University of Mobile Unveils ‘Most Advanced Patient-Care Educational Environment in the South’

Kathy Dean Learning, News, Sciences

MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile’s new $4.6 million healthcare and science education center is “the most advanced patient-care educational environment in the South,” said UM President Timothy L. Smith at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 30.

“This development will forever change the way we educate at University of Mobile,” Smith said.

It also will impact the region as the Christian university attracts more students in science and healthcare fields.

“Patients will be cared for with excellence and compassion in the days ahead because of the advanced level of academic preparation that was afforded to their caregiver here at University of Mobile,” Smith added.

He said the purpose of the development goes beyond providing a “wow factor” educational environment at the Christ-centered university.

“The purpose is to glorify Christ through the development of an educational environment that will place our graduates in a position that will bring Him glory, as they leave this institution to fulfill their Great Commission calling through service to our community in hospitals and other environments,” Smith said.

The renovation gutted two entire floors of William K. Weaver Hall to create “living laboratories” that support a new approach to teaching college courses that UM calls “Prac-ademics™.”

“Prac-ademics is the educational process of teaching theory or the academics in the classrooms, while providing practice environments to enhance the learning and retention of content taught in the classroom,” Smith said.

The center has it all – over $1 million in human patient simulators that provide students with realistic patient-care experiences, virtual reality technology, a state-of-the-art human anatomical laboratory and plastination lab, and a full-size operating room.

Classrooms and laboratories mirror the hospital rooms, operating rooms, intensive care units, science and healthcare settings that graduates will step into as they enter the workforce.

A.J. Nipper, a pre-med major in his junior year at University of Mobile, thanked those gathered at the ceremony whose donations, vision and work made the center possible.

“This university continually strives to provide the best learning experiences to best prepare us to fulfill the call God has on our lives,” Nipper said. “This facility provides us with strong advantages now so that we may have brighter futures ahead. And that means the world to us.”

The 40,000-square-foot renovation encompasses the College of Health Professions and the College of Arts & Sciences – Department of Natural Sciences. Included in the College of Health Professions is the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice, School of Nursing, School of Health and Sports Science, and School of Allied Health.

Large windows line the central hallways, providing views into classrooms and labs where students in red scrubs attend to high-fidelity human patient simulators that mimic everything from medical emergencies such as a heart attack to labor and delivery. New technology that enhances learning includes augmented reality, where students can view a virtual 3-D model of the circulatory system and walk around the room to see it from different angles.

The renovation added an operating room, emergency room, gross anatomy lab, health assessment lab, research lab, high-fidelity human patient simulation labs and debriefing rooms, health and sports science labs and classrooms, and high-tech labs for the study of biology, microbiology, anatomy, physiology and organic chemistry.

Both floors include student commons areas, faculty and staff offices, and conference rooms.

Students and families attending an upcoming Preview Day on Nov. 16 will have an opportunity to tour the renovation. To attend Preview Day or schedule a tour, RSVP at or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222.


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, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 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.eduor call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.