School begins at CP’s University of St. Francis
By Carole Carlson email@example.com | 648-3154 August 30, 2012 4:26PM
People head for inside following the Opening Convocation and Mass for University of Saint Francis in Crown Point, Ind. Thursday August 30, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 1, 2012 5:30PM
CROWN POINT — With a warm wind at their backs, University of Saint Francis nursing students attended an opening convocation and outdoor Mass Thursday marking the start of the academic year.
University officials said the Crown Point campus is continuing to grow, with an estimated fall enrollment of 189 students — an increase of 20 percent over last year. It’s located just south of the Franciscan Point Health Complex, east of Interstate 65.
Combined with the traditional main campus in Fort Wayne, the university’s total enrollment is 2,366. University President Sister M. Elise Kriss said the enrollment at the private Catholic school is an all-time high and a 15 percent increase over last year for both campuses combined.
The university offers a two-year associate degree in nursing, and is launching two-year degrees in liberal studies and clinical laboratory science.
In addition, it offers a virtual online program as part of its College of Adult Learning. Students can also enroll in a 12-month master of business administration program or the 12-month registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing program.
“My prayer is that each of you can further your personal and academic goals,” Kriss told the students.
Diocese of Gary Bishop Dale Melczek celebrated the Mass. “Perhaps you’re juggling work, family and school. As Jesus said, ‘Have no fear.’ We know God never abandons us in our time of need,” he said in his homily.
Shayna Florczyk, of Portage, is starting her first semester in the nursing program.
“I like it. The teachers show great assertiveness, encouraging us to graduate and succeed.”
Leacia Simpson, of Portage, and Marquita Ford, of Park Forest, Ill., are starting their second year in the nursing program.
“I heard great things about the University of Saint Francis,” said Simpson, who said she previously attended another regional campus. “This was a quicker process. It’s four days a week. I like the small classes and the one-on-one. It’s more hands-on.”
Ford said the program worked into her academic schedule better. “I didn’t want to take a year off,” she said. She also liked the small classes. “You don’t feel intimidated.”