John F. Kennedy University, USA
With the encouragement of area business leaders and public officials, a small group of impassioned residents chose to create a university with the mission to provide new opportunities in higher education for working adults: men and women who, despite family, work, and civic responsibilities, were determined to earn the benefits of advanced education for their future. John F. Kennedy University (JFKU) opened in Martinez, California, in 1965, with just over 50 students. At the time, no comparable opportunities for lifelong learners existed in the educational system. Being forerunners, the founders saw the logic of preparing working adults for new career challenges in the emerging high-technology, knowledge-intensive California economy.
The university mission is to provide new opportunities in higher education for working men and women who, despite a full range of life responsibilities, are determined to earn the benefits of advanced education to improve their future. Throughout its existence, JFKU has expanded its programs and services, added and changed locations, maintained its innovative whole-person approach, and increased its enrollment and alumni in the process of fulfilling its mission. Today, we serve nearly 2,000 students who study for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. JFKU honors more than 12,000 alumni who apply their education locally and around the world. And each year we touch the lives of more than 30,000 people in Bay Area communities through outreach centers and a variety of public programs.
Links to the health workforce crisis
During its more than 40 years as an educational innovator, JFKU created programs in new fields such as career development, museum studies, sport psychology, and holistic health. In established fields such as management, psychology, and law, JFKU carved special niches for talented, experienced, lifelong learners who value education rooted in practice, taught by seasoned professionals, and offered on schedules that accommodate busy adults. JFKU's vision is to be the learning environment of choice for those seeking a transformative and life-enhancing educational experience. The core values are: accessibility, quality & innovation, transformative growth, diversity and global world view. JFKU respects individual and cultural differences while forging bonds of common understanding essential to global interdependence. Its continuing education program for nurses offers high-quality, innovative educational opportunities designed to address a variety of emerging 21st century healthcare needs.
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