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Nathaniel Bishop to lead Jefferson College of Health Sciences

The Roanoke Times
June 11, 2010
A new president was selected Thursday to lead Jefferson College of Health Sciences and its 1,100 students as the school transitions from offering primarily associate degrees to a more traditional bachelor's degree institution.

Nathaniel Bishop, who has served as the Roanoke college's interim president since April, was appointed president by the school's board. Jefferson College is owned by Carilion Clinic.

"The term interim denotes something temporary and we don't look at [Bishop] as a temporary fix," said Steve Musselwhite, chairman of the Jefferson College board. "We think he has the skill sets to move the college forward."

Bishop, 56, has been a Carilion vice president since spring 2002 and worked for the hospital system and health care provider since November 1997. Before joining Carilion, he had a 14-year career in law enforcement. He has a master's degree in education and has a doctor of ministry degree.

Bishop's appointment comes as the college prepares to move out of the Reid Center and into newly renovated floors inside nearby Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital this summer in time for the fall semester. The $8 million project includes gutting two floors and giving two other floors face-lifts, with new paint and other changes needed to convert former hospital patient rooms to office space.

As the school readies its new classrooms and offices, the academic curriculum also has undergone a makeover. In May, the college graduated its final associate degree classes for two programs, in nursing and in emergency health sciences. Any new students interested in earning degrees to be a nurse or paramedic in emergency medical services must attend Jefferson College for four years instead of two, earning a bachelor's degree.

In 2004, 72 percent of students were enrolled in an associate degree program. The college projects that in the fall, only 19 percent of students will be enrolled in an associate degree program, leaving 67 percent in bachelor's programs and 14 percent in master's level courses. In 2004, a master's degree wasn't even available at Jefferson College.

Additionally, enrollment has nearly doubled since 2004, when there were 600 students.
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