Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 28, 2012

Mountain State University accreditation issues continue


Associated Press

BLUEFIELD — A national accrediting body has placed Mountain State University’s diagnostic medical sonography associate degree program on probation.

The decision by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs does not affect the university’s bachelor’s degree program, Mountain State said in a news release.

Mountain State said Tuesday that it is working to correct the issues and has until June 29 to submit a progress report to the commission. It did not say what the issues are.

Probationary status means programs that don’t meet accreditation standards are expected to be brought into compliance within a specified time, Mountain State said.

“The accrediting agency for the DMS program wants to ensure we have corrected issues that date back to 2007. We were already aware of these issues and we had taken steps to correct these deficiencies prior to the agency’s site visit last June,” School of Health Sciences dean Karen Bowling said.

The status of the associate degree’s program will be reviewed by the commission’s board of directors at its Sept. 21 meeting.

While the program is on probation, it remains fully accredited. Bowling said seniors can proceed with graduation and licensing exams and students can continue course work.

Ninety-three students are enrolled in the online associate degree program and 23 are enrolled in the classroom program. They are being notified of the probation, along with students seeking admission to the program.

The private Beckley-based university already has lost accreditation for its nursing program and is working to maintain its overall accreditation.

Evaluators from the Higher Learning Commission, a national accreditation agency, have cited major deficiencies and given school leaders until June to show measureable improvement.

Mountain State’s Board of Trustees fired former President Charles Polk in January and took over operations. Last week, the board named Richard Sours as interim president.