76% of student credits from shuttered nursing program found to be invalid

More than 3 of every 4 student credits from a Connecticut nursing program that was shutdown in February were determined to be invalid by an independent audit, according to the state's Office of Higher Education.

The state's report, released July 18, found that of the 102,471 hours reported on Stone Academy student transcripts 77,858 were invalid. In several cases students had also been given clinical credits for writing assignments, or even for visiting a museum instead of actually attending an approved clinical rotation, according to the report.

The audit also revealed that 43 of the institution's instructors were unqualified to teach nursing students.

"Unfortunately, these audited transcripts demonstrate Stone Academy was not providing most of its students with the education they need to be prepared to take the NCLEX or practice as an LPN," Tim Larson, the executive director for the Office of Higher Education stated in a July 18 letter. "My office will make sure students are refunded for their out-of-pocket tuition payments that are refundable under the law and know the options available to them to complete their education as quickly as possible."

Calculations from the audit determined that Stone Academy owes students around $263,500 in total refunds. The school is also facing lawsuits from the state attorney general as well as former students. 

Although tuition payments will be refunded, what former Stone Academy students will not be getting back is time. Any credits determined by the audit to be invalid will have to be re-taken in order for the students to be eligible to practice as a licensed nurse. 

Further details for affected students will become available during a July 27 webinar to review the audit in-depth.

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