When University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) opened the San Marcos campus in 2009 the city was on a trajectory for economic and population growth. According to data from the San Diego Association of Governments the population growth of North San Diego County outpaced most of the state of California with a 52% surge in residents since 2010. Along with new residents and businesses came new colleges and universities. Today, San Marcos has become the educational hub of North County with multiple institutions serving the needs of the growing community, including USAHS.
In his recent 2018 State of the City address, San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond highlighted the importance of higher education. “We really embrace education. That’s what defines the city,” he said, noting there are 90,000 students who study in San Marcos, a number nearly equal to the city’s population of 95,000. “Our world-class educational institutions create a talented workforce, they are, the pipeline for regional talent, thereby keeping and attracting high-paying jobs and industry to our region.”
“Certainly, USAHS has made a positive impact in San Marcos as we’ve grown with the community. In addition to serving students from Southern California, USAHS attracts students from all over the western United States, and many of them end up staying in the area after they graduate. That’s a significant catalyst to improving health care in the community,” said CEO Vivian Sanchez.
That focus on the development of professional health care through quality education has aligned USAHS with a growing undergraduate institution, Pima Medical Institute. Sanchez and other USAHS representatives recently attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pima Medical’s newest campus in San Marcos.
“After serving the Chula Vista community for 20 years, we are pleased to have this new San Marcos campus and to now offer quality medical career education to those in North San Diego County,” said DeWayne Johnson, Pima Medical San Marcos Campus Director.
“Our programs are designed to provide healthcare education to those interested in the medical field so that they enter the workforce with the skills needed to be successful,” said Fred Freedman, Pima Medical Institute President and CEO. Freedman added, “We take our responsibility to our students very seriously. We’re not only about job seeking skills, we’re about job keeping skills and career opportunities that lay the foundation for a lifetime of professional stability.”
The 40,000 square-foot campus offers certificate, associate and online bachelor’s degree programs—all in the healthcare field. Programs focus on medical, dental and veterinary careers.
“We congratulate Pima Medical on the opening of the beautiful new campus in San Marcos. Together, our institutions represent a commitment to improving health care and we know the most effective way to do that is through quality educational programs,” Sanchez added. “If you look at the spectrum of educational opportunities that the community needs to provide quality health care, it becomes clear that USAHS and Pima Medical are vital to providing access to health sciences education; Pima at the undergraduate level, and our graduate and post-professional programs.”
The synergy between institutions has led to the formation of a new agreement between USAHS and Pima Medical that provides a clear path towards a graduate degree for Pima students completing undergraduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing or healthcare administration. The new partnership is also focused on faculty development, providing tuition benefits for Pima instructors interested in pursuing graduate or post-professional opportunities at USAHS.
“Our philosophy is to encourage students to embrace lifelong learning in their professions because we believe it is a critical element in effective patient care. This clearly aligns with the core values at Pima Medical and this new agreement solidifies the relationship between our institutions,” Sanchez said.
For more information about Pima Medical and its programs, visit pmi.edu/programs.