Higher Education; Better Future for our Area

This article in this morning’s Sun Newspaper shows some of the potential that Western Michigan University will give to our area. Our future is looking brighter with their presence. The newly approved disciplines and degree programs are at the end of the article. You will notice that several of the programs are in the medical field; great news for our area.

In receiving the final go-ahead to offer an array of academic programs in Southwest Florida, Western Michigan University is laying the foundation to provide new educational opportunities and economic development to the area.

With the recent approval by the Florida’s Higher Learning Commission, the university was already making its presence known in the state with a promotion at Lakeland’s six-day Sun ’n Fun International Fly-in Expo, one of the nation’s largest air shows which ended Sunday.

“This was an “opportunity to display WMU’s flight fleets using the latest and most up-to-date technologies and share information about WMU’s aviation programs that will be available this fall in Punta Gorda,” said Tom Thinnes, WMU’s College of Aviation director of recruitment.

An event planned Thursday with area leaders will officially “mark the beginning (of) WMU’s partnership” with the community, according to the university’s Tyler Lecceadone.

WMU is rapidly moving forward with plans to launch aviation flight science and aviation management and operations programs. In addition, the university will offer more than 20 fields of study, including master’s degrees in a variety of health care curriculum.

For Charlotte County and North Port, more master’s options are major steps for an area where two and three decades ago just finding an opportunity to pursue an associate’s degree locally was tough to do. A bachelor’s degree in Fort Myers was even a relatively new concept in the 1980s when the University of South Florida began offering classes on what is now the Florida SouthWestern State College campus.

Since that time, SCF Venice on North Port’s and Englewood’s edge opened a campus in 1985, followed by the FSW Charlotte County Campus setting up shop on 204 acres in Punta Gorda in 1997. Another public institution, Florida Gulf Coast University, operates a satellite out of Herald Court Centre in Punta Gorda.



Bachelor of Science in Aviation Flight Science; Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management and Operations; Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Development; Master of Science in Engineering; Management Certificate in Gerontology; Certificate in Integrative Holistic Health Wellness; Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services; Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation for Occupational Therapy; Master of Music in Music Therapy; Master of Science in Nursing; Master of Arts in Organizational Learning and Performance; Master of Science Medicine in Physician Assistant; Master of Arts in Spirituality, Culture and Health; Bachelor of Arts in University Studies; Bachelor of Science in University Studies; Master of Arts in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy

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