President's Announcement: A bright future awaits our re-energized College

Welcome to the 2017-18 academic year!
 
Let me start by thanking our new students, their parents, their children and their significant others for entrusting Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences with your education. To returning students, I hope this new academic year is at least as positive as the prior and wish that you continue to embrace and fall in love with Saint Luke’s College. To our faculty and staff, the College stands because of you and I personally value your work and your commitment to our institution—for that I am grateful.
 
I truly believe that a bright future awaits our College. An institution that I trust, for many reasons, is re-energized. 
 
First, we continue to build on our rich history of nursing education and we will welcome our first cohort of nurses into our Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track. The need for nurse practitioners is projected to be one of the fasting growing roles in health care. The FNP track consists of 46 credits and 600 clinical practicum hours, expands our current Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and is responsive to this need. A full-time student can complete the track in six semesters or two years and a part-time student can complete the track in nine semesters or three years. Join me in embracing our new FNP students.
 
Second, there is calling for educational institutions to broaden the diversity of student bodies and the health care workforce. Our College has taken seriously this responsibility and we will be welcoming our youth into the Pathways to Health and Science Education Program. True to its commitment to diversity and multiculturalism, the Pathways program was developed by Saint Luke’s College in response to the need for a diverse workforce. We have partnered with the Colombian Cultural Association, which in turn has partnered with several other ethnic organizations, to offer a year-long educational program to high school students who want to fully explore and/or consider attending College and pursue a nursing or health-related career. The impact of this bridge program may be unprecedented and we are hopeful that we will reach students from many backgrounds. Very recently, the College was recognized by the Colombian Cultural Association for its efforts and we continue to devote time and effort to these important academic ventures. I invite you to read more about the Pathways program at futurehealthsciencesstudent.org and share this information with any student who you believe may benefit from this academic opportunity.
 
Third, we understand that the power of knowledge is greater than ever and we are committed to offering opportunities to our youth and to adults who are returning to education and/or seeking a better future. For this purpose, the College has been devoted to the development of new academic programs in additional allied health fields. Recently, we were visited by our accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, to review our request to add allied health and medical assisting programs. We look forward to the Commission’s response and to welcoming students into our new programs. 
 
To our students, make sure your education extends beyond the classroom. Participate in student government, student organizations, volunteer opportunities and student activities. These will broaden your personal and academic horizons while developing your leadership skills. 
 
I believe we are becoming a better institution. We have an immense appreciation for the present because of our heritage and our past but we continue to be true to our promise and commitment to growing and revitalizing our institution, focusing on our community and opening the doors of our College. 
 
As always, thank you for believing in Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences. 
 
Hubert Benitez, DDS, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Barbara Meinke and Robert A. Kleist Endowed Professor