ACEN Accreditation Manual – Section II Policies

POLICY #16
Closings


CLOSING AN INSTITUTION, A NURSING PROGRAM, OR AN OFF-CAMPUS INSTRUCTIONAL SITE OR BRANCH CAMPUS WHERE A NURSING PROGRAM IS OFFERED

When a governing organization makes the decision to close the institution, a nursing program, or an off-campus instructional site or branch campus where 100% of a nursing program is offered, the governing organization/nursing program must make a good faith effort to assist affected students so they experience minimal disruption in the pursuit of their nursing program of study. In all cases, nursing students should be notified of the decision as soon as possible so they can make appropriate plans. Nursing students who have not completed their nursing program of study should be advised by faculty or professional counselors regarding suitable options, including transfer to comparable programs.

When a governing organization makes the decision to close the institution, a nursing program, or an off-campus instructional site or branch campus where 100% of a nursing program is offered, a Closing Report that fully describes the plan for closing the nursing program must be submitted to the ACEN. The Closing Report must include a teach-out agreement and/or teach-out plan.

The governing organization closing the institution, nursing program, or off-campus instructional site or branch campus where 100% of a nursing program is offered may fulfill its educational commitment to currently enrolled nursing students through either:

  1. A teach-out agreement with one or more governing organization(s); or
  2. A teach-out plan whereby the governing organization educates its currently enrolled students until all nursing students graduate from the nursing program, off-campus instructional site, or branch campus that is closing.

 

Arrangements for the teach-out agreement or teach-out plan must be consistent with the requirements of ACEN Policy #14 Reporting Substantive Changes and ACEN Policy #36 Teach-out Plan and Teach-out Agreement(s).

 

Based on the information provided in the Closing Report as well as a Teach-out Plan and/or all Teach-out Agreements, the accreditation status of the nursing program, and the date of the next scheduled accreditation visit, one of the following actions will be taken:

  1. When the current status of the nursing program is continuing accreditation and there is no stipulation (i.e., conditions, warning, good cause), the ACEN Chief Executive Officer may:
    1. Cancel the next visit and extend continuing accreditation if the nursing program is scheduled to close within 18 months after the last day of the spring or fall review cycle that the Board of Commissioners would make the next decision. The last date of the spring review cycle is June 30th and the last date of the fall review cycle is December 31st.
    2. Reaffirm the originally scheduled visit.
    3. Refer the nursing program to the ACEN Board of Commissioners for a determination of the action(s) that should be taken.
  2. When the current status of the nursing program is continuing accreditation with conditions, the ACEN Chief Executive Officer may:
    1. Extend the conditions status and waive the requirement to submit a follow-up report if the nursing program is scheduled to close within 12 months after the last day of the spring or fall review cycle that the Board of Commissioners would make the next decision. The last date of the spring review cycle is June 30th and the last date of the fall review cycle is December 31st.
    2. Reaffirm the originally scheduled submission of the follow-up report.
    3. Determine the date of a next follow-up report if the nursing program is scheduled to close beyond 12 months after the next scheduled review by the Board of Commissioners.
    4. Refer the nursing program to the ACEN Board of Commissioners for a determination of the action(s) that should be taken.
  3. When the current status of the nursing program is continuing accreditation with warning, the ACEN Chief Executive Officer may:
    1. Extend the warning status if the nursing program is scheduled to close within six months after the last day of the spring or all review cycle that the Board of Commissioners would make the next decision. The last date of the spring review cycle is June 30th and the last date of the fall review cycle is December 31st.
    2. Reaffirm the originally scheduled follow-up visit.
    3. Determine the date of a next follow-up visit if the nursing program is scheduled to close beyond six months after the next scheduled review by the Board of Commissioners.
    4. Refer the nursing program to the ACEN Board of Commissioners for a determination of the action(s) that should be taken.
  4. When the current status of the nursing program is continuing accreditation for good cause, the ACEN Chief Executive Officer will refer the nursing program to the ACEN Board of Commissioners for a determination of the action(s) that should be taken.
  5. If a nursing program planning to close fails to submit a Closing Report to the ACEN or comply with any request(s), such action will constitute a declaration to the ACEN that the program is voluntarily withdrawing the nursing program from ACEN accreditation.
  6. If a nursing program previously scheduled to close extends its operation beyond the original closing date, a site visit will be scheduled at the earliest possible date. The procedure to be followed will depend on the nursing program’s status at the time the announcements about the closing and the change of plans were made.
  7. If a nursing program closes in the interim between ACEN Board of Commissioners meetings and without prior notice to the ACEN, the closing automatically terminates ACEN accreditation.
  8. If a governing organization/nursing program closes without a teach-out agreement or teach-out plan, the ACEN will work with the U.S. Department of Education and the appropriate state agency, to the extent feasible, to assist students in finding reasonable opportunities to complete their education without additional charges.

 

SUBMITTING THE CLOSING REPORT

  1. Templates for Closing Reports and guidelines for submission are available on the ACEN website: https://www.acenursing.org/resources-reporting-substantive-change/
  2. The appendix has no page limit.
  3. Confidential records (e.g., faculty transcripts, student records) should not be included.

 

REQUIRED INFORMATION IN THE CLOSING REPORT

  1. Type of Closing by Type
    1. Closing a governing organization and/or closing a nursing program
    2. Closing an off-campus instructional site or branch campus

Refer to ACEN Policy #14 Reporting Substantive Changes and the Closing Report Templates: https://www.acenursing.org/resources-reporting-substantive-change/templates/

 

Policy #16 History
Revised July 2015
Edited January 2018
Edited May 2018
Edited November 2018
Revised March 2019
Revised July 2020

Return to Policies List