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Huntington to roll out programs

June 15th, 2012

News Coverage:

Huntington to roll out programs

LINDA LIPP - lindal@fwbusiness.com

Friday, Jun. 15, 2012 at 5:55am

Huntington University will be the first member of the Life Science Education and Research Consortium of Northeast Indiana, a multi-institution training initiative formed in 2011, to begin offering classes at Parkview Hospital’s Randallia Drive campus.

This fall, the university will launch its Fort Wayne not-for-profit leadership and RN to BSN bachelor’s degree programs, a master’s degree in counseling program and a certificate program for those who teach English as a second language.

The classes will be taught in existing office and seminar space just off the main lobby of Parkview Hospital, said Ann McPherren, senior vice president of strategy and graduate/adult programs at Huntington.

“We’ll be in good shape for this year,” she said.

Eventually, the consortium, which also includes Trine University, the University of Saint Francis, Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast and Fort Wayne Community Schools, will use space in the Fort Wayne Cardiology building, 1819 Carew St., and the Carew Medical Park, 1818 Carew St.

But Huntington’s leaders didn’t want to wait for renovations to those spaces, for the consortium to raise funds for the project or for the other members to begin classes, McPherren said. They decided to move ahead and use a temporary space to get started.

Huntington is self-financing its entry into the Fort Wayne educational market, but it plans to participate in whatever collaborative funding and foundation efforts the consortium develops down the road.

“We have some momentum … there are needs that are underserved,” McPherren said. “We didn’t want to wait.”

The school expects to enroll about 20 to 25 students in its master’s classes, about the same number in its bachelor’s programs, and perhaps 10 in its teaching English as a second language program. All will be designed primarily for adult learners. The courses will be taught by faculty members from the Huntington campus.

The formation of the consortium, announced last August, grew out of a multilayered economic development proposal Angola-based Trine first offered Steuben County in 2010. One of the elements of that plan was the construction of a new $7.5-million biomechanics and movement sciences center.

Trine, which has a satellite campus on the north side of the city and also plans to create a doctorate program in physical therapy that would be based in Fort Wayne, later decided to partner with Parkview Health and create the biomechanics center here as well.

Parkview Health, meanwhile, was looking for new ways to use the Randallia spaces after it shifted some of its operations to its expanded regional medical center near Interstate 69 and Dupont Road. As talks between Trine and Parkview Health continued, the other educational partners were brought on board and the concept was expanded.

Saint Francis is considering the Randallia campus for its master of science in nursing program and a doctoral nursing practice, among other offerings. Ivy Tech wants to use the space for associate programs in nursing, respiratory care, health-care information technology and medical assisting. FWCS wants to train students in biomedical sciences and other programs that could offer dual high-school and college credit.

The other partners have not offered any updates on their plans, although they had scheduled a meeting this month to discuss the consortium’s progress.

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