Manage an ATB Program

So you have admitted ATB students into your program, now what?  There are a number of ongoing tasks that will need to be accomplished in order to successfully manage your ATB Program.  Below are some of those tasks considered most critical to the successful management of CCBC’s ATB Program.

Successful Management

Create an ATB Calendar

Faculty assigned to leading their institution’s ATB program will likely have other teaching, advising, and committee responsibilities.  It is highly recommended that the ATB Coordinator create a separate semester or yearlong calendar to map out all necessary ATB related activities.

This calendar would include such things as:

  • key ATB deadlines for students (i.e., TEAS test, application to CCBC Nursing and to ATB university)
  • ATB recruiting events (i.e., quarterly ATB 1.0 Information Sessions, fall/spring ATB 2.0 and 3.0 Recruitment, fall/spring high school and college fairs)
  • deadlines for updating/printing ATB marketing materials
  • ATB admissions meetings with each university partner
  • ATB admission decision notifications and seat acceptance deadlines
  • ATB new student orientation sessions.


Report ATB Participation

Participation in a dual enrollment program requires that you report to a number of constituents which of your incoming class of ADN students are also ATB.  At CCBC, the ATB Coordinator creates a master spreadsheet by university of each new ATB cohort (i.e., Fall 2017 ATB 1.0 Cohort) that includes the student name, ID number, CCBC campus attending, CCBC program attending (i.e., Day, Evening, Online Hybrid), ATB university, phone, CCBC email and other email.  The spreadsheet is shared with those CCBC personnel needing this information for their planning purposes:

  • Nursing Program Directors and their administrative assistants who maintain student lists
  • first semester nursing faculty who need to know which students may be exempt from their course because they will take an equivalent course at the university (i.e., Health Assessment)
  • the registrar and financial aid officer who collaborate to code ATB students to protect courses while students wait for financial aid awards through the university; the registrar also generates registration and grade reports
  • the ATB data manager who assists in the tracking of all ATB students.


Advise ATB Students

The ATB Coordinator will need to serve as an advocate for all ATB students as they navigate both their ADN and BSN coursework.  Prior to course registration periods, ATB students may need gentle reminders about next courses needed at both institutions to stay on track with their ATB program of study.  This is particularly true for summer and winter session required courses.  CCBC and its partner universities require that any student who fails or withdraws failing from any nursing course must meet with both their CCBC and university ATB advisor.  After an assessment of factors leading to the course withdrawal/failure, both advisors collaborate on a decision regarding the student’s eligibility to continue in ATB, step out of ATB altogether, or step out and apply for ATB 2.0 (second year start) once first year CCBC nursing courses have been successfully completed.  Always paramount in arriving at a decision is keeping the student’s goal of becoming a registered nurse in mind.

Collaborate with ATB Partners

The community college ATB Coordinator will need to regularly communicate with his/her counterpart at the university.  Emails are effective in exchanging information about upcoming shared ATB events, meetings, ATB student withdrawals and course scheduling, for example.  Phone calls may be necessary to discuss student or curriculum issues that are more complex in nature.  Periodic face to face meetings involving the community college ATB Coordinator and all partner university ATB Coordinators are vital to discuss program successes/issues and discuss/propose program improvements.  The CCBC ATB Coordinator organizes a face to face meeting for all partner university ATB Coordinators twice yearly.  Other personnel from both the community college and/or the universities may be invited to these meetings when input is needed to address ATB issues.

Collaboration is also needed between the community college and university registrar’s and financial aid offices.  CCBC must provide official course registration information prior to the start of each semester to the student’s ATB university.  CCBC must also provide final grades at the completion of each semester.  This information is needed for the administration of financial aid.  Students are required to sign a FERPA form upon entry to ATB, granting their permission for the sharing of information between CCBC and their partner university.


Track ATB Student Progress/Outcomes

It is highly recommended the ATB Coordinator seek assistance from his/her institutional research department to track the progress and outcomes for all ATB students.  At CCBC the ATB Coordinator works with a data manager to maintain and update a master ATB spreadsheet.  Demographic data is captured in the spreadsheet.

Each new entering cohort is tracked for:

  • completed courses with grades
  • withdrawal from courses
  • withdrawal from the ADN program
  • withdrawal from the ATB program
  • failure out of ADN/ATB programs
  • month/year of A.S. degree
  • date of NCLEX-RN pass
  • month/year of B.S. degree


Revise ATB Program

Ongoing evaluation of the ATB Program is of course necessary to making program improvements.  Analysis of input from ATB students, ATB Coordinators, Nursing Program administrators, faculty, other college/university personnel and tracking data is required to make informed decisions.  The CCBC ATB program has made a number of revisions since the first pilot group began with Towson University in fall 2012 and three additional partners joined in fall 2015.

Some examples include:

  • repeated student inquiry prompted the development of ATB 2.0, a second year entry to ATB
  • revisions to some BSN course sequences to make more balanced with CCBC clinical course load
  • revisions to some BSN course sequences to avoid unnecessary repetition of course content
  • revisions to number of BSN credits a student must take per semester post ADN graduation and RN employment
  • revision of ATB progression policy: one clinical course failure formerly required dropping of ATB, now a meeting with ATB coordinators is required to discuss factors related to failure and advisability of continuing in ATB
  • increased number of hybrid or online BSN courses offered to reduce course scheduling conflicts
  • repeated student inquiry prompted us to develop a joint Financial Aid Guidelines for ATB Students

As revisions are considered for the CCBC ATB Program, they are always considered with this key question in mind:

Will this proposed change help us achieve our overarching goal? – to connect eligible ADN students early to a clear pathway to successfully earn their BSN degree and thereby help create a more highly educated nursing workforce.