Education · Fresno

Commission lays out deficiencies at Fresno State’s nursing master’s program

Earlier this week, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) released a summary of its findings that led to revoking the accreditation of Fresno State’s nursing master’s program.

The Commission announced in mid-June it was revoking the accreditation for Fresno State’s nursing master’s program. The program currently has 23 students enrolled.

The summary lays out twelve findings ranging from staffing needs to program outcomes and effectiveness for students to accuracy of documents and publications used by instructors.

The Commission found that:

  1. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that the mission, goals, and expected student outcomes are reviewed periodically and revised, as appropriate, to reflect: professional nursing standards and guidelines; and the needs and expectations of the community of interest
  2. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that documents and publications are accurate
  3. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that faculty are sufficient in number to accomplish the mission, goals, and expected program outcomes
  4. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that the curriculum is developed, implemented, and revised to reflect clear statements of expected student outcomes that are congruent with the program’s mission and goals, and with the roles for which the program is preparing its graduates
  5. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that the curriculum includes planned clinical practice experiences that enable students to integrate new knowledge and demonstrate attainment of program outcomes; and are evaluated by faculty
  6. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that individual student performance is evaluated by the faculty and reflects achievement of expected student outcomes, and that evaluation policies and procedures for individual student performance are defined and consistently applied
  7. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that curriculum and teaching-learning practices are evaluated at regularly scheduled intervals to foster ongoing improvement
  8. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that a systematic process is used to determine program effectiveness
  9. Fresno State failed to provide evidence that program outcomes demonstrate program effectiveness
  10. Fresno State failed to provide evidence that faculty outcomes, individually and in the aggregate, demonstrate program effectiveness
  11. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that the program defines and reviews formal complaints according to established policies
  12. Fresno State failed to demonstrate that data analysis is used to foster ongoing program improvement

In its summary the Commission stated that, one day prior to Fresno State announcing its accreditation issues, it tendered the university a letter providing an opportunity to comment on the findings.

Fresno State declined that opportunity, the Commission said.

Speaking to McClatchy, Fresno State Health and Human Services Dean, Dr. Jody Hironaka-Juteau, said that the move was completely unexpected.

“The verbal summary did not lead us to believe the program’s accreditation was in jeopardy,” Hironaka-Juteau said.

Fresno State did respond to the initial report from CCNE on its program.

“In our response, we felt we had adequately addressed concerns they had raised,” the dean told McClatchy. “…We were genuinely surprised regarding their decision to withdraw accreditation.”

Fresno State declined to appeal the Commission’s accreditation revocation and is instead seeking to restore its status by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

The nursing master’s program was not the only program inside the Health and Human Services department struck with accreditation issues.

In March, Fresno State discovered it was offering a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certificate for years without proper accreditation from CCNE.

Currently, the university is being sued by Andrea Herington, a former student in the program, claiming breach of contract over the discovery.

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.