Franklin College adding physician assistant program, off-campus graduate health science center

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Franklin College is adding a master’s program in physician assistant studies and is moving some of its science programs into new space off campus.

The liberal arts college announced it is leasing space in a building on Acorn Boulevard, about three miles away from campus, owned by Johnson Memorial Health. The health system is providing space on the lower level of the building to the college under a 10-year lease.

Franklin College says it will use the space to house a Graduate Health Science Center in the building. The center will include two programs: the new physician assistant studies master’s program, which it plans to add early next year; and a master's of science in athletic training program, which it established in 2016.

The 8,327-square-foot space was renovated to include classrooms, office space and an additional restroom.

The space was previously occupied by JMH Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapies. Those services have moved to the newly constructed Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Center on the Johnson Memorial campus.

The upper level of the building continues to house an immediate care center, occupational health center and physician offices.

Previously, the college’s master's of science in athletic training program was housed at 66 Water Street in Franklin. The master's of science in physician assistant studies did not have dedicated space.

“Having both programs housed together greatly benefits the college, providing students and faculty the ability to collaborate more easily,” the college said in its announcement.

The project is just the latest science expansion for Franklin College in recent years. The college is in the midst of building an $18 million science center, which will nearly double lab space. And it is renovating science labs to emphasize student research and make the sciences more inviting to non-science students.

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