WC nursing program receives $145,000 grant, provides evening program update to Board
The Weatherford College Board of Trustees was presented with an update on the evening cohort for the Associate Degree Nursing program and the news of a $145,000 grant in their monthly meeting Thursday.
The college is eligible for grant funds from the Professional Nursing Shortage Reduction Program each year, with the amount depending on the number of nursing graduates the college produces. As the program grows and more students complete the program, the more funding the college receives from the grant, explained Kathy Boswell, dean of health and human sciences.
WC uses these grant funds as stipends to attract and retain quality nursing instructors.
To meet the growing demand for the nursing program, produce more graduates and help tackle the nursing shortage, WC instituted an evening cohort on the Weatherford campus in 2021. Dr. Marvella Starlin heads up the evening program and provided an update to the board.
She explained the demand for registered nurses exceeds the supply, and by the year 2032, the state will need 57,000 nurses but will only have 29,000 available if steps are not taken to bridge the gap.
“That’s where Weatherford College can come in and be the hero,” she said.
Between day and evening nursing cohorts at the Weatherford and Wise County campuses, which start on a revolving schedule, WC averages about 300 nursing students at any given time and graduates 200 students each year.
The evening program has room for 20 students at each campus with potential room for expansion. And it’s a popular option for students since it’s easier to hold down a job and complete the program simultaneously compared to the traditional daytime program.
“There is a need for expanding the evening program,” Starlin said. “The way we’ve been doing it is, once we send out acceptance letters to the students, we tell them the first 20 to respond that they want the evening program are in. And the majority of them want that evening program.”
In his President’s Report, Farmer:
- Announced the sonography program was recently contacted by the prestigious Mayo Clinic regarding employment opportunities for WC students.
- Congratulated students Nikki Giunta and Tyler West-Sumrall on their qualification to the Texas Two-Year College All-State Choir.
- Announced the resignation of Megan Horn, acquisitions librarian.
- Provided a Spring 2023 enrollment update. As of Jan. 9, 4,568 students were enrolled compared to 4,240 last year, a 7.2 percent increase. WC Wise County is also up 10.9 percent, or 333 students, compared to 297 this time last year.
In other business, the board:
- Approved the minutes from the Dec. 8 meeting
- Approved the financial reports ending Dec. 31.
- Called a general election for Board of Trustees Place 6 and Place 7 and a special election for Place 4.
- Received a written academic and student services update.
- Following an executive session, approved to dry-in the historic De Bresson Stable located on the Carter Property to prevent further damage and to accept the Parker County Historical Commission’s assistance in that project.