UHCL Pearland facility formally opens to meet growing demand for nurses, health care careers

May 3, 2019 | UHCL Staff

UHCL Pearland facility formally opens to meet growing demand for nurses, health care careers

University of Houston-Clear Lake at Pearland celebrated the formal grand opening of the three-story, $24.6 million Health Sciences and Classroom Building that will allow expansion of programs in nursing and other health care careers. Speakers at the event that included UHCL leadership, legislators, city leadership, faculty and others said that the completion of this project was the result of close cooperation between UHCL and the city of Pearland and the tireless support of local and state legislators.

The 69,539-square-foot building houses UHCL Pearland’s health-science programs, specifically the RN-to-BSN and Licensed Professional Counselors programs, as well as a satellite office for UHCL’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The building opened to students in January.

UHCL President Ira K. Blake thanked legislators, the city of Pearland and others for their support and acknowledged The Meah Family Foundation, whose financial gifts enabled the purchase of equipment for the nursing simulation lab and furnished the new CADD office. “The Meahs, who are originally from Bangladesh, said that they came to this country and adopted the American Dream,” Blake said. “But they say the American Dream is about more than themselves. In order to be truly successful, they believe they must help others to succeed.”

UHCL President Emeritus William A. Staples said that during his tenure at UHCL president, the 84th session of the Texas legislature had been lobbied to appropriate money for the new building. Staples praised the work of state legislators including Sen. Larry Taylor, Rep. Ed Thompson and Rep. Dennis Paul to make sure UHCL received the funds needed.

He added praise for Pearland administrators. “This was a team effort, led by Tom Reid, and it’s a great example of a how successfully a city and a public, state-supported university can partner together,” Staples said.  

“We do things together, as a team,” Reid said, referencing UHCL and the city of Pearland. “Great cities have a great educational infrastructure, and I believe we are going to be sitting here not too many years in the future with many more facilities like this under construction.”

U.S. Rep. Pete Olson spoke of the importance of education as well as growing up near UHCL. UH System Regent Durga D. Agrawal offered insight about the building from a system perspective.

UHCL Pearland has a longstanding partnership with Alvin Community College, and since 2017, students at ACC can take classes at UHCL Pearland. In 2018, the two institutions agreed on a transfer protocol that makes it easier for students graduating from ACC to transition to UHCL Pearland to complete their bachelor’s degree.

ACC President Christal M. Albrecht said that the longstanding partnership between ACC and UHCL Pearland was among their most important relationships. “We have hundreds of students who transition to UHCL Pearland every year,” she said. “We’re very proud of our success, and it’s clear that success at ACC translates to success at UHCL Pearland. This building is vital to the success of all students, as careers in STEM fields continue to grow.”

UHCL Assistant Professor of Nursing Karen Alexander, who also serves as the RN-to-BSN program director, said the new building was not only a place for students to learn, but for faculty and students to interact. “We take mentorship very seriously in this program,” she said. “We are especially proud of our simulation lab, which will help students achieve their milestones and become the health care professionals we need in the community.”

Attendees were given tours of the three-story building that includes simulated hospital rooms, a nurses’ and pharmacy station, biology and chemistry labs,

UHCL Pearland offers nine undergraduate programs, eight graduate programs and one doctoral program. For more information, visit www.uhcl.edu/pearland.

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