LETTER FROM THE
PRESIDENT & BOARD CHAIR
On behalf of the Mercy College of Health Sciences Board of Directors, we are pleased to present Charting Our Course, the new Mercy College of Health Sciences five-year strategic plan. We’ll utilize this touchstone document as a guide over the next five years, as the College realizes its need for a bold new vision: to become a locally and regionally recognized leader, transforming students into healthcare professionals who live out and extend our ministry of healing.
For over 120 years, Mercy College has persisted on a singular path: providing high-quality healthcare education to students in central Iowa. To meet the growing demands for professionally trained nurses, the College was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1899 with an inaugural class of seven nursing students. From that modest beginning, and with a Catholic legacy established by the Sisters of Mercy, the College has grown and flourished. It is rare to find an Iowan who has not encountered a Mercy College-educated healthcare professional, or been impacted by the College’s ministry and legacy in some way.
Today, the College offers four bachelor’s degrees, six associate degrees, three certificate programs, and provides continuing education opportunities to thousands of Iowans each year. Mercy College PLUS, launched this year, continues our legacy, confronting and resolving barriers through online education. Through radical innovation, MercyPLUS reaches students who may have thought a Mercy College degree was unattainable due to geographic, financial, or other obstacles. We think Sister Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy, would approve!
We are energized by our legacy and the strategic plan’s four pillars: Learning, Caring, Connecting, and Thriving. Through the execution of this plan, Mercy College of Health Sciences will set the standard of healthcare education for the 21st century. We know the College will meet challenges and enjoy opportunities we cannot yet envision. In a time of economic, demographic, technological, and political change and uncertainty, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we teach, learn, and minister to one another. Our planning process and the pandemic has revealed that we must reinforce our commitment to equity and access to meet our students’ needs. Reading through this plan and listening to the many people who contributed to it assures us that our historical strengths and our call to minister to those in need are timeless and timely. The College is prepared to meet and respond critically to those challenges.
A heartfelt thank you to the Strategic Planning Committee and the College’s dedicated faculty, staff, students, administrators, and Board of Directors. Your thoughtful input has been invaluable to this plan and our success. Together, we continue to chart our course for Mercy College of Health Sciences and all it seeks to serve.
Charting Our Course,
Thomas Leahy, JD