Wednesday, September 17, 2008

National College moves campus to Bell Road with $6 million expansion

By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • September 17, 2008 When Jerry Lafferty was campus director of National College of Business & Technology's Pikeville, Ky., campus, he would often say the college was one of the town's "best kept secrets." But that soon changed, and the area began to be identified by the campus. Now, Lafferty, who was recently named director of the college's Nolensville Road campus, is hoping that will happen here. Lafferty has been chosen to lead the campus in its expansion phase, which includes introducing new programs and construction of a new $6 million campus at 1638 Bell Road. The new location is just down the road from the Nolensville Road intersection with Old Hickory Boulevard-Bell Road. The 30,000-square-foot two-story building will have 15 lecture rooms, three computer labs, an information systems engineering lab, a medical lab, a library, a student lounge and administrative space. "Our continued enrollment growth in Middle Tennessee means we need additional classroom space," said Cyndee Perdue, regional director of operations for National College, in a news release. "The new campus location will also allow us to introduce new academic programs, such as information systems engineering, that require specialized facilities and equipment." Information Systems Engineering will be an associate's degree program, and a related diploma program in desktop support will be offered at the new location. National College began operating in Nashville in 1991. In 2006, it established a second campus in Madison. Students say classes are convenient Lafferty, who previously led the college's Louisville campus, the largest in the 24-campus system, said he believes National College is "like a sleeping giant ready to take off." But, he added, although it's great to have a nice, new building, it's the students and the programs that make up the college. Ernest McClain, who is pursing a double major in business management and accounting and has been at the Nolensville Road campus two years, said he believes the college's name is more recognizable now than in years past. It's the "flexibility" and "convenience" of the classes, though, that seem to draw students, said McClain, who made the dean's list last spring. "That's what attracted me," he said. Shannon Harris, who also made the dean's list last spring and is studying to be a medical assistant, said she learned about the college through a friend, who is also a student. Harris is considering a double major in medical coding and billing and says the classes are very convenient for her as a mother of two. "The atmosphere is great," she added. "I'm excited about the new campus."

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