ECC to Take Over Health Care Programs in Rolla

October 6, 2021 |

East Central College will assume sponsorship of two health care programs from the Rolla Public School District beginning fall 2022 — licensed practical nursing (LPN) and surgical technology.

During the Oct. 4 board meeting, ECC Trustees unanimously approved tuition and fee schedules for the licensed practical nursing (LPN) certification and a new surgical technology associate of applied science program.

The LPN and a surgical technology certificate programs both are taught at the Rolla Technical Center (RTC), where ECC already holds several classes. The courses will continue to be taught at the RTC.

According to Nancy Mitchell, Dean of Health Sciences, the surgical technology program’s accrediting body, the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, is now requiring an associate degree, not just a certificate, before taking national licensure examination.

She added that the program is a “1 plus 1” program that requires a year of general education, CORE 42 courses prior to surgical technology classes and labs.

The students could potentially take their general education courses on the Union campus and take the remaining three semesters of the surgical tech courses in Rolla, added Dr. Robyn Walter, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Through the surgical technician program, the students will learn aseptic techniques, instrumentation, surgical procedures, and direct patient care before, during and after surgery. Upon graduation of the new surgical technician curriculum, students will receive their associate of applied science degree in surgical technology.

ECC will retain the faculty members who have been teaching the courses for both programs.

“We are very excited to add these programs and these faculty members,” Mitchell said. “We are also excited to give students another health care degree option.

“This is another avenue in which we can work with our health care partners,” she added.

The LPN program is a three-semester, 11-month program that includes a clinical experience. It is designed for students to acquire the skills and knowledge essential to the role of a competent practical nurse. Upon successful completion of this program, graduates receive a certificate of graduation and are qualified to take the national licensure examination (NCLEX-PN).

According to Mitchell, programs will officially begin in the fall of 2022 under ECC. The application deadline is April 1.

She noted that it will be less costly to students once ECC takes over because the college has more resources for these types of programs than the Rolla School District.  Both programs will be fully funded by tuition and fees paid by students.

It will cost $200 per credit hour for in-district students and $300 per credit hours for out-of-district students. The course fees will vary.

Just like the radiologic technology training program taken over by ECC last spring, the Rolla School District is transitioning the program to ECC, primarily because the program is only available to adults, not high school students. Rolla Public Schools Is focusing programming specifically on elementary and secondary education.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the Rolla School District approached ECC about taking over sponsorship of the programs less than one year ago.

“This is a lot of work over the several months,” he said. “In October of last year this wasn’t on our radar.”

He credited Walter, Mitchell and Christina Ayres, ECC Rolla director, program faculty members and all who worked to make a smooth transition.