SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) associate-degree nursing program earned continued accreditation, with the accrediting body highlighting several areas of strengths and innovations.
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) found STCC’s program to be in compliance and scheduled the next evaluation visit for spring 2030. ACEN officials visited STCC this pastr spring to evaluate the program.
When a nursing program holds ACEN accreditation, it means the program meets a set of standards and can be trusted to deliver quality education.
“The administrative and fiscal support for the program in all facets, including faculty ratios, additional adjunct support, and the funds for the simulation center, skills labs, and equipment were all beyond impressive,” stated Marsal Stoll, ACEN CEO, in an email to STCC President John Cook and Lisa Fugiel, assistant dean and Nursing director in the School of Health and Patient Simulation.
“We are thrilled,” Fugiel said. “Our ACEN site visitors not only found zero areas in need of development or improvement, but they noted two areas of strength. We are told it’s unusual to be recognized for even one area of strength; to get recognized for two is rare. I’m proud of our faculty and staff for helping to make us shine. Future students can feel confident knowing they are studying in a high-quality nursing program.”
Christopher Scott, dean of the School of Health and Patient Simulation, added that “this would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of Director Fugiel and the faculty and staff in the nursing program. I am delighted to see the program not only was awarded accreditation, but that ACEN highlighted many areas of strength.”
The ACEN board of commissioners identified STCC’s commitment to students and resources as areas of strength.
“The number of resources that STCC offers to all students is impressive,” according to Stoll’s letter, which cited college resources that deliver food and housing assistance to students.
ACEN noted that the Center for Access Services at STCC is centrally located on campus. In addition, ACEN noted that all student services are housed in one large building, the Ira Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons.
“College administrators and nursing faculty firmly believe their mission is to transform the lives of students,” Stoll wrote.
Another strength of the program is the addition of two IT-support personnel who keep simulation equipment and virtual reality areas working, which ACEN noted as above and beyond what is typical of a community-college nursing program.
ACEN also highlighted many aspects of the patient-simulation labs, known as the SIMS Medical Center, where robotic patients controlled by STCC staff provide an immersive, real-world experience for students. ACEN noted that the simulation technology provides “a positive and innovative learning environment for student nurses.”