Health Care is Focal Point of Brenau University”s Past and Future

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Brenau University has been in continuous operation since its origins in Gainesville in 1878, and its banking its future on the need for more professionals in all health care fields throughout underserved north Georgia.

Education Update: Brenau University

By Karen Rosen

Extraordinary growth in Brenau University”s healthcare education programs is helping the Georgia-based not-for-profit institution fulfill its strategic mission of preparing students to live extraordinary lives.

Recent approval of its application to become a doctoral degree-granting institution, starting with a doctorate in nursing this fall, is only the latest milestone for Brenau, which has 2,800 students, including more than 400 at its North Atlanta campus in Norcross.

Gale Hansen Starich, dean of both the Sidney O. Smith Jr. Graduate School and the College of Health & Science, says when she arrived eight years ago, there were only 125 students in the College of Health and Science. Last semester there were 970.

“It”s ear-popping, insane growth,”# Starich says, noting that Gwinnett County is familiar with the challenges of dealing with fast expansion.

Brenau has been careful to find the right balance between growth and quality while increasing its stature among healthcare education institutions, Starich says.

“We want to make sure our graduates are well-placed, well-trained and that they step into their role to be a leader,”# she adds.

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