Camarillo, Calif., March 29, 2012 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) and Cottage Health System have opened the doors to the first nursing bachelor’s degree program in Santa Barbara County using an innovative public-private partnership.

The union of the not-for-profit community healthcare provider and the region’s only nursing bachelor’s degree program will be celebrated with a grand opening reception on Thursday, March 29, from 4 to 6 p.m., at 5383 Hollister Ave., Suite 220, in Goleta – next to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. 

The partnership helps address important needs for both Cottage and CI.  It creates a qualified, locally educated workforce that Cottage hopes will relieve future nursing shortages. 

“The CSU Channel Islands Nursing Program at Cottage Health System is a prime example of how a public-private partnership can be employed to benefit the entire community,” said Dr. Karen Jensen, Chair of CI’s Nursing Program.  “Because of this partnership with Cottage, we can educate 22 new nurses every year in an optimal clinical setting.”

“We’re excited about how this partnership will help elevate the level of care we offer patients in our community,” said Herb Geary, Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, at Cottage Health System.

Until now, the closest bachelor’s degree nursing programs were in Monterey Bay, Bakersfield or Camarillo. 

The new program in Goleta is off to a strong start.  More than 150 candidates applied for the first 22 spots.  The first class began in January and will graduate in May 2014.  Upon completion of the two-year program, students will be eligible to take the exams to become Registered Nurses (RNs) and Public Health Nurses (PHNs) in California.

Cottage and CI initiated the program in 2010 through a 10-year joint commitment. Cottage is pursuing philanthropic support for faculty positions, the program facility and new equipment and technology. CI will also pursue philanthropic outreach for student scholarships and endowment support for faculty positions.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.