- What is accreditation?
Accreditation means that an educational institution maintains standards that are a requirement of academic excellence based on guidelines from the accrediting agency. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality; therefore, providing admission to other reputable higher education institutions or to achieve credentials for professional practice.
- Is a program that is on probation, still considered to be accredited?
Yes. However, probationary status indicates that the program has some areas that did not meet or exceed the accreditation standards. The program is given an opportunity to address the areas that require attention and will usually be re-visited by the accreditation agency within a short time period to ensure these areas have been resolved. Once these administrative or curriculum areas have been resolved, and the Program is in compliance with the standards, the accreditation agency may award "continued accreditation."
- What are the areas of non-compliance?
The areas of non-compliance include administrative documentation and some curriculum areas. Several of these have already been addressed and an action plan for the balance of the other areas is in place. Although the College is given two years to complete its action plan, it is Niagara County Community College’s (NCCC’s) intent to complete the plan as soon as feasible and request an accreditation review at that time.
- What is the Program doing to address the areas of non-compliance?
College President, Dr. James Klyczek, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Luba Chliwniak, and Surgical Technology Program faculty and staff take accreditation very seriously. The program has a strong history of preparing highly trained, competent Surgical Technologists. They are committed to providing all applicants and enrolled students with the best educational experience. The areas of non-compliance have been reviewed and are being addressed at several levels. A new position, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs for Nursing and Allied Health Programs, was created to focus on accreditation for all allied health programs, including the Surgical Technology Program. Diane Roth has taken on this important and necessary role.
- Does this affect the institutional accreditation of Niagara County Community College?
This does not affect institutional accreditation. The Surgical Technology Program has its own accreditation agency. Also, it is important to emphasize that probation is a status that can be changed, it is not the loss of accreditation. When on probation, it is a time for the program to reflect upon its operations and curriculum, and then to make corrections that will help the program to meet or exceed accreditation standards.
- If I graduate from a surgical technology program that is on probation, will I still be eligible to take the National Certification for Surgical Technology Exam?
Students who graduate from the Surgical Technology Program at Niagara County Community College are eligible to take the National Certification for Surgical Technology Exam. In fact, Niagara County Community College offers the exam on campus.
- If I graduate from a program that is on probation, will I be still be able to get a job?
Your ability to be hired and to work in the Surgical Technology field depends on your ability to pass the courses here at Niagara County Community College and your certification exam. The accreditation status of the program should have no impact on your job search.
- Can I still receive financial aid if the program is on probation?
Yes. The accreditation status of an individual program does not affect the college’s eligibility to award financial aid. A college must have regional accreditation to award aid. NCCC’s regional accreditor is Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
- Will the changes that are being made in the Surgical Technology Program require me to add courses to my planned program I am currently in?
No. The changes we are making will enhance the program but not add courses.
- Did I learn everything I needed in this program?
You were taught everything you need to take your certification exam.