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Specializes in ED, Flight. Has 10 years experience.

Faeriewand, ASN, RN

Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections. Has 10 years experience.

The link doesn't lead anywhere. Can you post a portion of the article so we know what it's about?

Medic09, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Flight. Has 10 years experience.

College Misstates Info to Accreditors

By Martin Salazar

Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal

Journal Staff Writer

On paper, the full-time faculty lineup for Northern New Mexico College's new bachelor's degree in nursing is impressive, boasting a Ph.D, a medical doctor and two others.

But take a closer look at the report given to an accreditation team in September and you'll find that among the four full-time faculty listed, two are adjunct employees who teach just a smattering of classes between them-a far cry from the full-time faculty that college President José Griego reported them to be.

"It was a mistake," Griego said. "There wasn't anything intentional or misleading about that."

He said the error occurred as he was copying and pasting information provided by college employees.

The accreditation process is set up to ensure that proposed academic programs deliver what they promise and meet a quality threshold.

Stephen Spangehl, director of the academic quality improvement program for Northern's Chicago-based accrediting agency, said he wasn't too concerned about the errors.

"Our concern in the end is that if they're going to offer a nursing program they have qualified sufficient faculty to do the program," said Spangehl, of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

After the Journal began asking questions about the discrepancy, Griego sent e-mails to the accrediting agency, to state Higher Education Secretary Reed Dasenbrock and to others about the faulty information.

"I thought it important to alert you in case (the Journal) calls you regarding this matter," he said.

Griego's e-mail was sent Oct. 30, the day after the Higher Learning Commission gave final approval for Northern to begin offering a bachelor of science in nursing and four other bachelor degrees.

"Dr. (Nina) Klebanoff and another adjunct whose name escapes me, as I write this e-mail from home, were inadvertently included in a list that included our full-time faculty Dr. Jeff Hawkins and Dr. Denise Michel," Griego wrote.

Griego didn't mention in his e-mail that Hawkins is no longer with Northern. Hawkins resigned abruptly for health reasons on Sept. 24-just five days after Griego listed him as a full-time faculty member in the report to the accreditation team.

Michel, the fourth person listed in the nursing proposal, is the lone full-time faculty member for Northern's recently created bachelor of science degree in integrative health studies.

Beyond teaching five integrative health classes this semester-intro to aromatherapy, intro to integrative healing, soft tissue rebalancing, essential oils for relieving addictions, and spirituality and essential oils-she maintains a part-time clinical practice.

To be sure, the nursing bachelor's degree has a focus on integrative health, and Griego said the curriculum for the two programs overlap.

The college is planning to hire a full-time director for the nursing bachelor's program, who will also teach. It also says it has six full-time faculty for its existing associate degree in nursing, and Griego said the college will rely on adjunct faculty, as every other college does.

Spangehl, of the accrediting agency, said it didn't really matter whether classes were being taught by full-time faculty or adjuncts.

Accreditors weren't the only people asking about faculty levels for the new nursing bachelor's program. It's a question Northern faculty raised when the college was talking about launching the program. At a Sept. 13, 2007, faculty meeting, one person asked "Who will teach the courses?" according to minutes of the meeting.

At the time, Ellen Trabka, Northern's chair of health occupations, said there was money for one full-time instructor and one part-time faculty position.

Griego said Northern is merely trying to offer degrees that help the community. And it's trying to do it on a shoestring budget. The current budget for the new nursing bachelor's is $118,000; the college is expecting nearly $13.8 million in state appropriations this year, according to its report to accreditors.

The college has reported its total enrollment for the current semester at 2,183.

Meredith Garcia, president of Northern's faculty senate, said she wasn't aware of the errors in the report to accreditors. But she said that knowing Griego, she doesn't think deceit was involved.

"I have a lot of respect and admiration for him," she said. "I think he's trying to move us forward. Maybe we have tried to move a little too fast at times, but I think he's well aware of that now."

Previously called Northern New Mexico Community College, the school has campuses in El Rito and in Española. In 2004, Northern got legislative approval to become the first community college in the state to offer a four-year degree-a bachelor's in elementary education. In 2005, the Legislature changed the school's name to Northern New Mexico College, and allowed it to offer four-year degrees in any area.

The school hopes to become a full four-year comprehensive university in the next few years.

In September, the college received a rebuke from its accrediting agency for advertising and offering bachelor's degrees that had yet to be approved. The three engineering bachelors, a bachelor of science in math and the bachelor of science in nursing were formally approved last month, though accreditors rejected two proposed bachelor's in music.

"It wasn't the perfect way to roll these out, but we're pretty confident that they'll be good programs, and we will stay tuned to make sure," said Spangehl, of the accrediting agency.


Specializes in ER,ICU,L+D,OR. Has 25 years experience.

seems smelly to me.

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