The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced June 15, 2016 its recommendation that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which provides accreditation to over 200 colleges and universities nationwide, including the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing (BSMCON) and 17 other Virginia schools, lose its status as an accrediting agency. On June 23, 2016 the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) voted to deny ACICS approval to maintain their status as an accrediting agency.
Although these are recommendations and not a final decision, Bon Secours is concerned about these developments and has been monitoring this situation amid the mounting criticism and investigation of ACICS by the Department of Education. The process to remove an accreditor’s authority can take nearly two years to complete, barring there are no legal challenges. If the final decision is made to withdraw DOE recognition of ACICS, the Higher Education Act provides for schools accredited by ACICS to have 18 months to offer federal financial aid and seek accreditation from another recognized accreditor. Bon Secours remains steadfast in its commitment to offering quality nursing education and will take any necessary steps to preserve it. In light of these developments, Bon Secours is applying for accreditation with a different institutional accreditor. During this time frame, BSMCON will remain fully accredited through ACICS and will be qualified to dispense federal financial aid.
For additional information, Bon Secours recommends HOMEROOM, The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education: http://blog.ed.gov/2016/06/college-accreditation-changes-mean-students/