GRAND RAPIDS — For years Calvin College and Hope College have shared a nationally accredited nursing program. Now, however, the two schools will be offering their own programs as the colleges begin a three-year separation plan.
The class of nearly 70 students that began the program last fall will be the first to graduate from Calvin College’s own nursing program.
“The logistics of the program, the development of a matured program and basic need caused us to make the separation and create our own nursing program, separate from Hope,” said Tom McWhertor, vice president of enrollment and external relations.
Seeing a sufficient demand for a program solely based at Calvin, the college’s board put its stamp of approval on the proposal last month. But that action was a formality, as the three-year phase-out program has been underway since last summer.
McWhertor said students can expect little change.
“The program has worked very well in the past and we will keep many things similar to how they were run before,” he said.
This includes graduating classes of approximately 70 students per year, similar enrollment and academic requirements and a well-rounded training program.
The biggest change for students likely will be one of convenience.
When the two schools were joined in one program, a student may have classes one day in Holland and the next in Grand Rapids. Now, students will be able to stay on their respective campuses.
The area on Calvin’s campus that is dedicated to nursing also will stay the same after having been upgraded only two years ago.
“The renovation included new updated facilities and the students are very excited about it,” said McWhertor.
In staying competitive with Grand Valley State University and Hope, McWhertor said Calvin will promote the difference in cost and other intangibles the school has to offer, McWhertor said.
“We will operate under our own Christian perspective, which is taught on the foundation of a liberal arts program,” he said. “In all, we are developing a great program and one we know we can fill. Within the next couple of years we hope to see it grow into what we have envisioned.”