University of Mobile opens Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice, announces New Academic Programs and innovative 4-Day Academic Schedule

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IMG_0114MOBILE, Ala. – Less than one year into the new administration of University of Mobile President Timothy L. Smith, the Christian university in south Alabama announced a major expansion of academic programs, opened a state-of-the-art healthcare learning lab, and revealed an innovative four-day academic week.

Smith announced new programs in healthcare, education and the arts during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 21 that officially opened the new Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice.

“The responsibility of any higher education institution, and especially University of Mobile because of our mission of imago Dei that we be the servants of Christ, is to stay on the forefront of the marketplace and provide programs so that graduates are prepared to go out and serve the community,” Smith said.

“We are asking the question: What programs does the community need that University of Mobile can provide? Because of our nimbleness and innovative mindset, we have the ability to develop programs efficiently,” Smith added.

Smith previously served as dean of the School of Nursing at Union University in Tennessee and led that program to become one of the largest faith-based healthcare education programs in the nation. With University of Mobile located in a region with a larger population and more healthcare facilities, Smith said UM has even bigger potential.

Smith announced:

  • A new College of Health Professions that houses the existing School of Nursing, new School of Health and Sports Science, and new School of Allied Health
  • Opening of the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice
  • Creation of new academic programs in healthcare, education, music, and humanities
  • An innovative new 4-day academic week
  • Construction projects and facility improvements

The university previously announced the creation of the Alabama School of the Arts that includes the Roger Breland Center for Performing Arts.

Smith made the announcements during ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice. The high-tech simulation labs provide hands-on learning that mirrors real-world experiences students may face in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Located on the second floor of Weaver Hall, the center includes two high-fidelity simulation labs – an obstetrics lab and a medical-surgical lab – a skills lab, and a health assessment and sports science lab.

Innovative new augmented reality technologies in the center bring holograms to life so students can experience the inner workings of the body in a completely new way. The technology allows students to see a hologram of a human body that includes a heart pumping, with the ability to examine it from all sides and into arteries.

Programs tentatively scheduled to begin in fall 2017, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), are:

  • Master of Science in Nursing with specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP)
  • Master of Music in Performance with specialization in vocal or piano (M.M.)
  • Master in Higher Education Leadership and Policy (M.Ed.)

Additional new degrees include:

  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) for non-traditional students seeking initial licensure as a registered nurse, beginning Spring 2018
  • Bachelor of Arts in Classics
  • Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre
  • Bachelor of Science in Child and Social Development (non-certificate program)

More information about the College of Health Professions is available online at umobile.edu/healthcare, or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222. Information about other academic programs is at umobile.edu/areasofstudy. Information about admissions, student life, campus tours and more can be found at umobile.edu.

Dr. Chris McCaghren, vice president for academic affairs, said the university’s emphasis on “educational entrepreneurship” creates a spirit of innovation.

In January, that innovative approach resulted in a four-day academic schedule and work week, with Fridays set aside for enrichment.

Classes are held Mondays through Thursdays. Each Friday is “Focus Friday” and is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to “refresh, renew and reinvigorate” through campus activities, volunteer service, opportunities for spiritual growth, internships and academic experiences, travel and more.

All university offices are open Mondays through Fridays, with staff alternating work schedules to maintain a four-day work week.

McCaghren said this first phase of growth “is just the start.”

“We have a great team of faculty and staff who have caught the vision of our president and who are working tremendously hard to execute that vision,” McCaghren said.

 

About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

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Shannon Mason