Once you have admitted ATB students, it is likely there will be key times during the program when they will need the support of an ATB coordinator or advisor. Ideally there should be an ATB advisor at both the community college and the university to help students navigate the program.
Those key times when student support can be particularly critical include:
Prior to Program Start
It is recommended that the ATB acceptance letter include the date, time and location of an ATB Orientation. Since CCBC’s ADN program has its own orientation for all incoming nursing students at the community college, the ATB Orientation is held on a separate date at the university. The ATB coordinators from both schools attend and run this orientation that covers such topics as university parking, course registration, learning management system, financial aid procedures, ATB curriculum plan and policies governing the ATB program (see sample ATB Policy Manual). Students sign a FERPA agreement giving permission for the community college and university to share student information (see sample FERPA form). The goals of the ATB Orientation are to help students immediately see themselves as university students, meet other ATB students, meet/know how to contact their ATB support staff at each school and address student questions/concerns.
First Semester of the ATB Program
The first semester of any nursing program can be challenging for students. It can be even more challenging for the student enrolled in two institutions. CCBC’s ATB Coordinator meets with the entire ATB class following their Fundamentals class monthly to proactively provide student support, gauge student adjustment to the nursing program, and address student questions/concerns. CCBC employs two part-time ATB Success Coaches. Students are directed to make at least one appointment with a success coach early in the semester and then as often as needed to discuss their first semester progress or address any academic difficulties.
Course Registration Periods
ATB students may need guidance about courses they should be taking particularly to fulfill their university requirements. CCBC has four university partners and therefore, ATB students may need advisement about four different curriculum plans. ATB students with prior degrees may also be transferring previously earned credits to fulfill some university requirements. The CCBC ATB Coordinator is responsible for providing advisement on the ADN sequence of courses while the university ATB advisors take responsibility for guiding students to register for needed university courses.
Financial Aid Disbursement Periods
In meetings between financial aid officers from CCBC and the four partner universities, it was determined that ATB students would be best served if they apply for financial aid through their ATB university. The CCBC registrar places a special code on ATB student accounts to protect their community college courses temporarily while they are awaiting university financial aid disbursement. Students often need guidance to navigate the financial aid process particularly as they begin the program. They also need to know who to contact at their university should they have financial aid questions (see Financial Aid Guidelines for ATB Students).
Prior to ADN Graduation
As ATB students enter the final semester of the ADN program they may need advisement to be sure they are meeting all graduation requirements. The CCBC ATB Coordinator notifies all graduating ADN students that they will need to submit an official university transcript to the degree audit specialist in CCBC’s registrar’s office. Depending on the university, there are a few courses taken at the university (i.e., Health Assessment, Professional Role) that are accepted by CCBC to meet its ADN graduation requirements. The CCBC ATB Coordinator provides a table to the degree audit specialist showing which university nursing courses substitute for ADN nursing courses. In addition, once students have graduated from the ADN program, they will be required to submit an official transcript to the university.