Navarro College Expands Health Profession Programs

October 27, 2017
Staff Reports

For educational institutions to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced, technologically-driven world it is imperative to review academic, technical and vocational program offerings and ensure they are meeting the needs of the students in their academic journey and beyond into the workforce.

After a careful analysis, Navarro College has concluded that it is in the best long-term interest of the College to move the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) and Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) Bridge programs from the Corsicana campus and the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program from the Midlothian campus to the Waxahachie campus effective September 1, 2018.  The Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program is scheduled to be moved from the Midlothian campus to the Waxahachie campus effective fall 2019.

This move will leave several health care programs that students can complete entirely on the Corsicana campus: Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN), Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) and Medical Lab Technology (MLT).  The Vocational Nursing program in Mexia will also remain on the Mexia campus.   By moving the ADN program, it will open up space for any future expansion of the Vocational Nursing program and other Career and Technical programs that may be developed.  Also remaining on the Corsicana campus are health programs leading to certifications in EKG Technician, Clinical Medical Assistant, Medication Aide, Nurse Aide, Patient Care Technician, Phlebotomy and Pharmacy Technician.

The Midlothian campus, located 9 miles from the Waxahachie campus, will then house programs that are not health care related.  This transition is expected to occur over a 5-year period with Accounting, Business and Education transitioning in 2018.

Factors used in determining the reconfiguration of the campuses included enrollment trends, clinical affiliations, facilities expansion, and financial considerations.  Over the past several years there has been a significant increase in the number of students attending Navarro College pursuing the ADN degree who are not Navarro County residents.  Two-year data indicate of the 1,008 students with a declared major of ADN, 73% are from Ellis County or the DFW Metroplex; 17% from Navarro County and 10% from other counties in Texas or out of state.  In 2016, of the 101 students admitted to the ADN program 74 were from Ellis County or the DFW Metroplex; 16 from Navarro County and 11 from other locations.  An overwhelmingly majority of students live in Ellis County or the DFW Metroplex.

All health professions programs require approved clinical sites.  Clinical sites available to the College have become increasing difficult to locate and maintain.  Navarro College currently has most of its clinical affiliations in Ellis County and the DFW Metroplex.  Few clinical opportunities in and around Corsicana for ADN students are available to the program.

Opportunities for expansion of health professions programs in Corsicana are limited due to facility space consideration.  The existing space dedicated to health professions is at capacity with no room to expand existing programs or add new programs without significant capital investment.  The Waxahachie campus has the physical space to absorb existing health profession programs, while affording the opportunity to expand existing programs and implement new programs.  In fact, the LVN Bridge program will expand by 30 students in 2018 and an additional 30 students in 2019.  This will assist the College in meeting its fiscal demands and help stabilize a tenuous budget situation.

Over the past two years, the college has been faced with several budget constraints.  State appropriations funding has decreased due to a shortfall in student enrollment, which has forced Navarro College to reduce the operating budget by approximately $1.7 million over the past two years.  Navarro College must increase the full-time student headcount by expanding existing programs and offering new programs which we anticipate will attract new full-time students to the college.  Health profession students are full-time students and with this move the anticipated expansion of the LVN Bridge program and creation of new Allied Health and Career and Technical programs will assist in stabilizing its financial position.

Allied Health, Business and Technology are three fields of study destined to provide a job market for graduates in the future according to United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.   “Navarro College is dedicated to enhancing programs in these three areas in order to provide the necessary training for students to be competitive in the job market once they complete their program of study, as well as providing innovative approaches to sustain Navarro College into the future,” said Navarro College President Dr. Richard Sanchez.

Navarro College is in its 71st year and its mission is to provide educational opportunities that empower students to achieve their personal, academic, and career goals and promote life-long learning for all communities served. The vision for the college is to be a nationally recognized higher education institution committed to providing innovative pathways and student-centered learning opportunities that result in students capable of succeeding in a local and global community.

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