MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The University of West Virginia Board of Governors received an update at its Board of Governors meeting on Friday on student success and a new BS / BA Accelerated Nursing Program at BSN that will soon open its gates to Bridgeport.
Maryanne Reed, vice president and vice president of academic affairs, said the United Hospital Center paid for the new facility and would rent it to WVU for $ 1 per year. The building will include laboratories, classrooms, a conference room, a student lounge and administrative offices.
“The School of Nursing is opening a new campus in Bridgeport,” said Reed. “The new nursing school will occupy approximately 5,000 square feet of space in a new addition at WVU Medicine, United Hospital Center.”
The first class will start the accelerated program in spring 2023. A total of 24 students will be admitted each year.
“This is exciting because we know the nursing shortage is very real in West Virginia and this is another way the university is addressing this issue.”
“The shared mission of the United Hospital Center and the WVU School of Nursing presents a unique opportunity for collaboration, enabling us to train future generations of nurses capable of meeting the evolving health needs of our region,” Michael C. Tillman, President and CEO of UHC, mentioned. “Qualified and compassionate nurses are essential to our mission, especially nurses who have the academic and clinical training that enables them to successfully adapt in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. “
The new center complements nursing programs at the Beckley, Charleston, Keyser and Morgantown campuses.
Officials cited changing demographics and financial hardship as the main reasons the focus on student success has become more acute.
Deputy rector Evan Widders said the university was ahead of schedule in areas such as graduation rates and retention.
Currently, the four-year graduation rate at WVU is 43% compared to the national average at peer institutions of 35%. Widders said their efforts resulted in some goals being achieved earlier than expected.
“In 2019, the university has set an ambitious goal of 62.5% six-year graduation rate by 2025,” Widders said. “We exceeded that target this semester.
Retention efforts are very important to students and to the financial health of WVU. Currently, retention figures are slightly lower than peer institutions, but efforts continue to increase these figures.
In 2019, the university set a goal of increasing freshman retention by one percent per year and that goal was met despite the pandemic. However, for financial projections, the target has been reduced to 0.5% per year.
“We are currently exceeding that number, so if we can increase our retention rate faster than 0.5% per year, we will see positive budget results,” Widders said.
Retention after the pandemic year, retention actually reached 82%. Widders cited several factors such as the increase in federal student aid, among others.
“People attribute this to relaxed academic policies. We had things like pass / fail policies that made the courses a little easier for the students to perform well, ”Widders said. “There were also uncertain prospects in the job market. “
The governor of the WVU board of directors also approved at Friday’s meeting:
1. Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design and Development Program.
2. Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work from the College of Arts and Sciences of Eberly.
3. The new major in human nutrition and food from Potomac State College.
4. Next phase of the School of Dentistry’s multi-year master plan to modernize facilities and unify operations at the Health Sciences Center.
5. Renaming the Natatorium to WVU Athletics Performance Center to better reflect the fact that the facility now houses strength and conditioning, athletic training and locker rooms to serve Olympic sports, golf and rowing.
6. Updated Personal Rapid Transit Agency Safety Plan as required by Federal Transit Association and US Department of Transportation.
The board of trustees also approved transfers of ownership from the university to the town of Morgantown or the state to pave the way for the realignment and reconfiguration of the intersection of Campus Drive and Beechurst Avenue as part of the the Beechurst Avenue widening project by the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
The next regular meeting is set for February 18, 2022.