Wilson College Rolls out Online RN Classes

Updated:   08/13/2014 03:57:15 PM

CHAMBERSBURG >> Wilson College is rolling out new healthcare programs, beginning with two degree programs for registered nurses this fall — one that allows registered nurses to get a bachelor of science degree in nursing and one that leads registered nurses to a master of science degree in nursing. Both programs are offered only online.

The RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN programs, which were approved by the college’s Board of Trustees in May, have already exceeded enrollment goals for the fall semester, primarily through word of mouth, according to Carolyn Hart, program director for Wilson’s Department of Nursing.

With a projected total enrollment of 15 students in both programs, 34 students have enrolled to date and another seven have already applied for next year, said Hart, an RN and Certified Nurse Educator.

The strong early response to Wilson’s new nursing programs can be attributed in large measure to trends in the nursing industry, which is experiencing shortages of qualified nurses. Key trends include growing demand for RNs to continue education and earn academic degrees.

“Current research and recommendations from the Institute of Medicine support (the idea that) higher levels of education lead to better patient outcomes,” said Summit Health Vice President of Hospital Services Sherri Stahl.

In cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore, most hospitals already require RNs to have bachelor’s degrees in nursing, according to Hart. “If you’re a nurse without a bachelor’s degree, your chances of working in a large city hospital are slim,” she said, adding that the trend is spreading to other communities.

Wilson’s RN-to-BSN program is designed so that students can earn their bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months. Upon entering the program, students can be awarded up to 82 credits for a valid nursing license and prior coursework. A total of 120 credits are needed to complete the degree.

The program will include liberal arts courses selected specifically on the basis of relevance to nurses.

In fall 2015, Wilson will add two more health-related programs — a general master’s degree in nursing and a health sciences degree, which will offer concentrations in management, exercise and sport science, and pre-physical therapy. The health sciences degree will prepare students for careers in such areas as health benefits management, pharmaceutical sales, client/patient advocacy, independent living administration and social services case management, as well as preparing them for graduate programs in public health, social work and healthcare administration.

For more information about Wilson’s RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN programs, contact Hart at 262-4853, 575-4964 or carolyn.hart@wilson.edu

Wilson College adapts athletic facilities for male students

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
by Jennifer Fitch
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Wilson College is exploring its options to adapt the campus’ field house to accommodate male athletes.

Historically a women’s school, Wilson College is preparing to open its undergraduate degree programs and dormitories to men this fall. A group of alumnae has asked the state education department to block that move.

The college is processing applications from male students.

Changes are coming to the Frank E. Gannett Memorial Field House to create men’s locker rooms, school spokeswoman Cathy Mentzer said.

The college is unsure whether the field house will be expanded for the locker rooms or if they can be added through renovations of existing space, Mentzer said.

One definite aspect of construction will be the incorporation of disabled-accessible bathrooms, she said.

The Frank E. Gannett Memorial Field House has a gymnasium, training room and staff offices.

On Monday, the Chambersburg Borough Council approved a final subdivision and land development plan for an addition to the field house along South Penn Hall Drive. The addition is listed on plans as being 1,500 square feet.

“We need to evaluate the cost to renovate versus new construction in light of what services (and) facilities will need to be given up as part of the renovations. Another consideration is the time to complete the renovations versus the new construction,” Brian Ecker, Wilson’s vice president for finance and administration, wrote in an email.

The college expects to spend $450,000 to $500,000 and complete the work late this fall, Ecker said.

Jennifer Fitch is a reporter for The Herald-Mail. She can be reached via email at jenniferf@herald-mail.com.

Plans progress for Wilson College library addition

CHAMBERSBURG >> Chambersburg Planning and Zoning Committee has approved the final land development plan for an addition to be constructed to the John Stewart Memorial Library at Wilson College.

The $12 million project is scheduled to begin as early as July and the library is scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2015.

Some challenges from previous land development plans include an upgraded water and gas lines, but they are being looked at, according to Phil Wolgemuth, land use and development director for the borough.

The plan involves restoring the original building, completed in 1925. The 1961 annex will be demolished and replaced with an updated three-story annex and a commons area.

Wilson College President Barbara Mistick told the committee that she was excited to see the “wonderful academic quad” that would be developed on the college.

The building was closed in fall 2011 when the heating system failed. A temporary library was established in the lower level of Lenfest Commons.

As previously reported by the Public Opinion, the college has been working with the state historic preservation office to keep the historic nature of the building.

