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University Center Strengthens the Workforce: New Programs in Nursing, Engineering, Criminal Justice

University Center of Lake County Supports our Nurses, Engineers, and Legal Workforce with Eight New Programs!

Grayslake, Illinois—The Governing Board of the University Center of Lake County voted on September 6 to add one bachelor completion program, six new graduate level and one doctorate level programs.

Nurses - Workforce Professional Development

To help Lake County nurses become more specialized in their practice, six programs will now be offered by Oak Point University at University Center of Lake County.

The University Center of Lake County will begin offering Master of Science in Nursing, MSN, programs in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Educator in spring 2024. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is scheduled to begin fall 2024. All graduate programs will be offered in a hybrid format which offers flexibility to the working adult. The in-person sections, intensive clinical lab classes, will be held at University Center’s clinical nursing lab. All courses are taught by Oak Point University faculty who will drive to Grayslake to teach the clinical sections.

According to the American Nurses Association of Illinois, ANA-Illinois, by 2025 Illinois will face a shortage of 15,000 RNs. ANA-Illinois Executive Director Susan Swart, EdD, MS, RN, CAE states, “While the nursing shortage is not just an Illinois issue, the pandemic has laid bare the issues facing the profession”. Other factors such as the nearing of retirement for 52% for the nursing workforce contribute to the alarming shortage.

For these reasons, University Center of Lake County has been advocating to bring more Nursing programs to Lake County. University Center’s Associate Dean, Anani Moy shares that “We need to provide upward mobility to our communities, make education accessible, and prepare our future leaders. Our students live here, work here, and can study here.”

These programs are best suited for registered nurses who have already earned a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) and are seeking to advance their careers and expand their expertise with an MSN. The Family Nurse Practitioner MSN allows students to start as a generalist across lifespan, from birth to gerontology. The Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner MSN and the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner MSN prepare nurses to provide specialized care and improve the quality of life for older adults facing acute health challenges. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN program focuses on providing holistic care for patients of all ages and prepares compassionate individuals to be advocates for mental health and wellness. The Nurse Educator MSN, as well as all nursing programs mentioned, require students to complete the clinical core which includes pathophysiology, pharmacology, and advanced physical assessment with lab components.

The Doctorate in Nursing program prepares students to initiate critical thinking for the highest level of advanced nursing practice and accountability in the management of healthcare, interpret the determinants of health and their application to healthcare in urban settings, and gain key knowledge and experience to serve at the highest level of leadership among their professions.

For RNs who do not hold a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN)

The University Center also offers a bachelor completion program, RN to BSN Accelerated program, through Southern Illinois University Edwardsville that is fully online. To support our working adults, the classes are only eight weeks long and offered in the spring, summer and fall semesters.

Engineering and Criminal Justice - Workforce Professional Development

The Governing Board also approved two more programs from their current member universities. Supporting the professional development of engineers, Southern Illinois University Carbondale will now offer a Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This fully online and asynchronous program allows learners to study at their own pace without the need to go to a campus or attend at a specific time or day. Asynchronous programs typically are self-study oriented allowing the student to create their own schedule.

The program will be suitable for students with a BS degree who want to pursue careers in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Artificial Intelligence/Data analysis, Cybersecurity. Several courses will be available each semester in Chip design/manufacturing, Robotics/Control/Mechatronics, Power/Energy, Machine Learning and Data Analysis, Cybersecurity, and Systems Software. Therefore, students will gain sufficient knowledge in these areas. Upon completion of the degree students will be able to pursue careers in Automotive, Aerospace, Chip design/manufacturing and VLSI, Defense Agencies, Utilities and Power distribution, and Telecommunications.

University of Illinois Springfield will also provide a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice for those pursuing to finish their bachelor's degree. This fully online program is a blend of both synchronous and asynchronous modalities. This program serves students seeking an educational experience grounded in behavioral criminology, theories of criminal behavior, law and legal processes, and the sociological impacts of crime in society. The Criminology and Criminal Justice BA program also benefits students interested in attending law school or graduate school due to the focus of criminological research, writing and critical thinking.

The University Center of Lake County continually seeks to support our Lake County residents and their families to help them rise and achieve their educational and professional goals. We also offer robust scholarships to current undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in our programs.

To learn more about our bachelor completion programs, graduate and doctoral programs, and scholarships, visit us at or call us at 847-665-4000. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with our Advisor and Recruitment Specialist and GYO Coordinator, Dr. Mytzy Rodriguez-Kufner, to learn how to get started.

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