Ready, Set, Grow
Spurred by a growing need locally and across the state of Washington for qualified, college educated workers, Heritage University continues its expansion.
“What you see happening here at Heritage is a direct response to the needs in our communities,” said Dr. John Bassett, university president. “Our businesses need an educated workforce in order to compete.”
Dr. Bassett pointed to a Georgetown University study to illustrate his point. Over the next five years, 67% of the jobs in Washington State are expected to require a college degree. To meet that need, universities must do more to ensure that college is accessible to all with the talent and drive to succeed, he said.
“Heritage University was founded on the idea of accessibility,” he said. “Our challenge now is to make sure we are providing the right mix of academics and services for students to succeed, that we have the facilities to make this quality education possible, and that we are telling our story so that those who are considering going to college see
Heritage as their school of choice.”
This, said Bassett, was the catalyst for several big changes that took place at the institution over the summer months. Two new academic programs in high-needs areas of science and healthcare were added to the degree offerings at Heritage—a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a master’s degree program in physician assistant studies. Administration changes for student services were put in place and are now under the leadership of an associate vice president charged with managing enrollment. A marketing and communications department was formed and a new vice president was brought in to oversee its operation. All told, fourteen new faculty and administrators joined the university.
Growth to the physical campus is in the works as well. Later this year, construction on three new buildings to replace the facilities lost when Petrie Hall was destroyed in July 2012 is expected to begin. A campus master plan with a vision to replace temporary buildings in use on the campus for two decades will serve as a roadmap for future growth.
The moves are all part of Bassett’s plan to help Washington State fill its education gap by growing enrollment at
Heritage to 2,000 students in the next 10 years. Vice President for Communications and Marketing David Wise said this is an aggressive but obtainable goal.
“We have all the right elements in place—great programs, great student experiences, graduates who are leaders in their businesses and communities, and a growing and vibrant campus,” he said. “We just need to tell our story