In April, a land use permit was issued to demolish the annex. The next step in the plan is permitting the relocation of utilities in preparation for demolition, according to Wolgemuth.

Wilson College, founded in 1869 as a women’s college that recently became coeducational, has a fall enrollment of 662, which includes students from 20 states and 14 countries.

Lauren Cappuccio can be contacted at 262-4754.

Razing Library Annex is Next at Wilson College

By Jim Hook jhook@publicopinionnews.com @JimHookPO on Twitter

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has concluded that the design for the addition to the library at Wilson College is OK. “The proposed project will have no adverse effect” on the Wilson College Historic District, according to Douglas McLearen, chief of the Division of Archaeology and Resources. He wrote the June 9 letter stating his position after alumna Margaret Killmer of Yarmouth, Maine, had written the PHMC. Killmer said that the proposed addition would overwhelm the original structure, built in 1925.

Kilmer had suggested that the college renovate the existing annex built in the 1960s. The flat-roofed annex is to be demolished in the next couple of days. The proposed addition is larger than the original library, but it does not detract from the original facade or historic orientation because it is located at the rear of the library, according to McLearen. The stone used in the addition is compatible with the original, and the large windows distinguish the addition from the original.

McLearen said he considered the entire historic district — which includes 28 buildings, walkways, lamp posts and landscaping. PHMC does not have a regulatory role in the project since no federal funds are being spent on the $12 million expansion. McLearen’s letter answers Killmer’s objections in detail.

See http://www.scribd.com/doc/231134800/PHMC-endorses-Wilson-College-library-design “The architects, Murray and Associates, have been working with the PHMC for some time, so it really comes as no surprise to us that the design was approved,” said Brian Speer, vice president of marketing and communications at Wilson College. “We are looking at a mid-August groundbreaking with the building scheduled to open for the fall 2015 semester.”

The Stewart Library was closed in 2011 when the heating system failed. Students have been using a temporary arrangement in Lenfest Commons. Jim Hook can be reached at 717-262-4759.

Wilson, Vermont Law Offer Dual Degree Plan

Posted: April 1, 2014
Wilson College and Vermont Law School, the top-ranked environmental law school in the nation, recently forged an agreement that will allow qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Wilson and a master’s degree from VLS in just four years.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Wilson College and Vermont Law School, the top-ranked environmental law school in the nation, recently forged an agreement that will allow qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Wilson and a master’s degree from VLS in just four years.

Through an articulation agreement between the two colleges, Wilson students who qualify can pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental sustainability at Wilson, followed by guaranteed admission to Vermont Law’s Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) program.

Some credits would be shared between the two institutions and to expedite the master’s program, students would take two online courses from VLS while attending Wilson. After their junior year, they could enter Vermont Law’s summer program. Both degrees would be completed at the same time.

“This agreement with Vermont Law School offers our students an incredible opportunity to earn a degree from Wilson, as well as from one of the top environmental law schools in the country, in just four years,” said Wilson President Barbara K. Mistick. “This is Wilson’s third 3+1 program, which allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at a cost that is less than a four-year bachelor’s degree alone, and dovetail with our efforts to make a quality education more affordable for students and families.”

The agreement will give Wilson students a distinct advantage in gaining admission to Vermont Law.

“We are pleased to offer Wilson students an opportunity to earn a MELP degree from Vermont Law, where they’ll not only learn the law but also how to use it to effect change,” said Cheryl Hanna, vice president for external relations at VLS. “By studying advocacy, legislation, regulations and markets, they will have the tools they need to create a more sustainable world.”

A master’s degree in environmental law and policy can lead to a variety of career options, according to Edward Wells, director of Wilson’s Environmental Studies Program, who facilitated the articulation agreement.

“It prepares graduates for jobs ranging from public service or working at a federal agency like the EPA to running a nonprofit environmental organization” said Wells, who also teaches environmental studies. “Graduates could work as an energy consultant or an environmental educator, or they could continue their studies and obtain a law degree.”

Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two master’s degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-J.D. degrees — LL.M. in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LL.M. in Energy Law, and LL.M. in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.

The 3+1 agreement builds upon the existing relationship between VLS and Wilson, which is known for its environmental studies programs and has a commitment to environmental sustainability as part of its mission statement. The two institutions signed an agreement in 2008 that guaranteed Wilson graduates admission to VLS if they meet standards in grade-point average and entrance exam scores.

For more information, contact the Wilson College Office of Admissions at 800-421-8402 or visit www.wilson.edu.

For more information about Vermont Law School, visit www.vermontlaw.edu