Director of facilities Tom Brekke and St. Cloud campus site director Katie Wayne

Director of facilities Tom Brekke and St. Cloud campus site director Katie Wayne

A $1 million expansion of St. Scholastica's presence in the St. Cloud area is under way, and it will strengthen the region's nursing workforce.

The construction project will result in a doubling of St. Scholastica's educational space at 137 23rd St. S. in Sartell, MN.The project will add enhanced technology to existing educational spaces, a new nursing simulation center with multiple acute care and ambulatory care rooms, break-out rooms for student pre-briefing and post-briefing sessions, and a commons room for faculty. A new 36-seat classroom will be used for nursing classes as well as for classes in St. Scholastica's education  program and other offerings.

The new space will include nursing skills labs on the first floor and simulation labs on the second floor. The high-tech spaces will be flexible, able to simulate a home care scenario, a hospital room or clinic.  St. Scholastica's St. Cloud campus offers a mix of on-campus and online courses, primarily in undergraduate and graduate nursing. 

"This project will help keep the regional health care workforce strong, which has never been more important," said Dr. Sheryl Sandahl, dean of St. Scholastica's School of Nursing. "Our most popular program is our post-baccalaureate nursing degree program, which started in 2011 at our St. Cloud campus."

The post-baccalaureate program is for individuals who already have a baccalaureate degree but a major other than nursing. The program is accelerated and takes four consecutive semesters to complete. Theory is online and students attend the St. Cloud campus for lab intensives twice a semester. Clinicals are also scheduled in an intensive format at the end of the semester. St. Scholastica  works with CentraCare and health care agencies in the Twin Cities metropolitan area for clinical experiences.

St. Scholastica's St. Cloud campus also hosts the Family Nurse Practitioner track in the BS-Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, which Sandahl says has very strong career prospects. 

"In the next year or two, more and more people are going to be looking for an advanced nursing degree," she said. 

Thomas Brekke, director of facilities for St. Scholastica, said the new facility will have the best equipment available to enhance nurses' professional preparation. 

"The improvements we are making will serve the St. Cloud community and region well for a long time," Brekke said.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of June. St. Scholastica, like other colleges and universities, currently is conducting all its classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We look forward to resuming our in-person St. Cloud operations as soon as it's prudent," said Katie Wayne, "with a state-of-the-art facility that is enlarged and enhanced."

Wayne directs the site, and is an associate director of enrollment management with St. Scholastica.

The project's contractor is Strack Companies of St. Cloud. The architect is HGA of Minneapolis. St. Scholastica leases the space from Resource Training and Solutions, Inc.

St. Scholastica has been offering programs in St. Cloud since 2002.

The College of St. Scholastica is a 108-year-old private, independent college in Catholic Benedictine  tradition. It is nationally recognized for quality and value. It has been named the top Minnesota college for economic mobility, and U.S. News & World Report includes it on its Best National Universities and Top Performers on Social Mobility lists. The College is ranked on Money magazine's "Best Colleges for your Money" list, Princeton Review's 2020 list of Best Midwestern Colleges, and Forbes' Top Colleges list. The Center for First-Generation Student Success has named St. Scholastica one of the top 80 colleges in the country for commitment to first-generation students. Learn more at css.edu.