August 25, 2008 was not only the first day of classes at Tyler Junior College main campus, but it also marked the first day of classes and the opening of the new TJC-Jacksonville facility.
TJC, Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO), Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, and East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) announced the plans for this new facility in May.
“We are very, very appreciative of the commitment from the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation, East Texas Medical Center and Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics,” said Dr. Mike Metke, president of Tyler Junior College.
TJC-Jacksonville is a Collaborative Health and Science Education Center and will provide another learning location for those who wish to enroll in TJC’s nursing program or other health related programs.
It will also offer some of the pre-requisite courses needed to qualify for the program.
The Cherokee County location also helps to draw more students from the area without driving to the TJC main campus location.
Of the 40 students that are currently enrolled, 19 of the student are from Cherokee County.
The newly renovated fourth floor of EMTC-Jacksonville is serving as the host site of the TJC-Jacksonville location.
Earlier this year the fourth floor housed hospital rooms, but now is equipped with 4,500 square-feet of working space, which includes class rooms, offices, a computer lab and a few spare hospital rooms for handson learning demonstrations.
JEDCO was a leading sponsor in allowing this project to happen.
JEDCO will provide $360,000 over the next three years and more that $240,000 of that was presented up front for start-up cost.
“This would not have been made possible without JEDCO,” said Dr. Metke.
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics will also provide $225,000 over the next few years to support the program.
“ETMC-Jacksonville previously held a vocational nurses program, but the new facilities and classes just make that program stronger,” said Darrell Prcin JEDCO President.
“For the second straight year, nursing is the second highest profession in the nation,” said President and CEO of ETMC Regional Healthcare System Elmer Ellis.
One of the hopes of this new facility is to continue to provide potential nursing students opportunity and the ability to learn and work close to home in East Texas.
“It will benefit everyone in the community by providing potential nursing students an opportunity to get their education right here in Cherokee County,” said Tom Cammack CEO of Trinity Mother Frances-Jacksonville.
“It will help all medical Facilities by providing new nurses, but more importantly, it will help patients who will receive a higher level of nursing care,” added Cammack.