When Dr. Nido R. Qubein was appointed president of High Point University in 2005, it sparked a wave of change on campus.
The purpose of Qubein’s work was to enhance the university. He built on what the previous six presidents and their teams had done and led HPU into a spectacular metamorphosis.
Since 2005, more than $375 million has been raised and major academic milestones have been achieved. Yet there’s so much more to come, with $200 million more in active construction and expansion in 2018, including the $65 million Wanek Undergraduate Sciences facility.
Here’s a look at six impactful academic milestones HPU has made in its transformation:
1. Increasing from four to 10 academic schools
In 2005, HPU had just four academic schools. Today, it has 10 academic schools. New schools added are the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, Congdon School of Health Sciences, Wanek School of Undergraduate Sciences, Webb School of Engineering and School of Art and Design. The addition of these six new schools – and the expansion of majors across the board – lets students thrive in an engaged community built on robust academics.
Thanks to this expansion, HPU now offers majors such as biochemistry, actuarial science, international relations, entrepreneurship, sales, physician assistant studies, pharmacy, communication, exercise science, graphic design and more.
2. Achieving doctoral status
In 2012, the School of Education welcomed its first cohort of Ed.D. students. The Doctor of Education degree, with its emphasis on educational leadership, reflects the visionary thinking that transformational leaders need to guide today’s educational organizations.
3. Establishing the Triad’s first pharmacy school
HPU’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy is the only pharmacy school in the Piedmont Triad Region. Dr. Ronald Ragan, the school’s founding dean, has more than 25 years of experience as a community and hospital pharmacist and educator and holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology.
The Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum integrates the basic science disciplines with clinical application to provide the best patient care in the workforce. This program not only trains students to design and manage medication therapies, but also provides them with the kinds of inter-professional experiences necessary to learn to work collaboratively as a member of the health care team.
4. Focus on experiential learning
In 2005, the university transitioned to a four-hour credit model that allowed for more flexibility, the creation of first-year seminars, service learning opportunities and an increased focus on interdisciplinary study. By adding a fourth credit hour, the students and faculty invest 25 percent of the course in experiential learning – learning that breaks down traditional classroom walls and brings theories to life through real-word experiences.
HPU’s liberal arts education is supplemented by holistic learning programs designed to further enrich students’ academic lives. Establishing programs including a Survey Research Center (HPU Poll), Human Biomechanics and Physiology Laboratory, Success Coach program, Study Abroad, Undergraduate Research and Creative Works, Entrepreneurship Center, Career and Professional Development and many others prepare students for the world as it is going to be.
5. Freshman life skills seminar
In his New York Times best-selling book “Outliers: The Story of Success,” Malcolm Gladwell highlights “practical intelligence” as an important component of achievement.
That’s why Dr. Qubein introduced and leads the “President’s Seminar: Learning through Experience” each fall – a required course for first-year students. During the freshman seminar, Qubein focuses on topics that new students can benefit from immediately, such as time and energy management, fiscal literacy and presentation skills. He also shares with students his experience in communication, leadership and service.
The seminar not only teaches students how to think critically and creatively, but it also gives them the practical skills they need to thrive in a competitive global marketplace.
6. 97 percent employment and graduate school placement
All of these initiatives lead to impressive outcomes for HPU graduates. In fact, 97 percent of graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months of earning their degree – 11 points higher than the national average.