9P1 Creating, Prioritizing, and Building
Community partnerships offer Western
the opportunity to learn and to lead while contributing to the good of the greater community. Western responds to community-identified needs,
opportunities, and goals through actions that are appropriate to the mission and strength of the institution. Western integrates its goals with the community and regional goals, and works with private and public agencies to enhance the lives of people in the region. Examples of community partnerships include Heartland Regional Medical Center, the regional life sciences industries, and the St. Joseph School District.
The healthcare programs at Western work in partnership with Heartland Regional Medical Center for mutually beneficial exchange, exploration and application of knowledge, expertise, and information. The collaboration between Western’s Department of Nursing and Heartland Regional Medical Center has helped to address the region’s shortage of qualified and trained nurses. Based on a study conducted by the Regional Healthcare Workforce Development Group regarding healthcare personnel needs in the region, Western’s nursing program was expanded. Funding assistance from Heartland Regional Medical Center allowed Western to hire additional faculty members so student enrollment in the nursing program could be increased.
Collaboration between the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Biology Department at Western has resulted in many positive outcomes, including a building on campus that meets the needs of each partner.
Western continues to play a key role in efforts to support life science initiatives in the region. Western, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, Heartland Regional Medical Center, the City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, and local life and animal science companies have established the Institute for Industrial and Applied Life Sciences, which is housed on the Western campus.
Many other partnerships, such as the St. Joseph School District, have brought mutual benefits. Approximately 40 percent of the teachers in the St. Joseph School District were educated at Western (9R1). St. Joseph teachers participate in the national Prairie Lands Writing Project, a “teaching teachers” model.