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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > St. Lucie County

Area welcomes new college
Rating: 2.55 / 5 (11 votes)  
Posted: 2014 Feb 21 - 07:09

Students invited to enroll in classes which will begin April 7

By Anna-Marie Menhenott

FORT PIERCE -- Virginia College's state-of-the-art campus is ready to take on the newest batch of eager college students.

The 74,000-square foot building, which once housed a bank's operation center on U.S. 1, has been transformed into a cutting-edge education center. The fully equipped classrooms include a high-tech surgical setting, a behind-the-scenes setting for culinary arts, a full-service salon, complete pharmacy replica, a library, study areas, lecture rooms, classrooms and a student lounge, just to name a few.

Campus president Vincent Femia is excited about what the college means for the area.

"Research led Virginia College to this area," Mr. Femia said. "There's a need for a college which gets students to their goal of being gainfully employed. That's our mission. We want to get students into the classroom so they can get into the workforce."

Mr. Femia, who recently relocated to Fort Pierce from Baton Rouge has been with the college for some time and was the former president of the Virginia College's Baton Rouge campus.

"There are 27 campuses around the south east," Mr. Femia said. "Classes are flexible. There are many students who work, are parents, and have things that make being in the classroom all day difficult. There are online classes and evening classes to make things easier for the student. We also have a great team of counselors whose mission it is to make the transition into the college lifestyle easier for the student."

The campus offers programs in business administration, cosmetology, culinary arts, healthcare reimbursement, medical assistant (diploma), medical assistant (AS), medical billing and coding and pharmacy technician. Additional programs that will be offered include pastry arts and surgical technology.

"Students who graduate from Virginia College are ready for the work environment," Mr. Femia said on a tour of the spacious facility. "Whether it's learning how to properly dispense medication here at the college, which has the exact replicas of machines at any of the local pharmacies, or whether it's learning proper techniques to be used in the surgical environment to learning how to operate a full-service salon, to working in a state-of-the-art kitchen, there's everything here under one roof."

Students involved in any of the medical programs participate in an externship at local doctor's offices and hospitals. The salon at the facility will offer deeply discounted services to the public in an effort to ready students for the workforce and offer an alternative for residents who want to indulge in the full-service salon experience.

The national accredited school will employ approximately 125 faculty and staff members at the Fort Pierce campus, which has intentions, and space, to expand.

"We're very excited about being in the Fort Pierce area and serving the surrounding communities," Mr. Femia said. "The reception from area employers and from local organizations has been overwhelming. This is going to be such a wonderful addition to an already great community."

Virginia College has begun enrolling students at 2810 S. U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce. Classes will begin April 7, with upcoming open houses for the community.

For more information, visit www.vconline.edu or call (772) 448-2000.

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