Connecticut nursing school to close after failure to address compliance issues

Stone Academy, a for-profit healthcare college in West Haven, Conn., will close all three of its campus locations immediately after failing to address multiple compliance issues, according to a Feb. 14 press release from the Connecticut Department of Public Health. 

Until now, Stone Academy has offered several accredited degrees in the medical field, including for practical nursing, medical assisting and patient care specialization. 

The compliance issues it was cited for included "unqualified faculty, invalid student clinical experiences and recording attendance," the press release states. The school's former accrediting body, the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, also issued a letter detailing 12 total compliance issues it identified. 

Pass rates from its students for the National Council Licensure Examination were also below standard.

Manisha Juthani, MD, the commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Public Health, noted in a press statement that Stone Academy "appears to have done a poor job of educating its practical nursing students."

The Connecticut Office of Higher Education had originally identified only eight compliance issues and then notified the Board of Examiners for Nursing, the U.S. Department of Education and the accrediting bureau. 

"Stone Academy initially agreed to an independent audit of their student and faculty records to determine the scope of the problem, but after the United States Department of Education put Stone Academy on Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 status, the institution informed [the Office of Higher Education] that it would no longer be doing the audit and would instead shut down operations," according to the press release. 

The Connecticut Office of Higher Education noted that it will work with students affected by Stone Academy's shutdown to reallocate loans, implement refunds and access transcripts as needed. 

Stone Academy is the second for-profit nursing program this month to face serious compliance issues. Aspen University in Phoenix is currently undergoing investigation and faces the possibility of a shutdown itself.

Becker's reached out to Stone Academy for comment on the matter and has yet to receive a reply, but will provide an update if the request for comment is returned.

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