ACEN Accreditation Manual – Policy 30

ACEN Accreditation Manual – Section II Policies

POLICY #30
Agreement for Education-Related Component from an External Source


As governing organizations/nursing programs seek ways to provide a quality education to nursing students, the governing organization/nursing program may find that it is practical or efficient to engage an external source to develop and/or deliver a component(s) of a nursing program. The component(s) of the nursing program developed and/or delivered from an external source include(s) traditional instructional delivery methods, hybrid instructional delivery methods, and distance education instructional delivery methods.

 

An education-related component from an external source includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Engaging another college/university to teach that institution’s nursing and/or non-nursing component to the governing organization’s students enrolled in its nursing program.

Examples include (a) “College Z” contracting with “College X” for “College X” to teach “College X’s” general education courses to students enrolled in “College Z’s” nursing program or (b) “College Z” contracting with a “College Y” for “College Y” to teach “College Y’s” laboratory component to students enrolled in “College Z’s” nursing program.

  1. Participating in a consortium to teach any nursing and/or non-nursing component that is required for the governing organization’s nursing program.

Examples include multiple nursing programs sharing courses and/or faculty to teach nursing and/or non-nursing courses to students enrolled in their nursing programs.

  1. Engaging another college/university to provide any nursing and/or non-nursing faculty to teach any nursing and/or non-nursing component for the governing organization’s nursing program.

Examples include (a) “College Z” contracting with “College X” for “College X’s” faculty to teach “College Z’s” general education courses to students enrolled in “College Z’s” nursing program or (b) “College Z” contracting with “College Y” for “College Y’s” faculty to teach “College Z’s” laboratory component to students enrolled in “College Z’s” nursing program.

A governing organization/nursing program accredited by the ACEN is responsible for all activities carried out under its name. All Standards and Criteria, policies, and procedures apply to any agreement with an external source for an education-related component(s). The governing organization/nursing program should be especially mindful of ACEN Policy #14 Reporting Substantive Changes, Policy #15 Distance Education, Policy #20 Complaints Against an Accredited Program, and Policy #25 Transfer of Credit.

The following are required for a governing organization/nursing program entering into an agreement with an external source to provide an education-related component(s), whether the external source holds or does not hold institutional and/or programmatic accreditation:

  1. The primary purpose of the component(s) is educational.
  2. The governing organization/nursing program is responsible for the accuracy of all advertising, recruiting, and promotional materials.
  3. The governing organization is responsible for ensuring that all legal requirements for federal and state student financial aid programs used by students are met.
  4. The governing organization/nursing program is responsible for informing the external source that the agreement does not imply or extend ACEN accreditation to the external source.
  5. Every component must be consistent with the governing organization’s/nursing program’s mission and objectives as they were at the time of the last evaluation conducted by ACEN.
  6. Every education-related component must be consistent with the nursing program’s published curriculum/program options, end-of-program student learning outcomes, and program outcomes.
  7. If the education-related component involves a credit-bearing course(s)/content offered by the external source, then the value and level of credit must be determined by the governing organization/nursing program in accordance with the governing organization’s/nursing program’s established procedures, and under the usual mechanism of review. Evidence that the established governing organization’s policies/procedures were followed must be available.
  8. The governing organization/nursing program follows all established shared governance policies/procedures for approval of education-related components. Evidence that the established governing organization’s policies/procedures were followed must be available.
  9. The governing organization/nursing program follows all ACEN policies/procedures for approval of education-related components. Evidence that the ACEN policies/procedures were followed must be available.
  10. While the governing organization’s personnel may or may not teach the education-related component(s), the nursing faculty and appropriate governing organization representatives must retain overall accountability and control of the integrity, rigor, and currency of the nursing and non-nursing education-related component(s).
  11. The governing organization/nursing program must ensure ongoing collaboration between the nursing faculty, appropriate governing organization representatives, and the external source to safeguard the integrity, rigor, and currency of the nursing curriculum. Evidence of collaboration, including periodic and adequate review of work performed by the external source, must be available.
  12. The governing organization/nursing program is ultimately responsible for all aspects of its nursing program, including but not limited to:
    1. Students’ successful achievement of end-of-program student learning outcomes and program outcomes;
    2. Admissions to the nursing program;
    3. Review and approval of all nursing and non-nursing education-related component(s);
    4. Review and approval of the appointment/selection of all nursing and non-nursing faculty, whether or not the faculty member is employed by the governing organization of the nursing program;
    5. Quality of resources and services (e.g., library/information, technical support, student support, IT infrastructure, etc.);
    6. Student and faculty access to resources and services (e.g., library/information, technical support, student support, IT infrastructure, etc.);
    7. All credits that appear on the governing organization’s transcript; and
    8. Ensuring the privacy of students and the security of students’ records.

There must be a written agreement between the governing organization/nursing program and external source that is executed by duly designated officer(s) of the governing organization/nursing program and appropriate counterparts from the external source.

The agreement clearly establishes and defines:

  1. The scope and nature of the work to be performed by each party;
  2. A mechanism to account for the scope and nature of the work provided by each party;
  3. The period of the agreement and the conditions under which any possible renewal, renegotiation, or termination could take place;
  4. Protection for enrolled nursing students in the event that the agreement is terminated or renegotiated;
  5. Appropriate avenue(s) for addressing perceived breaches of the agreement;
  6. How appropriate representatives from both parties will periodically review the success of the agreement;
  7. The compensation and other considerations for the education-related component provided by both parties;
  8. How nursing student and faculty support services and resources will be assured;
  9. How nursing student and faculty access to support services and resources will be assured;
  10. The procedure for a nursing student grievance regarding any aspect of the education-related component;
  11. The governing organization’s awarding of credit for the education-related component(s), if appropriate; and
  12. How outcomes assessment will be conducted on the education-related component(s), if appropriate.

The agreement is:

  1. Submitted to federal and/or state agencies for approval when required;
  2. Submitted to the ACEN for approval when required as specified in ACEN Policy #14 Reporting Substantive Changes; and
  3. Available on request to the ACEN and peer evaluators acting on its behalf.

 

Policy #30 History
Developed March 2016

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