Health Care Administration Program Seeking Re-Accreditation
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Health Care Administration program will undergo re-accreditation by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) in spring 2010. The HCAD program was first accredited in 2005. The NAB visitation team will be on campus April 7-9, in conjunction with the program’s annual spring banquet and advisory board meetings. The team will make its report to the NAB Education Committee for approval at their Annual Meeting in June 2010.
NAB's Academic Accreditation Program is open to colleges and universities offering a baccalaureate or graduate degree in long term care administration. Accreditation is granted by the NAB Board of Governors to institutions that meet NAB's criteria for the education and training of long term care administrators.
Meredith Wolf interviewed Dr. Jennifer Johs-Artisensi, coordinator of the UW-Eau Claire Health Care Administration Program, to find out more about the re-accreditation process and how it will impact the program.
BizWire: Why is accreditation important? What are the advantages to it?
Johs-Artisensi: Accreditation allows the program to show that they are meeting a certain level of standards, identified by the industry, that are thought to be important.
In terms of NAB accreditation, a school that has it demonstrates that the content of its curriculum is in line with the contemporary skill sets that today’s administrators must have to be successful. The accreditation standards are higher than many state minimum standards. Additionally, the program learns a great deal about itself as a result of going through the process, and may make curriculum or other improvements as a result of what is learned in the self-study or other feedback from the reviewers. It can help the program become stronger than ever.
The program can also use this mark of excellence as a marketing tool. Students can feel confident in the quality of the education they will receive from an accredited program. Employers can feel confident that graduates of an accredited program are entering the workforce with a quality education and skill sets that have prepared them well for the job at hand.
NHA licensure requirements are all set by the states, so there are different criteria that an applicant may need to meet in every state. Graduates from a NAB accredited program are automatically approved to have met NHA licensure requirements in 16 states without having to go through an individual review process, which makes it easier for a NAB-Accredited program graduate to obtain licensure in a number of states.
BizWire: What is the process?
Johs-Artisensi: There is a lot of work that goes into the process prior to the site visit. We must evaluate and “grade our entire curriculum against the most recent NHA and RC/AL Domains of Practice", which are a list of knowledge, skills and tasks across all the broad areas of skill sets administrators are required to possess. We also prepare a large binder of materials demonstrating how we meet the ten major accreditation criteria. The site team will consist of at least two trained site visitors, and after having reviewed the self study and supporting materials, they will make a 3-day site visit to campus where they will interact with students, faculty, administration, alumni, preceptors, and others to learn more about the program and continue to gather information and evaluate whether it meets the required standards.
BizWire: When and how do you find out if you received accreditation?
Johs-Artisensi: I will not be allowed to be present for the Education Committees and site visitors' discussion, but will be invited to hear their results. They will also supply us with a formal, written report indicating how they believe we have met each of the standards and any recommendations they may have. If they recommend approval of the accreditation, the Education committee will then present this recommendation to the NAB Board of Governors, who will hopefully vote to approve the accreditation as well. If this occurs, a representative from our program will be invited to their mid-year meeting next October to be presented with the formal accreditation award. The accreditation is good for 5 years, and the program must submit annual updates for review.