Arizona Daily Wildcat
Joint nursing program with Cochise College could receive $1.5 million
PHOENIX - A measure that would fund an expansion of the UA South campus in Sierra Vista passed out of its second Senate committee Tuesday.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed Senate Bill 1508 10-0, which would give $1.5 million during the next two years to a joint nursing program between the University of Arizona and Cochise College.
The program is geared to address the shortage of nurses with advanced training in southern Arizona.
The Senate Education Committee approved the measure 6-0 Feb. 15. The bill now goes before the full Senate.
Randy Groth, dean of the University of Arizona South campus, said the funding for the new nursing program addresses the "severe need" for nurses in rural areas.
Additionally, UA South is working toward a bachelor's program in applied science, aimed at helping working adults to further their education and job prospects.
The funding would also support computer equipment and infrastructure for a 22,000-square foot academic technology building that breaks ground in May.
The regional campus has broad support from the area communities and residents, Groth said.
"This is a major economic development initiative within our region," Groth said. "The Legislature is very good to us because we do it from a community base and leverage with private dollars."
Sen. Tim Bee, R-Tucson, sponsor of the bill, said Sierra Vista is a growing community and it is time for the UA to expand its south campus.
"I hope we can provide opportunity in the community so people can stay there," Bee said.