CROWN POINT | The University of Saint Francis Crown Point welcomed a record number of students again this fall, President Sister M. Elise Kriss announced in an opening convocation and Mass Thursday.
Most Reverend Dale J. Melczek, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Gary, was celebrant for the Mass, and discussed the Franciscan value for the academic year, “Foster peace and justice,” and how it will be reflected in university relations, attitudes and plans. Rev. Tony Janik for the Franciscan Alliance was co-celebrant.
Enrollment came in at over 200 students, including 68 new students, an increase of nearly 15 percent over last year. President Kriss attributed the increase to a number of factors.
USF began offering completely online courses through the university’s Virtual Campus. Programs including the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing have been popular choices, spurring interest from working adults needing to schedule studies at their own pace. Interest in the university’s high-fidelity simulation program, which allows nursing students to practice skills in a clinical setting with human simulators, also continues to drive enrollment.
The USF Crown Point faculty has grown exponentially to enhance services. Seven full-time faculty members serve the nursing program, and a full-time director leads the new Medical Laboratory Technician program. Eleven highly qualified adjunct professors also serve the nursing program, with an additional three general education instructors and a cadre of online professors.
President Kriss outlined goals of offering even more flexibility and options for students, plus new programs and degrees at the Crown Point Campus. Collaboration between Franciscan Alliance healthcare network and the EMS Academy to offer an Associate of Science in Paramedic Medicine by January 2014 is being discussed.