CORSICANA — For educational institutions to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced, technologically-driven world it is imperative to review academic, technical and vocational program offerings and ensure they are meeting the needs of the students in their educational journey and beyond into the workforce.

After a careful analysis, Navarro College has concluded that it is in the best long-term interest of the college to move the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) and Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) Bridge programs from the Corsicana campus, as well as the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program from the Midlothian campus to the Waxahachie campus.

The move is effective Sept. 1, 2018.

The Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program will move from Midlothian to the Waxahachie campus effective fall 2019.

This move will leave several health care programs that students can complete entirely on the Corsicana campus, such as Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN), Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) and Medical Lab Technology (MLT). The Vocational Nursing program in Mexia will also remain on the Mexia campus.

By moving the ADN program, it will open up space for any future expansion of the Vocational Nursing program and other Career and Technical programs that may be developed. Also remaining on the Corsicana campus are health programs leading to certifications in EKG Technician, Clinical Medical Assistant, Medication Aide, Nurse Aide, Patient Care Technician, Phlebotomy and Pharmacy Technician.

The Midlothian campus, located nine miles from the Waxahachie campus, will then house programs that are not healthcare related. This transition is expected to occur over a five-year period with accounting, business and education transitioning in 2018.

Factors used in determining the reconfiguration of the campuses included enrollment trends, clinical affiliations, facilities expansion, and financial considerations, states the Navarro announcement.

"Over the past several years there has been a significant increase in the number of students attending Navarro College pursuing the ADN degree who are not Navarro County residents," the release adds.

According to Navarro, two-year data indicate of the 1,008 students with a declared major of ADN shows 73 percent are from Ellis County or the DFW Metroplex, while 17 percent reside in Navarro County and remaining 10 percent are from other counties in Texas or out of state.

In 2016, of the 101 students admitted to the ADN program, 74 were from Ellis County or the DFW Metroplex, 16 from Navarro County and 11 from other locations.

"An overwhelming majority of students live in Ellis County or the DFW Metroplex," the release notes.

"[...] All health professions programs require approved clinical sites. Clinical sites available to the College have become increasingly difficult to locate and maintain," it continues. "Navarro College currently has most of its clinical affiliations in Ellis County and the DFW Metroplex. Few clinical opportunities in and around Corsicana for ADN students are available to the program."

The announcement furthers explains, "Opportunities for expansion of health professions programs in Corsicana are limited due to facility space consideration. The existing space dedicated to health professions is at capacity with no room to expand existing programs or add new programs without significant capital investment.

"The Waxahachie campus has the physical space to absorb existing health profession programs while affording the opportunity to expand existing programs and implement new programs. In fact, the LVN Bridge program will expand by 30 students in 2018 and an additional 30 students in 2019. This will assist the College in meeting its fiscal demands and help stabilize a tenuous budget situation."

According to Navarro, the college has faced several budget constraints over the last two years after state funding has decreased due to a shortfall in student enrollment. Because of this, Navarro has had to reduce its operating budget by approximately $1.7 million over the past two years.

"Navarro College must increase the full-time student headcount by expanding existing programs and offering new programs which we anticipate will attract new full-time students to the college," reads the Navarro announcement. "Health profession students are full-time students, and with this move, the anticipated expansion of the LVN Bridge program and creation of new Allied Health and Career and Technical programs will assist in stabilizing its financial position."

According to United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Allied Health, business and technology are three fields of study destined to provide a job market for graduates in the future.

Navarro College President Dr. Richard Sanchez stated, "Navarro College is dedicated to enhancing programs in these three areas in order to provide the necessary training for students to be competitive in the job market once they complete their program of study, as well as providing innovative approaches to sustain Navarro College into the future."

Navarro College is in its 71st year of education.