A group from Abilene, known as Abilene Community Partners, approached TTUHSC in the fall of 2004 to explore the possibility of expanding the pharmacy program to their city. The Abilene group and TTUHSC-SOP worked together for the next year to develop an expansion plan, which the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved in January 2006.
Dr. Cynthia Raehl is the regional Dean for the School of Pharmacy's Abilene campus, which joins Dallas-Fort Worth and Lubbock as a regional campus to the main SOP campus in Amarillo. The first classes began at the Abilene campus in August 2007. The 40 students who will be admitted to the Abilene program each year will expand the TTUHSC-SOP class sizes from 90 students to 130 students. The Abilene campus will offer all four years of TTUHSC's Pharm.D. program and will be home to 160 students by the start of the 2010-2011 academic year. The founding class will graduate in May of 2011.
The School of Nursing expanded to the Abilene area in March 2008, partnering with Hendrick Health System to establish a second degree nursing program. This alternate-entry to a Bachelor's in Nursing offers a new career path for those who already have earned a bachelor's degree in another field. Through a web-based curriculum, students utilize new technologies in clinical competence assessment and gain clinical experience on site at Hendrick Medical Center.
Nine students will comprise the first class, scheduled to begin September 2008.
TTUHSC School of Nursing also has second degree nursing programs in Lubbock, Odessa and in the Austin/Hill Country.