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Texas Tech officials eye potential nursing program in Marble Falls

Texas Tech University officials are considering forging a relationship with Baylor Scott and White Health for a potential nursing program. Pictured are George Russell (left), former Marble Falls mayor; Brian Gregory, nursing director; Terri Duncan, wife of TTU Chancellor Robert Duncan; Chancellor Robert Duncan; Bill Smyrl, Texas Tech Alumni Association; and Kelly Fox, director of Texas Tech Regional Site at Highland Lakes. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Texas Tech University officials are considering forging a relationship with Baylor Scott and White Health for a potential nursing program. Pictured are George Russell (left), former Marble Falls mayor; Brian Gregory, nursing director; Terri Duncan, wife of TTU Chancellor Robert Duncan; Chancellor Robert Duncan; Bill Smyrl, Texas Tech Alumni Association; and Kelly Fox, director of Texas Tech Regional Site at Highland Lakes. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

MARBLE FALLS — Higher education is within reach for Hill Country residents because of a long-term relationship with Texas Tech University, which manages satellite campuses in Marble Falls, Fredericksburg and Junction, officials say.

Texas Tech officials visited the Highland Lakes on May 6 and toured campuses and facilities, including Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Marble Falls, where educators are considering a potential partnership for a nursing program.

TTU established the Marble Falls campus, located at 806 Steve Hawkins Parkway, in 2002.

“We were talking about nursing programs that will enhance healthcare in this region,” Texas Tech University Chancellor Robert Duncan said. “We have been here for a couple of decades. This is a unique opportunity for a collaboration between Texas Tech and the Hill Country.”

Among the three satellite campuses, TTU officials say the university system has made strides in filling an education gap by providing convenient, local venues for learning.

Texas Tech University officials are considering forging a relationship with Baylor Scott and White Health for a potential nursing program. Pictured are George Russell (left), former Marble Falls mayor; Brian Gregory, nursing director; Terri Duncan, wife of TTU Chancellor Robert Duncan; Chancellor Robert Duncan; Bill Smyrl, Texas Tech Alumni Association; and Kelly Fox, director of Texas Tech Regional Site at Highland Lakes. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
Texas Tech University officials are considering forging a relationship with Baylor Scott and White Health for a potential nursing program. Pictured are George Russell (left), former Marble Falls mayor; Brian Gregory, nursing director; Terri Duncan, wife of TTU Chancellor Robert Duncan; Chancellor Robert Duncan; Bill Smyrl, Texas Tech Alumni Association; and Kelly Fox, director of Texas Tech Regional Site at Highland Lakes. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

“We have the viticulture, wine making and art programs in Fredericksburg, teaching programs for educators,” Duncan said. “We have the opportunity for the healthcare field, which is significant.”

In 2013, TTU forged relationships with area school districts, including Fredericksburg and Marble Falls, to offer a Tech Teach educator curriculum for enrollees seeking teaching degrees.

In Marble Falls, adult students typically achieve undergraduate requirements through partnerships with Central Texas College, Austin Community College and Howard College in West Texas to gain admittance into TTU’s teaching degree track.

Part of the Tech Teach coursework involves pairing student-teachers with public school “mentor” teachers to meet curriculum criteria. The student-teachers work with a mentor teacher for a full academic year garnering significant hands-on teaching experience in curriculum and instruction.

Campuses also provide continuing education for graduate degrees in administration as well as certifications in educational leadership.

In Fredericksburg, undergraduate degrees include a bachelor’s in general studies and nursing through a partnership with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s School of Nursing.

In 2015, campuses at Fredericksburg, Marble Falls and Junction began offering Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) courses for those 50 and older.

Non-credit classes include independent filmmaking, photography, spring gardening and creative writing.

For all of its academic programs, TTU satellite campuses utilize a number of teaching formats such as simultaneous interactive video conferencing (IVC), face-to-face teacher instruction and online course work.

“I see a lot of opportunities for expansion and enhancement for the programs we have,” Duncan said.

To find out more, go to www.depts.ttu.edu/hillcountry.

The TTU Hill Country Center at Fredericksburg, 2818 U.S. 290 East, can be reached at (830) 990-2717. TTU at the Highland Lakes in Marble Falls can be reached at (830) 798-9548. To contact the TTU Center at Junction, 254 Red Raider Lane, call (325) 446-2301.

connie@thepicayune.com

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