Bellin College offers an array of health science related degrees. In 1909, a nursing program was started by Dr. Julius Bellin, Founder of Bellin Hospital. Dr. Bellin wanted qualified nurses to work with him at the bedside. One hundred years later, Bellin College added its second degree and today, continues to grow and expand their program offerings to meet the changing and demanding needs of healthcare. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and each program has its own specialized programmatic accreditation. This document provides an overview of the accreditation process for each program offered.
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
The Higher Learning Commission is the regional accreditor. Each time a new program is offered, the accreditation process begins with HLC. The College received initial accreditation for five years from the Higher Commission of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) in March 1989. A self-study and site visit occurred in Spring 1994, which resulted in continued accreditation for ten years. The site visit occurs based on the outcome of the previous visit and the next site visit scheduled for 2003-2004.
In Spring 2004, a site visit occurred for reaffirmation of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and a request for authorization to grant a Master of Science degree in Nursing. In June 2004, the Commission granted ten years of continued accreditation with authorization to grant a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Nursing (2004-2014). In 2014, Higher Learning Commission dropped its affiliation with the North Central Association and is recognized solely as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
In September 2008, a focus visit was requested by the College for authorization to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in the Radiologic Sciences (BSRS) and to offer general education courses. Approval was granted in December 2008.
In 2009, HLC came and visited the campus located at 3201 Eaton Road in Green Bay WI to approve the building and determine that its size and amenities could support the college and future program growth. Approval was granted.
In 2014, HLC reaffirmed accreditation of Bellin College, and all current programs offered through 2024.
In 2015, the College requested a change visit to begin offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (BSDMS) and distance education courses and programs. The BSDMS is a bachelor’s degree with a compressed curriculum offered over three years to meet the staffing needs within the region. The expansion of distance education was evident with the changing needs of higher education. On February 12, 2016, approval was granted for both program requests.
Bellin College continues to expand and meet the needs of the region with additional educational offerings, including the 2018 HLC approved Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (DSc PT), the first terminal degree offered at Bellin College. In addition, Bellin College also offered all the general education courses for all undergraduate degrees starting in fall 2018.
On January 28, 2020, HLC approved a 3-year bachelor’s degree in Radiation Therapy with the first anticipated cohort starting the fall of 2020.
The Board of Trustees approved adding a Sonography concentration in Cardiac on December 10, 2020. A change request was submitted to HLC. On December 15, 2020, HLC determined that no individual approval is needed for Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography - concentration in Cardiac. The change form submitted form served as notification of the new program to HLC.
In spring of 2021, HLC approved three programs: a 3-year bachelor’s degree in First Assisting, (BSSA) on March 12,2021; a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) on March 12, 2021; and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) on May 7, 2021.
On March 3, 2023, HLC visited the secondary location at 2620 Development Drive and approved this site for education affiliated with Bellin College. This location is named the Michael Van Asten Campus. The Eaton Road campus is named the Resch Campus.
NURSING ACCREDITATION HISTORY
Wisconsin Board of Nursing
The Wisconsin State Board of Nursing granted Bellin College initial approval to implement a baccalaureate program in nursing in April of 1984. The College submitted a comprehensive evaluation of the program to the Board of Nursing, and full approval was granted in February 1989 and continues today.
Specialized Nursing Program Accreditation
An accreditation visit by the Council for Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs of the National League for Nursing occurred in April 1989. Accreditation for a period of eight years was received in October 1989. A four-year progress report was submitted in August 1993. A self-study and site visit again occurred in April of 1997. In July 1997, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) granted continued accreditation for eight years (1997-2005).
In 2002, a decision was made to pursue accreditation with the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation, which is associated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). This accreditation review was completed in Spring 2003, and in October 2003, the College was awarded the initial, five-year accreditation (2003-2008). A CCNE visit was held in 2008, with the maximum ten years of accreditation received (2008-2018).
In May 2002, a needs assessment, conducted by an independent marketing research firm, identified a significant need for graduate nursing education in the region. As a result, Bellin College Board of Trustees approved plans to proceed with a graduate program in November 2002. By July 2003, a decision was made to move forward to establish a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) with an administrator and an educator track. The emphasis in both programs was on nursing leadership.
The graduate program enrolled its first students in September 2004. An accreditation review by the CCNE occurred in February 2006 and in October 2006, and the College was awarded the five-year accreditation (2006-2011). The first MSN class graduated in 2007. In October 2008, CCNE awarded the maximum 10-year accreditation to both the baccalaureate and masters nursing programs (2008-2018). The Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education returned in 2018 for a comprehensive visit.
In Spring 2011, the Bellin College Board of Trustees approved a Family Nurse Practitioner Track. A substantive change was submitted to CCNE, and in the fall of 2011 approval was granted. The first cohort of students entered in Fall 2012. In May 2015, the first class graduated from the Family Nurse Practitioner Track.
In the spring of 2018, CCNE awarded the maximum 10-year accreditation to both the baccalaureate and masters nursing programs (2018-2028).
With the change to nursing education to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the college Board of Trustees approved the program on May 14, 2020. Work began to seek HLC approval which was granted on March 12, 2021.
On December 8, 2022, the Board of Trustees an additional graduate level nursing program, the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program. The program is pending approval from HLC.
MEDICAL IMAGING ACCREDITATION HISTORY
Joint Review Committee of Education in Radiologic Sciences (JRCERT):
The School of Radiologic Sciences was a two-year certificate program offered through Bellin Health System. In 1988, the program was granted full accreditation by the Joint Review Committee of Education in Radiologic Sciences (JRCERT). Subsequently, the program is the result of a Transfer of Sponsorship from Bellin Health System to Bellin College in March of 2011. The new program design changed the previous terminal credential from a two-year certificate program to a 48-month Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences (BSRS) program at Bellin College. Statewide surveys were conducted to assess the need for the bachelor’s program. Results demonstrated high interest among the employer and technologist communities.
In August 2015, JRCERT awarded the maximum 8-year accreditation to the Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Sciences (2015-2023).
JRCERT reviewed the Radiation Therapy Program (BSRT) for initial accreditation in April 2023. In July 2023, the BSRT program was granted the maximum years of accreditation allowed as a new program, which was three years. A comprehensive visit will happen in 2026.
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is a programmatic postsecondary accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAAHEP carries out its accrediting activities in cooperation with 25 review Committees on Accreditation and approved the Sonography program in September 2018.
PYSICAL THERAPY PROGRAMS
Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) and Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT):
The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) initially approved the Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) fellowship program in 2018. The Accreditation Council on Orthopaedic and Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship Education (ACOMPTE) approved the OMPT fellowship program in 2019. The next visit is scheduled in 2024.
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT):
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE) is an accrediting agency that is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAPTE grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.
Moving forward, with the multiple accreditation processes, a grid will be used to track the progress of each program and affiliated accreditation. See the attached document.