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Ancilla College Board approves three new programs

May 23, 2012
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   05/24/12 The Ancilla College Board of Trustees held its Spring meeting on Monday where new Associate’s Degree programs in logistics, environmental technology, and exercise science were approved.

Ancilla College offers two-year, associate’s degrees that allow graduates to enter the workforce or to transfer to senior institutions to obtain a bachelor’s degree. “With the approval of these three programs Ancilla now offers 14 degree programs in high-value disciplines that make a real difference for traditional and adult learners in Northern Indiana,” said college president Ronald May.

“Faculty worked for over a year with regional businesses, advisory groups, and administrators from other institutions to build these programs,” said Joanna Blount, Dean of Ancilla’s Academic and Student Services. “We are very excited by the opportunities that each degree offers for people interested in pursuing careers in these growing fields.”

Logistics and Inventory Systems is one of the fastest growing employment categories in the Midwest with careers available in transportation, materials handling, warehousing, and business management. “When you consider the expansion of activities like Amazon’s distribution center in Indianapolis, new railroad and airport facilities in Indiana and Illinois, and the growth of shipping that affects every local business it made perfect sense for Ancilla to take the lead in offering education and training here at the intersection of US 30 and 31,” said Eric Wignall, Interim Director of Admissions for the college.

“We have received a tremendous amount of interest and support for these programs, from employers and firms in South Bend, Plymouth, Rochester, Bremen, and Indianapolis,” President May said.

The environmental technology program is designed to provide certification and training in topics like ground water quality, air quality measurement, and environmental remediation, combined with a broad education in the sciences.

“Every part of our lives is based on the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. From heavy industry to the smallest local business, everyone has a growing awareness of maintaining and preserving these natural resources,” Dean Blount said. Ancilla faculty planned the new programs to meet high standards so they can be used directly in the workforce or as transfer credits to programs at regional universities.

“With an aging population and more people than ever involved in high-impact recreation, Exercise Science bridges the gap between health care, after an injury, and developing physical skills and mobility,” President May said.

“Exercise science is a growing area of interest for students looking at going on to pursue degrees in physical therapy and the health sciences. Our faculty members are planning courses for adult learners, area teachers, and coaches who want to increase their knowledge of training, coaching, and performance improvement for everyone from dedicated to armchair athletes,” Dean Blount said.

Ancilla College enrolls 500 students in 14 degree programs ranging from business to nursing. It was founded by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ 75 years ago, and is located on Union Road south of US 30 near Plymouth. “Our location is actually a huge asset for us. The campus is situated on beautiful grounds that offer access to ponds, area lakes, and the Yellow and Kankakee rivers nearby for the environmental programs. We are within 100 miles of ten major airports, major distribution centers, rail lines, and logistics companies. And there isn’t a local community or school that is not home to people interested in fitness, coaching and exercise as a form of recreation or as a business opportunity,” Wignall said.

In addition to the approval of the new programs, the college’s governing board also approved a budget for 2013 which keeps tuition rates frozen at 2011 levels, promotions for two faculty members, and board member appointments.

Nursing professor Patricia Bawcum and mathematics professor Kathy Gulliver were promoted to assistant professor by the board. Education professor Jane Yochum, who has served as the Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees for the last four years, was thanked for her service and for her advocacy on faculty issues at Ancilla.

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