B U S I N E S S • R E A L E S T A T E • H O M E I M P R O V E M E N T business Plaza College Rebuilds and Revitalizes After a fire that destroyed the school’s Jackson Heights campus last Spring, Plaza College continues its nearly 100-year tradition of excellence at a brand-new Forest Hills location. (continued on page 40) BY CHRISTINA SHANAHAN with contributor LAUREn BUTCHY On a clear spring evening last April, Plaza College Provost Charles Callahan III had just left campus when a member of the Admissions staff called him to report a fire on the 75th Street side of the Jackson Heights Bruson Building. What started as a small blaze quickly escalated into a 10-alarm fire that burned throughout the college’s campus. While all students, faculty, and staff members made it safely out of the building, the majority of the space was incinerated. Prior to the fire, construction had already been underway on a new campus in Forest Hills, where Callahan moved swiftly to secure temporary office space for displaced students and faculty. Now, five months after the blaze, Callahan and the entire Plaza College community are starting the fall semester with a fully operational new campus, a bright new outlook, and an appreciation for the college’s quick recovery. “I am thankful to everyone in the Plaza family,” Callahan said about the support he has received over the past several months. “It made a huge difference, the depth of staff longevity and commitment to us we have here. Everyone has been wonderful and patient as we got back together.” A family-owned institution since it first opened in 1916, Plaza College places great emphasis on caring for it’s community and working to ensure that each student has the resources that he or she needs to thrive. This attitude persevered in the months following the fire--when Callahan and his staff made sure students were able to continue their studies without falling behind--and continues to remain of the utmost importance as the college embarks on its next phase in Forest Hills. As the college nears its centennial anniversary, its mission of providing students with a quality education that will lead to opportunities for both personal growth and career advancement rings more true than ever before. “We are an educational leader in the careerrelevant degree space,” explains Chad Callahan, Plaza College’s Director of Student Strategic Initiatives. “Our programs are designed to have direct links to a career track, so that students can find a job in their field right after graduation.” Two such career-relevant programs that Plaza is known for are Medical Assisting and Business Administration. “These two fields are growing rapidly, which puts our programs on the cutting edge,” notes Callahan. Plaza College’s areas of academic focus are divided into Allied Health, which encompasses degrees in Medical Assisting, Health Information Technology, and Patient Information Management, and Business and Technology, which encompasses degrees in Business Administration, Accounting, and Information Technology. The college is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. According to Callahan, the Medical Assisting program in particular is the only one of its kind in Queens to be accredited by the prestigious Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The demand for a well-trained healthcare workforce is higher than ever, thanks in part to the rising costs of medical care, advances in technology, and ever-changing laws. Therefore, Plaza offers programs on both the associate and baccalaureate levels to ensure that the next wave of healthcare workers is highly trained, up to speed on healthcare trends, and well-prepared for clinical or administrative careers in the field. “Generally regarding healthcare, the Office of the Borough President of Queens reports that approximately 22.8% of Queens jobs are attached to the healthcare field.” says Daryl Anderson, M.D., Medical Program Director at Plaza College. “Plaza is preparing people to be involved in the clinical, administrative, and business aspects of healthcare.” On the side of Business and Technology, Plaza College’s prime location in New York City makes it particularly well-suited to prepare its students President Charles Callahan (center) with Plaza College Board of Trustees Chairwoman Mary Faughnan (left) and Trustee Helen Sears (right) at the 2014 Commencement Ceremony.
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