We read with interest the recent article "CLC backs proposal to offer 4-year nursing degree." We agree on the importance of offering the junior and senior year of a baccalaureate nursing program that students can complete while remaining in their hometown without adding a lengthy commute. That's why the University Center of Lake County has been providing such programs to Lake County since its inception in the late 1990s.
The University Center was created as a cost-efficient means of expanding upon the strong academic programs offered by the College of Lake County. For almost two decades, this has included RN to BS completion programs that enabled students who earned their associate's degrees and achieved RN licensure to take the additional coursework to complete a bachelor's degree in nursing.
Over the years that program has been offered by various UC member institutions: Saint Xavier University, North Park University, Northern Illinois University and now by Olivet Nazarene University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Each program is distinctive in its own way.
All three of these programs have sufficient capacity to add new students. While we can't speak to the necessity of community colleges receiving authority to offer baccalaureate degrees in nursing elsewhere in the state, we can confirm that such authority is not needed in Lake County to serve this community. The University Center of Lake County is meeting this need.
Wesley E. Lindahl, Chair
University Center of Lake County Governing Board