Becoming an even more indispensable part of the region’s healthcare solutions
In FGCU’s first 25 years, the Marieb College of Health & Human Services has made an indelible mark.
We are the region’s top pipeline for counselors, physical therapists, social workers, nurses and other health professionals—one of the fastest-growing job categories in the nation. But we are not just filling positions. We are filling them with well-rounded, extremely well-prepared professionals whose training often exceeds requirements and whose knowledge base includes issues particular to the region, such as aging, health education, rehabilitation and living a successful life. Frankly, we cannot graduate health professionals fast enough. Our school is currently at capacity. The demand for our graduates far exceeds the supply and we aim to close that gap.
Meeting Southwest Florida’s pressing needs for care
FGCU already offers lauded programs in health and human services. But we need more—more capacity, more options, and more graduates going into the marketplace to care for the community. One way to get there is by expanding our programs. Each year our Physician Assistant program receives 2,000 applications for 20 seats.
At the same time, the nursing shortage in Florida and across the nation is at critical mass. FGCU’s nursing program has been named the top program in Florida by Registered Nursing.org, making it one well worth expanding. Increasing that program by 50% is a step toward addressing that crisis, particularly here in Southwest Florida. To grow these programs, we will also need to increase faculty, staff and space.
Marieb Institute for Successful Living
With its large population of seniors, Southwest Florida is the perfect living laboratory for researching and fulfilling their needs. With the Marieb College’s focus on health, rehabilitation, exercise and mental health, we are perfectly positioned to provide a holistic approach to successful living that could become the model for communities around the nation.
The mission of the institute would be to enhance aging, care delivery and quality of life through research, education and service. Community support would allow the college to move forward to establish this invaluable resource.
Through FGCU’s Community Autism Network, the university promotes education, service, research and training for those on the autism spectrum, their families and the agencies who serve them. The goal is to enrich the lives of all involved. Expanding this program will help us reach more people who need this assistance and allow them to be more successful.
The Soaring Eagle Academy at FGCU, a post-secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities, prepares students for community employment while providing them with the social, cultural and recreational opportunities of college while also readying them to become more economically independent throughout their lives. This program is the only one of its kind in the region. Based on the interest expressed when the academy launched this year, it’s clear that with private support, many more students could reach their full potential from a more expansive program.