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After 30 Years, Misher College Still a Perfect Fit

By Brian Kirschner

group of students

alan misherThirty years ago when former president ALLEN MISHER P’59, PhD, HonDSc’95 established the arts and sciences college that would later bear his name, it was to broaden the education of the school’s graduates. He wanted to ensure what was then PCP&S was graduating well-rounded individuals. 

Now, 30 years later, Misher College of Arts and Sciences is marking its anniversary as much more than expanded course offerings and a well-rounded education. It is the path taken by almost the entire student body when they start their academic career, whether a student is heading for one of its 11 different majors or to the professional programs such as pharmacy or physical therapy or even to the pharmaceutical and healthcare business program.

“Every student does come to Misher College as part of their educational foundation,” said SUZANNE MURPHY, PhD, dean. “Many students are in the college for two years, some for three years, and then some for four years.”

But Misher College is much more than an academic starting point. With personalized attention, the college is helping students find their perfect-fit career. This is done through a newly branded initiative named Destination: SuccessTM.

“All of the 11 majors within Misher College fall under the Destination: SuccessTM platform,” said KEVIN WOLBACH, MS, assistant dean and Destination: SuccessTM program director. “It is really a mechanism by which we help students gain as much career exposure and experience as possible.”

Students are paired with advisors who help guide them to a major and ultimately the career that fits them best. It is this advising relationship through which Destination: SuccessTM gains its greatest strength. In addition, there are many opportunities for exploration and experiential learning.

“One size does not fit all,” Dr. Murphy explained. “Destination: SuccessTM is tailored to the individual’s interests.”

quoteAnother way Destination: SuccessTM helps students is through a flexible curriculum that allows students to discover and make changes in their trajectory. Early in their academic career, students have the opportunity to switch focus without missing credits or causing delays in their time to graduation.

One more advantage provided to Misher students is the offer of early assurance seats through external and internal articulation agreements. Highly qualified students are selected for a seat in the professional programs at the University or with one of eight partner institutions for seats in medical, dental, veterinary, and other science and health science programs. As long as they meet individual program requirements, they know there is a seat waiting for them.

But there is much more happening within Misher College. The graduate programs within Misher offer a wide range of opportunities for students seeking advanced degrees. There are several new academic certificate programs in the pipeline, advances being made in research, and biotech companies being incubated on campus.

The companies that have taken root are “great opportunities for students to intern right here on campus, in a company setting in addition to an academic setting,” remarked Dr. Murphy. “It is a great opportunity for students and where lots of intellectual development can take place.” Unique internships like these and volunteer experiences, coupled with the advising component and the ability to explore, give Destination: SuccessTM an attractive and unique educational model for prospective students.

Misher College is also working on its next strategic plan to look ahead to the next 30 years. It will build on the already established focus on learning-centered teaching and undergraduate research. The new plan coincides nicely with the University’s own strategic plan and academic planning under development.

“Our vision is to make University of the Sciences and, specifically, Misher College a destination for any student who wants a career in science or a health profession,” said Dr. Murphy.

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