services, the university’s School of Nursing resolved considerable accreditation problems regarding two of its programs.

Tuesday, the university announced that the nursing master’s degree program regained accreditation after losing its status in June due to deficiencies in documentation requirements from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

At the time, CCNE determined that the master’s degree program failed to adequately document or provide adequate supporting data of its methods for assessing and evaluating student outcomes, curriculum, clinical experiences, faculty performance and overall program goals. In some instances, the accrediting body noted the University had plans or policies in place to address such issues, but failed to adequately document that it had implemented its policies or plans.

Students were given the option to continue in the program while Fresno State awaited the accreditation decision, take a leave of absence, or withdraw from their programs.

All 23 students remained in the master’s program, with 22 completing required coursework to earn their degrees in May.

The university has 16 additional students enrolling in the 2020-2021 school year.

In the midst of its accreditation struggles with its masters program, the university discovered that its online, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate program was operating for years without accreditation.

The lack of accreditation is the basis of at least one lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court, which is currently pending.

The consternation also led to the reassignment of the then-Dean of Health and Human Services, Dr. Jody Hironaka-Juteau.

The Commission conducted a full review of Fresno State’s nursing programs last September.

Ultimately, the master’s program received fresh accreditation, running through June 2025, while the online certificate program received its initial accreditation from CCNE to run through June 2030.

“I am thrilled at the news, as now more than ever it is strikingly clear how vital our nursing students are to the future well-being of our community,” said Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, the university’s provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.