The commission approved a special permit request for the university at its Sept. 3 meeting. The college will occupy the former Fossil headquarters—an existing three-story and nearly 136,500-square-foot office building on North Central Expressway. West Coast University will relocate its only Texas location from Stemmons Freeway in Dallas to Richardson, said Rob Koran, university vice president of facilities and asset management, at the meeting.
“We want to make a statement here in Richardson,” Koran said at the meeting. “We want to be a partner in the community.”
The college will offer a bachelor of science in nursing, licensed vocational nurse to a bachelor of science in nursing and online programs for a registered nurse to a bachelor of science, said Sam Chavez, city assistant director of development services, at the meeting. The campus will serve 1,500 students, with about 1,000 on-site and 500 off-site for clinical rotations.
Koran said West Coast University has over 70 partners in the Metroplex, with Baylor Scott & White, Cook’s Children and Methodist Hospital as a few. Additionally, he said less than 1% of West Coast University students default on their student loans.
“Our loan default rate speaks for itself,” he said.
The nursing college has a 95% graduation rate, said Duemand Edwards, director of the Dallas campus, to the commission.
Following a question by commission Chair Ron Taylor, Edwards said the student age range is typically in two categories: 18-26 and 35-45. Koran added age categories make West Coast University a commuter campus.
“Many of our students are not coming directly out of high school,” Koran said. “They already have families; they already have careers.”
Koran said there are no plans for student housing.
Commissioner Kenneth Southard said Richardson has seen success from The University of Texas at Dallas campus as a result of job placement and minimal debt for its students.
“It would be exciting to have another really great success story,” Southard said at the meeting.
The permit is pending approval by City Council.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include that the City Council must still vote on the permit.