Beth-El: Requirements and Remedies
Published: Monday, April 5, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 09:04
Once a private institution owned by the City of Colorado Springs, the Beth-El College of Nursing merged with UCCS in 1997. Now a college within the university, Beth-El continues to offer both undergraduate and graduate programs and is up for accreditation this year.
The accreditation process, which takes close to two years to complete, examines an institution's or program's goals, achievements and how well those who complete the program are likely to do once in their selected field, according to Undergraduate Nursing Chair, Dr. Lea Gaydos.
Programs are evaluated through the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Evaluation includes the setting and meeting of goals over a two-year period, visits to Beth-El to examine the building, equipment and classes and representatives speaking with students about how prepared they feel the program has or has not made them. This April, the BA and Graduate programs at Beth-El will be evaluated, according to Gaydos.
Beth-El, which completed its first accreditation in 2005, is known for its extensive and often challenging requirements. Students in the undergraduate nursing program must receive a C- or better in any general education course required, and a C in all required nursing and health science courses. Two failures of any required nursing and/or health science course of two credits or greater results in dismissal from the college.
Though difficult, the program is always changing and trying to make improvements, according to Hohulin. One of the upcoming changes includes discontinuing the use of a waitlist admission system. Academic Advisor and Liason for the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences Carolyn Daley said the waitlist allowed the nursing advisor and the admissions committee at Beth-El to keep track of students who were waiting for a clinical spot in the nursing program.
In order to remain on the waitlist, students were required to maintain their GPA, complete all of their first-year general education courses with grades of C- or higher and complete the required Health Science Nutrition course with a C or higher.
Currently, any student admitted to UCCS since Jan. 1, 2008 is required to pass an entrance exam to enter clinicals, and is not eligible for the waitlist. Once the waitlist is eliminated, the application system will be the only means of entering clinicals for the traditional option. The majority of students who will be admitted for Fall of 2010 will be applicants who have passed the exam.
Daley hopes the new process will be less frustrating for students. "It was costly and time-consuming for students to remain active at UCCS to stay on the waitlist even after all of their general education courses were complete," she said. The entrance exam may be taken twice and students will be able to choose when to apply.
Robin Grasso, who is in her first year in the program, said there are still more changes students would like to see made to the school. Some concerns include the absence of food services and a lacking computer lab. When students do set foot on main campus, according to Grasso, it is usually to get food, visit advising or use the library computers. Though the computers in Beth-El's lab (a few of them recently brought over from the library) work fine, the printer often has to be registered to the computer, which can take up to ten minutes when trying to print something before class, said Grasso. Despite the difficulty, Hohulin said the program is worth it. "You have to be very dedicated but remember that nursing is very rewarding," she said. "Just take it one day at a time and remember that the work we are given is not meant to fail us, but to create nurses who are confident, secure and dedicated to care."