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Jefferson College of Health Sciences plans to merge with Radford University

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The Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke intends to merge with Radford University.

Roanoke-based Carilion Clinic currently owns and operates Jefferson College, which has about 1,150 students.

The health sciences school offers 25 degree options on the graduate, bachelor and associate levels, as well as certificate and professional and continuing education programs. It has about 70 full-time faculty members.

Radford is a comprehensive public university of more than 9,400 students.

The merger is expected to create the second-largest nursing program in Virginia.

“Radford University and Jefferson College have a robust history of collaboration, and these two great institutions are now working toward an even stronger partnership,” Brian O. Hemphill, the president of Radford, said in a statement.

A merger planning process is expected to take 18 to 24 months. Radford, Jefferson College and Carilion officials will work during that time to develop processes and procedures to facilitate the integration of the health sciences college into the university.

“Both schools are approaching this potential merger from positions of institutional excellence and financial strength. We’re combining forces to create something even bigger and better for the entire Commonwealth,” Nathaniel L. Bishop, president of Jefferson College, said in a statement.

After the merger, Jefferson College would primarily become part of Radford’s Waldron College of Health and Human Services.

Jefferson College has grown from 200 students to about 1,150 students during the past 35 years.

Officials from Radford and Jefferson College said the merger will provide students with access to enhanced educational opportunities, including clinical rotations and internships.

Radford University also will continue to partner with Carilion Clinic in utilizing facilities and research capabilities.

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