SPOKANE – A collaborative approach to academic planning will expand opportunities in public higher education for Spokane, under a comprehensive academic plan developed this spring for the Riverpoint Campus.
The governing boards of Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University and Washington State University recently reviewed and approved the plan, which lays out both short-term and long-term collaborative initiatives. The plan focuses on four core areas reflecting the strengths and opportunities for programs already growing at Riverpoint: health and biomedical sciences and professions; interdisciplinary design; education; and community viability and economic development.
“This plan’s development grows out of our commitment to productive, collaborative planning and academic programming at the Riverpoint Campus,” said WSU Spokane Vice Chancellor Jo Ann Thompson, a member of the team that spearheaded the plan. “It will also underpin our future capital development planning. This kind of planning can become a statewide model for collaboration in higher education.”
Ron Dalla, the interim executive dean for EWU Spokane who also worked on the plan, expanded on its importance for the campus’s future. “Eastern and WSU will go together to the state legislature to request funding for the next building at Riverpoint, which will house biomedical and health sciences programs. With first-year dental and medical education now at Riverpoint, the growth in Eastern’s allied health programs, and WSU’s plans for their division of health sciences, we needed to lay out the growth paths to make sure we are making the most efficient possible use of the public investment in the campus.”
“Spokane Falls and Spokane Community College students – especially those who are place-bound – benefit from clearly defined pathways that lead them from associate’s degrees all the way through doctoral studies right here in Spokane,” said James Minkler, district academic services officer for Community Colleges of Spokane. “Dual, or perhaps even triple, admission to our community colleges, EWU and WSU will be extremely advantageous for them as well. SCC and SFCC’s strong programs in nursing, allied health, business and teaching provide students with many options to begin their climb up the educational ladder to success at the Riverpoint Campus.”
A copy of the plan is available online at www.riverpointcampus.org.