Mercy College Receives Approval for Distance Education Expansion
Mercy College of Health Sciences received formal notification that it has been granted authorization, at its discretion, to expand to 100% of its total degree programs available through distance education technologies. The authorization was granted by the College’s accreditors, The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the regional accreditor for the U.S. Department of Education, following a site visit to the campus in December 2012.
While Mercy College has offered online classes for several years, and currently has three degree programs exclusively taught via distance education: 1) a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN), 2) a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration and 3) an Associate of Science in Polysomnography Technology, this status change verifies that the College has the necessary academic structures in place to support student learning and degree completion.
The College has no immediate plans to establish new academic programs or modify the delivery of existing programs for distance delivery. In 2006, the College Senate took the step of requiring that all course instructors begin to utilize online learning management software to enhance communication with students regardless of whether the course was taught on campus or utilized the Internet. Faculty and professional staff within the College have actively supported the development and expansion of online resources to support student learning and to respond to student needs for greater flexibility.
“This is a significant milestone for Mercy College. Our focus on academic excellence, student success and student support in the virtual environment is paramount to helping students achieve their personal educational goals,” stated President Barbara Q. Decker.
Mercy College is the only Catholic college in Central Iowa and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).