A new $20 million Health Sciences Institute is rising on Eastern Florida State College’s Melbourne campus, starting a new era in healthcare education along the Space Coast. When the facility opens its doors in January 2017, it will house 12 new and existing programs in which students can earn bachelor degrees, associate degrees and certificates. It will also contain labs for nursing, radiography, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, physical therapy assistant, diagnostic medical sonography and other specializations.
The institute will offer careers in some of today’s fastest-growing fields and advance the two principles that are the hallmark of a healthcare education at Eastern Florida: Combining knowledge and compassion to serve people in Brevard County, the Eastern Florida region and the state for decades to come.
“The institute is an exciting step forward for the college, our students and everyone in our community,” said Dr. Linda Miedema, vice president for academic affairs and chief learning officer.
“Students will have more career paths to follow because our programs are designed to meet the needs of local and regional healthcare providers who need skilled professionals on their teams. There is no better time to pursue a healthcare career at Eastern Florida than right now, and our advisors are ready to help students pick the field that’s the perfect fit for them.”
Among the students who have found that perfect fit is Chelsea Woodhouse, who graduated in December with a bachelor’s degree in advanced allied health. Chelsea, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, previously earned her associate’s degree at the college and wants to become a nurse practitioner.
“It’s probably one of the best programs around.They have so many class times that you can fit them around when you work.”
– Chelsea Woodhouse
The college currently has bachelor degree tracks in three healthcare disciplines – advanced allied health, biomedical sciences and healthcare management. It also has a number of associate degrees, including new ones that can allow students to launch a career and move directly into bachelor degree tracks upon successful completion.
The associate degrees include health information technology, respiratory therapy, physical therapy assistant, medical assisting, surgical technician, diagnostic medical sonographer and chemical technology.
There are also one-year applied technical certificate programs in diagnostic medical sonographer, computed tomography technology, and magnetic resonance imaging technology. A college credit certificate program in cardiovascular and echocardiography studies is another option.
Along with great careers, the Health Sciences Institute will have a significant economic impact on the Brevard and regional Eastern Florida economies. Students graduating annually from the new programs are expected to contribute $6.3 million a year into the economy in salaries and spending power, based on a study the college conducted for the Florida Department of Education. Since the useful life of the institute is expected to be more than 50 years, the estimated total economic impact of the new and existing programs in current dollars will be more than $300 million during the next five decades.
For more information on EFSC’s healthcare programs, visit EasternFlorida.edu