Academic Programs Continue to Grow
The development of the School of Business and Leadership, which will bring together faculty from information systems, legal studies, and business, will provide the College with the chance to develop an entrepreneurial environment for faculty and students. The College hired Dr. Shelton Rhodes to serve as the founding Dean for the newly formed School. This growth is the most recent step in the expansion of academic offerings at Villa Julie. A bachelor's degree in Medical Technology was added during the 200506 academic year to replace the two-year Medical Laboratory Technology program, as well as a bachelor's degree in Public History.
In recent years, the Nursing Division has received significant federal support. In December 2004, Sen. Barbara Mikulski visited Villa Julie to announce nearly $250,000 in federal funds to support distance-learning efforts utilizing the Verizon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. In 2006, the College received the largest grant in school history - just over $1,000,000 to expand the nursing program. Also in 2006, the Nursing Division graduated the first students from the distance-learning program as students from the Eastern Shore received Villa Julie degrees as part of a partnership with Chesapeake College. The Division has partnerships with seven community colleges to bring bachelor's degree classes to students enrolled in those schools. In August 2006, the College began offering its successful Master's in Forensic Studies degree online. The program, launched in 2004, trains forensic investigators in three tracks - law, accounting, and information technology. The first graduates from the program received their diplomas in May 2006 and an online track of the degree debuted in August 2006 to bring the program to professionals across the country. In August 2007, investigations and interdisciplinary tracks were added to the program.
Villa Julie took a leadership role in educating Maryland's future teachers in March 2008 when it announced the creation of the state's first teacher preparation program for middle school educators.
On the athletic field, the College joined its first-ever athletic conference, the North Eastern Athletic Conference, in 2004. A year later, Villa Julie accepted an invitation into the Capital Athletic Conference. Villa Julie's teams now compete for conference titles in this traditionally-strong conference that includes institutions from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Several Villa Julie teams have competed in the NCAA Championships while the men's lacrosse team has been ranked in the top 10 nationally. Many of Villa Julie's teams will play and practice at the Caves Sports and Wellness Center, the new name for the facility formerly used by the Baltimore Ravens. The complex officially opened in Summer 2006 after extensive renovations to accommodate the new Wellness Center and Mustang athletics. Plans call for a new gymnasium at the Owings Mills campus in 2009.