At its meeting on July 24, the board of directors of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) granted initial accreditation to the lactation consultant program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

The CAAHEP Board acted upon the accreditation recommendation of the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC).

Through the accreditation process, which includes a thorough review of the program, curriculum, resources, faculty and staff, as well as a site visit of the program, the lactation consultant program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College was determined to be in substantial compliance with the nationally-approved standards and guidelines for educational programs as established by the lactation consultant profession.

The GNTC lactation consultant program is only the eighth program that is endorsed by LEAARC as a LEAARC-approved lactation program. GNTC's program in Georgia is the only technical college to receive this accreditation.

"Accreditation indicates assurance that our program is meeting quality standards and provides recognition within our institution and beyond," said Katherine Kerce, GNTC lactation consultant program director and instructor. "Accreditation gives students the confidence that the knowledge and competencies in our program are ethically bound and evidence-based. This solidifies our students' expertise in the field of human lactation."

CAAHEP accredits more than 2,200 educational programs that prepare health professionals in 32 disciplines. Accreditation is one step in a process that is meant to protect the public and ensure a supply of qualified health care professionals. For information on the Lactation Consultant program at GNTC, visit www.gntc.edu.

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