Beginning in the fall of 2009, the Lindenwood University campus in Belleville, Ill., will become the only one of the university’s 11 satellite sites to offer daytime classes. The campus is currently is used for the school’s thriving accelerated evening programs.
Lindenwood President James D. Evans, Ph.D., said the university will offer semester-based programs in business administration, human resources, communications, criminal justice and health management. Programs will be offered for junior- and senior-level students only, so as not to compete with Southwestern Illinois College, a community college that serves the Belleville area with two-year degree program but offers no four-year degrees.
“We want to work with them and give the two-year college students a place to continue their education in Belleville,” Evans said.
Evans said he expected the expansion will eventually quadruple the current enrollment of 1,400 students at the campus and will result in the hiring of more than 100 full-time employees. The first additional employees to be hired include Lacey Levin, associate director of day admissions, Melissa Shreve, admissions counselor and financial aid officer, and Dan Hogan, head men’s and women’s soccer coach and admissions counselor.
In conjunction with the launch of daytime programs in the fall, Lindenwood also will begin offering athletics at the Belleville campus. Men’s and women’s soccer squads are the first teams to be formed and will initially compete as a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The department hopes to meet the requirements necessary to join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) within two years.
Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert said Lindenwood’s decision to offer daytime classes and intercollegiate sports are welcome news. He believes the thousands of extra students the programs are expected to draw will have a dramatic impact on the area’s economic growth.
“It brings unbelievable potential to the growth of the city,” Eckert said. “Our relationship with Lindenwood just grows every day and it’s going to be great for the city.”
Since taking ownership of the former Belleville West High School in 2003, Lindenwood University has invested more than $5 million in renovations to the campus; including the restoration of the school’s auditorium and the update of several classroom areas. Work is currently under way on the school’s Library Building to create additional classroom space.
Cafeteria services will be offered to accommodate students attending daytime classes. Plans to create on-campus housing will be developed as enrollment increases.
Evans said he expects as many as 2,000 daytime students within the next 5 to 10 years. When campus residences are offered and the academic programs expanded, that number could increase to more than 5,500.
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