King University announces program changes; Plans to close Nashville campus

(Photo: WJHL)
(Photo: WJHL)

BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) – King University announced its plans to make some program changes for the next academic and to close its Nashville campus.

It will temporarily suspend admissions to its Traditional Bachelor of Science Nursing program for the next academic year.

There is no time table on the exact closure of its Nashville campus, but the school says it is dependent on the completion of academic programs for the students who are currently enrolled.

The Presbyterian-affiliated school says it will help student at the Nashville campus develop a plan for completion.

The university was founded in 1867 as King College. The campus in Nashville opened in 2014.

King says the changes are the result of a months-long review and were approved by the Board of Trustees at it fall meeting last week.

Related: King University offers free college courses to students over 60

The following is a statement from King University:

For the 2017-18 academic year, the University will temporarily suspend admissions to its Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. In addition, the University plans to close its Nashville campus in 2017, although the exact timing will be dependent upon specific arrangements with students to ensure completion of their academic programs.

The Traditional BSN program has been the focus of an internal assessment directed by King’s president in August to evaluate all aspects of the program, including curriculum, staffing and support resources. Since 2000, King University’s School of Nursing has been known for quality, as evidenced by the significant number of nursing students who are recruited for key positions prior to graduation.

“King University’s commitment to its students includes ongoing program evaluations, and our declining first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses, as well as our own preliminary findings, suggest room for improvement in our Traditional BSN program curriculum and instruction,” said King University President Alexander Whitaker. “King University is committed to our current and future students, and we owe it to them, as well as to our alumni, to ensure the program reflects the excellence that is expected from all of King’s academic offerings. We have put in place corrective measures to address the problems we have identified and are confident they will be effective.”

Students currently enrolled in the Traditional BSN program and other nursing programs will not be affected by the decision, and may continue to pursue their degrees under existing curriculum requirements. In addition, BSN graduates will remain eligible to take the NCLEX. All King nursing programs remain fully accredited.

The Board also accepted Whitaker’s recommendation to close King’s Nashville-area campus in Franklin. The campus, which opened in 2014, offers baccalaureate- and master’s-level programs through King’s Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program, which is specifically designed for adult learners.

“Our campus in the Nashville area has provided increased educational opportunities for residents there, giving them another choice when seeking a quality program for their return to school,” Whitaker said. “But the realities of that market and the costs associated with the campus compel us to refocus our energies where King has its traditional, time-tested strengths. The closure will enable us to reallocate resources to better fulfill our mission. This includes making much-needed enhancements at our flagship campus in Bristol and improving programs to better prepare King graduates for success in their chosen professions.”

King University staff will work with affected students at the Nashville campus to develop a personalized plan to help make their transition to alternative programs as seamless as possible.

For more information about King University, visit http://www.king.edu

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