A bachelor’s degree from a community college?
It may soon be possible at Weatherford College in the field of nursing as the school is expected to join a select group of community colleges across Texas.
The two-year school recently received an endorsement from the Texas Board of Nursing to move forward with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program.
This is the first bachelor’s degree offered by the school in its modern era. After final approval, Weatherford College will be the fourth community college in Texas with a BSN program and the first approved to offer the courses online.
The program is set to begin in the fall of 2020. President Dr. Tod Allen Farmer called it “a giant leap forward for both the institution and our community.”
“Students will be able to earn a BSN at a small fraction of university tuition prices,” Farmer said. “We will also be able to help our area hospitals and clinics meet the critical labor demand shortages of nurses.
“The future of Weatherford College is incredibly bright.”
The program will include nine courses and be online. It is geared toward students who have completed their associate degree in nursing, and can be completed in as little as one year.
College administrators began work on creating the BSN program in the fall of 2018. A proposal was sent to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) the following spring. Final steps include approval from the THECB and then the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
“The idea for the BSN was already growing among Weatherford College stakeholders before I arrived about a year and a half ago. All I did was support community demand,” Farmer said.
WC sent a charter bus full of nursing students, faculty members and administrators to the Texas Board of Nursing meeting to show support for the BSN program.
“This is a game-changer for Weatherford College,” Vice President of Institutional Advancement Brent Baker said. “Not only does it help fill a need for the nursing shortage in Texas, but it will open the door for Weatherford College to offer other bachelor’s degrees in the future.”
WC currently offers licensed vocational nursing (1 year) and associate degree nursing (2 years). The associate program program allows students to sit for the registered nurse exam.