National’s Chiropractic Program Placed on Probation Due to Noncompliance

News Staff
National’s Chiropractic Program Placed on Probation Due to Noncompliance

School’s Appeal Denied – Program Planning, Competencies & National Board Failure Rates in Significant Noncompliance

According to the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) in a Public Disclosure the doctor of chiropractic degree program at National University of Health Sciences’ two campuses has been placed on PROBATION. According to the disclosure, the Council took this action “. . . due to noncompliance concerns related to program effectiveness, meta- competency assessment and student performance success rates.” 

CLICK HERE to review the letter

National appealed the decision by the CCE and a hearing was held on May 11, 2018 in which their appeal was denied and the actions of the Council was affirmed. According to the report the CCE determined that National’s chiropractic program was in significant noncompliance with several CCE Standards and Policy requirements. 

The areas of significant noncompliance involve: 

  • Mission, Planning, and Program Effectiveness
  • Curriculum, Competencies and Outcomes Assessment
  • National Board Failure (Success) Rates 

According to the report National’s DCP program is not structured, implemented, and reviewed in a manner that enables the DCP to assess the effectiveness of its goals and objectives, and permits the DCP to implement those changes necessary to maintain and improve program quality. 

The report goes on to relate that the didactic and clinical education components of the curriculum at National are not structured and integrated in a manner that enables the graduate to demonstrate attainment of all required competencies. 

National was also in significant noncompliance with National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) pass rates because the overall weighted average of the four most recent years’ Parts I, II, III, and IV success rates were less than 80%. 

According to the CCE: 

“Probation is an action reflecting the conclusion of the Council that a program is in significant noncompliance with accreditation standards or policy requirements.” 

When a school or program is placed on probation the CCE makes a public notice of the final decision to impose Probation and notifies the U.S. Department of Education, regional accrediting agencies, licensing boards, and the public.   

The issues leading to the sanction of probation must be resolved within 24 months. 

If National wishes to resolve their accreditation crisis they are required to submit a Progress Report by August 1, 2018, providing evidence that the Program is in compliance. Then National would need to host a Site Team Visit in the Fall of 2018 to prove they are in compliance. 

Then in January 2019, the Council will review the school and Site team’s reports and determine whether National has demonstrated compliance or not and whether further action such as revocation of accreditation is necessary.  

Making matters worse for National is that it is already on PUBLIC NOTICE with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) who is their Regional accreditor.  According to a Public Disclosure Noticed, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Board of Trustees took this action because of concerns related to quality of educational programs, assessment of student learning, and institutional planning.

CLICK HERE for more on that story

The majority of licensing jurisdictions require graduation from a CCE accredited chiropractic institution in order to get a license to practice so students graduating from a school that has lost accreditation would not be eligible for licensure. 

National University of Health Sciences has been an outspoken supporter of drug expansion efforts within the chiropractic profession. For many years NUHS has led the way for the medically oriented faction of the chiropractic profession however those efforts escalated several years ago when NUHS began offering a Masters degree in Advanced Clinical Practice. It is this degree that allowed chiropractors in New Mexico to prescribe and administer drugs. 

In a Presidential Address several years ago, Dr. James Winterstein (National's Past President) revealed National’s plan for the immediate future which included the development of a stand alone post DC program where the DC can complete additional coursework and residencies leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree. The most disturbing aspect of this plan was that NUHS would not seek CCE accreditation for this aspect of its program but instead would use their regional accreditation thereby bypassing any regulatory control the CCE has over the offering of this program.

National is also the first Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine Program accredited by the CCE and National advertises their program as such on their website. National claims to train chiropractors to be "primary care physicians" that can basically treat anything (wide range of conditions) and also boasts about their "superior education".

National's current President, Joseph P.D. Stiefel, MS, EdD, DC brags on their website that they have a  ". . . history of maintaining high academic standards and a rigorous curriculum." 

National has historically been an outspoken critic against schools that focused on the traditional, conservative management of vertebral subluxation.    

SEE BELOW for more on National's Accreditation Struggles

National Loses Appeal Regarding Accreditation Probation

National Files Lawsuit Against CCE for Placing School on Probation

National President Stiefel Under Fire & Facing Accreditation Struggles with Two Agencies

National Accreditation Placed on NOTICE by Higher Learning Commission

National President Stiefel's Legal Declaration Paints Grim Picture for School Mired in Accreditation Struggle


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