Jacksonville University and City of Palm Coast Announce Healthcare Education Campus to Meet Increased Demand for Skilled Healthcare Professionals and Retain Talent in the Region

Partnership brings state-of-the-art educational resources to Flagler County to address projected growth in population and demand for healthcare services

Palm Coast, Florida, Dec. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jacksonville University, a premier private university located in Jacksonville, Florida, is partnering with the City of Palm Coast to build a Palm Coast Campus and bring in-demand healthcare graduate programs to Flagler and Volusia counties, Jacksonville University President Tim Cost and Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland announced today.

Jacksonville University is a leader in healthcare education, working to transform communities by educating and training exceptional healthcare professionals. The new Jacksonville University Palm Coast Campus and the school’s Main Campus in Jacksonville are two anchors of what the school expects to become an education corridor stretching throughout Northeast Florida.

“This partnership builds on Jacksonville University’s proven strategy of attracting top-notch students, educating and training them in cutting-edge fields, and connecting them with local employers so they stay in the region,” said President Cost. “With demand for healthcare professionals expected to rise 14 percent in the next decade, and a lack of local graduate programs devoted to educating advanced specialized healthcare professionals, this investment comes at a critical time. We appreciate the support of the City of Palm Coast—Mayor Holland, City Manager Morton and the City Council—as we work toward the shared goal of delivering high-quality healthcare services in Flagler and Volusia counties.”

The Jacksonville University Palm Coast Campus will offer several highly acclaimed JU programs including a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology, Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and three specialized tracks for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), including Clinical Nurse Educator, Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Systems, and Nursing Informatics. Future programs are expected to include an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an undergraduate nursing degree for those who already have a bachelor’s degree outside of nursing and specialized graduate nurse practitioner programs. These programs are not currently offered in the region, or are offered but cannot meet projected demand, and represent some of the fastest-growing healthcare occupations in the country.

“This partnership cements Palm Coast as a destination for high-quality healthcare: for students, for employers and for our residents, and builds on the existing degree pipeline from Flagler Palm Coast High School’s medical flagship and offerings at Daytona State College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,” said Mayor Holland. “Jacksonville University is an agile, market-responsive partner with a demonstrated track record of high-quality student applicants, student retention, strong employer relationships and integration with other educational partners in the region.”

The Palm Coast City Council approved a $1.5 million grant to Jacksonville University Tuesday, designated for initial start-up costs and program launch as well as establishing the physical campus at the Palm Coast Town Center. The initial campus footprint, located in 4,000 to 6,000 square feet of space with cutting-edge classroom and healthcare training technology, will be built in partnership with Douglas Property & Development, a leader in regional real estate development.

The City Council also approved a three-year, $1 million forgivable loan to offset ongoing program costs. Jacksonville University has already invested academic resources for curriculum development and accreditation for the Palm Coast location, to be prepared to quickly bring programs to fruition and provide immediate value to the region. JU will make additional direct financial investments following the first year of operation as it looks to continue growing its Palm Coast campus in the long term.

The Jacksonville University Palm Coast Campus is expected to enroll up to 50 students in its initial cohort in fall 2021, with a total enrollment between 100 and 150 students within 24 months. The campus will create between 20 and 30 new jobs, including both faculty and staff positions. More information about student applications and employment opportunities will be available in the coming months. The site and program operations will be positioned for longer-term growth opportunities with the addition of larger facilities and more partnerships with local hospitals, providers and healthcare businesses.

About Jacksonville University

Named one of the Best Regional Universities in the South for more than 15 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report, Jacksonville University is a premier private institution in northeast Florida. Founded in 1934, the University offers more than 100 majors, minors, and programs, including in-demand degrees in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Business, Marine Science, Engineering, Finance, as well as those in specialized fields such as of Aviation, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Film, Animation, and Sports Business. Jacksonville University, with its four colleges, five schools and two institutes, is located in a beautiful riverfront setting in suburban Jacksonville, across the St. Johns River from downtown and just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. The 240-acre campus includes a half-mile of riverfront, oak-lined paths, and a mix of historic and new campus buildings.



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