KCKCC nursing program reaccredited

by Kelly Rogge

The Kansas City Kansas Community College’s nursing program has done it again. It has received full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

The goal of the ACEN is to provide accreditation to nursing education programs that offer a certificate, diploma or other recognized professional degree. The process started in spring 2013 when KCKCC submitted its self-study. A more than 200-page document, the self-study looks at every aspect of the program from faculty and staff, facilities and curriculum to current and former students.

A team then visited KCKCC in fall 2013 for an onsite visit before discussing it within the Evaluation Review Panel earlier this year. A staff review and referral was then made to the ACEN before the commission made the ultimate accreditation decision. Because this is full accreditation, the next evaluation visit will not be until fall 2021.

“This is a higher level of accreditation than just getting the O.K. from the state to be a program,” said Anita Krondak, director of the RN program for KCKCC’s Department of Allied Health and Nursing. “It shows that we have an excellent program and that we are meeting higher standards.”

Established in 1970, the nursing program is just one of many within the Department of Allied Health and Nursing. Many of the other programs are also accredited, although they receive accreditation through separate agencies. KCKCC has an articulation agreement with the University of Kansas so that nursing students can move right onto earning a bachelor’s degree at KU after completing the associate’s program.

The goal of the department, which has been accredited since 1973, is to provide the community with “outstanding practitioners” for all health care fields. While, ACEN accreditation is not required, most of the community colleges in Kansas are currently accredited.

One area was noted as a strength within the accreditation review – student access to a nursing retention specialist. There were also areas of improvement included in the accreditation review. Among these were revising program documents to ensure public information is accurate and concise; implementing strategies to increase public input and implementing an evaluation process for part-time faculty. Krondak said the department is already beginning to work on the suggestions.

“We really do serve the residents of Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties. That is what makes us stand out,” she said. “We have an affordable program and an excellent reputation within the communit6y. We have had 1000s of graduates, so you cannot go into any hospital or medical center in the area without running into someone who has been a student here.”

Although the nursing program’s accreditation is good for eight years, staff must still complete an annual report for monitoring purposes. This report includes enrollment and graduation numbers, faculty numbers and credentials, complaints against the program, substantive change information, job placement rates and licensure and certification examination pass rates.

For more information on the Department of Allied Health and Nursing and the nursing program, visit the KCKCC website at www.kckcc.edu and select “Academics.” Information is also available by calling 913-288-7626.

— Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor for Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Early Childhood Education Showcase planned April 16

The Early Childhood Education Showcase April 16 will introduce people to careers in early childhood education.

Those who are interested in a career working with children from birth through age 8 may attend the showcase at noon April 16 at the Upper Jewell Center on the Kansas City Kansas Community College campus, 7250 State Ave.

The event is free and open to the public.

Early Childhood Education includes many careers. Possible careers include child care provider, director or coordinator; early elementary teacher (pre-K through third grade); infant and toddler specialist; home visitor; child care licensing inspector; preschool or childcare director; director of a children’s museum; literacy specialist; education research and special education, among others.

The showcase will feature the coordinator of KCKCC’s Early Childhood Education Department, Kris Hearn, and a panel discussion about the different career paths available to those who enter an early childhood education program. Panelists include professionals in the field, and current and former students who will speak on their experiences. There will also be a question and answer session for those who are interested in pursuing an early childhood education career.

This will be the first in a series of showcases under the Student Advising Center’s new program, FOCUS.

“In attempt to better inform our students and community about the extensive career and academic programs we offer at KCKCC, the Student Advising Center is launching KCKCC FOCUS,” said Alex Perez-Estrada, academic adviser at KCKCC. “We will be hosting a series of showcases which will give emphasis to our various programs. Our goal is to provide students the opportunity to have a thorough understanding of their area of interest by meeting the experts in the given field and having a student perspective as well.”

Food and drinks will be served during the showcase, and door prizes will be offered throughout the presentation.

For more information or questions about the panel discussion or KCKCC’s early childhood education program, contact Alex Perez-Estrada at 913-288-7148.

– Story from Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

College trustees to meet today

The Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees will meet at 3:30 pm. Tuesday, April 15, at the college.

The meeting is in the upper level Jewell Building on campus, 7250 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

The agenda is online at http://www.kckcc.edu/Media/Website%20Resources/pdfs/bot/2014/BOT_APR15_2014.pdf.