Michigan Tech adds nursing major to help local students

What's happening:  Universities in the Upper Peninsula are trying to find ways to fill the gaps left by the closing of Finlandia University in Hancock. While numerous schools have waived entrance fees, increased the number of possible transfer credits and opened up the transfer window for student athletes, Michigan Technological University is going one step further by creating a new nursing major at the school. 

How does Michigan Tech get a new program: Currently, Michigan Technological University does not have a nursing program. However, a number of materials, equipment and staff will be available after the Finlandia classes end at the end of the current semester. According to MTU Interim Provost Andrew Storer, a number of those personal and physical pieces of infrastructure will cross the canal and be available on Michigan Tech’s campus. The university will also have to get accredited through a national agency. Storer said that the school is in the process of accreditation.  

What they're saying: “We know that there is a shortage of nurses and there are also a lot of students who are pursuing a degree in nursing, a lot of them in the Western U.P.,” Storer said. “The classes that are offered there are being moved over to Michigan Tech and will be offered by MTU is the plan. The faculty and staff that are involved in the nursing program will be coming to Michigan Tech. We are excited to have them in our community.”

What's next:  Local support is stepping up to find what needs are still problematic in starting the major in a short amount of time. Local healthcare provider UPHP-Portage has publicly expressed its support. Internally, Michigan Tech is identifying space in the biology department to host the classes and extending applications to students and staff currently at Finlandia.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.