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Misericordia and Luzerne County Community College collaborate to offer 3 new academic programs
Posted 12/11/2017 12:37PM

Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) and Misericordia University are collaborating on three new bachelor's degree programs in the health sciences for adult learners and traditional students beginning with the spring semester.

Dr. Deborah Vilegi-Payne, LCCC President Thomas Leary, Misericordia President Thomas J. Botzman and Dr. Leamor Kahanov attend the press conference and articulation agreement signing.

The Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree with a specialization in exercise science offers students who want to be professionals in a preventative wellness discipline the pathway flexibility to enter an exciting field that is in high demand, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Projections Program. Federal forecasts project employment growth of between 13 to 21 percent nationally through 2024, according to federal data.

The new program also offers students the opportunity to begin their studies as first-year students at Misericordia University and attend LCCC for the required exercise science courses, or begin at LCCC and transfer to the institution in the Back Mountain. The collaborative exercise science program is available in part- or full-time formats.

In each case, students would receive the Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree with a specialization in exercise science at graduation.

"Misericordia and Luzerne have been working together for many years to ensure that students have access to a rigorous and affordable education in career fields where there is a need for highly trained practitioners,'' said Leamor Kahanov, Ed.D., A.T.C., L.A.T., dean of the College of Health Sciences and Education at Misericordia University. "Articulation agreements between two- and four-year institutions also increase students' marketability, compensation and career mobility.''

"This collaboration between Luzerne County Community College and Misericordia University offers an outstanding opportunity for advancement to a baccalaureate degree in Health Sciences," added Deborah Vilegi-Payne, Ph.D., RN, dean of nursing and health sciences at LCCC. "The degree completion program affords our students the accessibility and mobility to finish their studies while working in their prospective health care specializations."

Misericordia University is accepting applications for the new exercise science program. For more information, please contact Donna Cerza, director of admissions, at (570) 674-6460 or email her at dcerza@misericordia.edu. For more information on the Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science program at LCCC, please contact Jim Domzalski, director of enrollment management, at (570) 740-0342 or email him at jdomzalski@luzerne.edu.

Misericordia and LCCC also are working in partnership to offer two new degree completion programs in surgical technology and respiratory therapy. The new pipeline will enable academically eligible students at Luzerne to seamlessly transfer to Misericordia and work toward their Bachelor of Science in Health Science degrees with specializations in both areas of study.

Transfer students from LCCC will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree with a specialization from Misericordia University upon the conclusion of their studies in surgical technology or respiratory therapy.

The respiratory therapy and surgical technology completion programs are available online in a part-time format in the popular Expressway Accelerated Degree Program at Misericordia. Students in these programs must be licensed, or must be eligible to sit for their national certifying examinations prior to matriculating to the completion programs at Misericordia University. LCCC students can transfer up to 61 credits to Misericordia, which would be applied to the minimum of 120 credits for each specialization.

Degree-holding students and licensed professionals in surgical technology and respiratory therapy also are eligible to transfer to Misericordia University to complete their Bachelor of Science in Health Science degrees with those specializations as long as they meet academic standards and certain admissions criteria.

The national demand for employment in both completion programs is also robust, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The federal bureau forecasts an increase in demand of 12 percent for both respiratory therapy and surgical technology from 2016-26.

Misericordia University is accepting applications for the new programs. For more information, please contact Jaime Elston at jelston2@misericordia.edu or call her (570) 674-8183. Applicants can also contact Misericordia's Office of Admissions directly at admiss@misericordia.edu. For more information on the surgical technology and respiratory therapy programs at LCCC, please contact Jim Domzalski at (570) 740-0342 or at jdomzalski@luzerne.edu.

The three academic programs also qualify for the LCCC and Misericordia University Dual Admissions agreement that provides Luzerne graduates who are enrolled full time at Misericordia with a $3,000 tuition assistance scholarship.

Overall, Misericordia University offers the Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree with specializations in seven areas.

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