Purdue trustees approve system-wide doctor of nursing practice, honors college for Calumet, merger of technology programs

December 14, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Board of Trustees on Saturday (Dec. 14) approved a system-wide collaboration for a doctor of nursing practice program.

Trustees also approved an honors college for Purdue University Calumet and the merger of two engineering technology departments in the College of Technology.

The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at Purdue's West Lafayette campus will be delivered to Purdue University Calumet and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, said Jane M. Kirkpatrick, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services and head of Purdue's School of Nursing.

"The program will be delivered primarily online, with limited intensive face-to-face experiences and supervised residency/practical experiences," she said. "This approach will increase access to the DNP program and provide efficiencies across the Purdue University system."

Kirkpatrick said the DNP is a practice, as opposed to a research, doctorate. The DNP is similar to practice doctorates common in other disciplines such as pharmacy and audiology.

She said that demand for nurses with professional doctorates in both academia and health care institutions is high and growing.

"Expanding Purdue's role in delivering DNP education fulfills a local, state and national need for nurses prepared to transform health care," she said. "DNP graduates assume leadership positions in health care and education."

The DNP program, which is expected to begin in spring 2015, is subject to approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The program includes a plan for Purdue North Central to participate in five to seven years.

Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon said the goal of the honors college is to improve the honors program that has existed at Purdue Calumet for several years.

"We would like to enhance the honors program to match our strategy to attract and retain high-quality students," he said. "Through special learning communities, the honors college will foster academic excellence, critical thinking, vital leadership skills, social and civic responsibility, and other virtues required of outstanding citizens and leaders."

Keon said the honors college would have a traditional four-year program for students who are incoming freshmen and a program of four to six semesters for students already enrolled who, in their first semesters of college coursework, have demonstrated strong academic ability. It also would be available for students transferring to Purdue Calumet who plan to complete no fewer than four semesters at the university prior to graduation.

The full enrollment goal for the honors college, which will not begin until at least fall 2014, would be approximately 400 students, Keon said.

Trustees also approved merging the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology into the School of Engineering Technology.

The merger will result in administrative and curriculum efficiencies, said Gary Bertoline, dean of the College of Technology on the West Lafayette campus.

"We will be able to provide degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that have significant research and funding opportunities as well as strong interest from business and industry," Bertoline said. "The change also will create new learning, discovery and engagement opportunities for our students and faculty, and better serve the state's needs."

Bertoline said the new school - with more than 1,000 students, 50-plus faculty and four undergraduate programs at six locations – will be one of the largest engineering technology units in the United States. 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu 

Sources: Timothy D. Sands, 765-494-9709, tsands@purdue.edu

Jane Kirkpatrick, 765-494-6644, jmkirk@purdue.edu

Thomas Keon, 219-989-2203, tkeon@purdue.edu

Gary Bertoline, 765-494-2552, bertoline@purdue.edu

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