On the heels of record student enrollment this spring semester, Lindenwood University’s Board of Directors recently approved $2 million to go towards a new admissions center and communications center, complete with radio and television station, for the Belleville campus.
Along with this, the Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved four new undergraduate degree programs to be offered at LU-Belleville starting in fall 2012. They include bachelor of arts degrees in advertising and public relations: corporate communications, interactive media and web design, mass communications, and physical education.
The new degrees are expected to bring in between 75-125 traditional day students in the fall, and Vice President Jerry Bladdick projects the total day student population to reach 800 during the 2012-2013 academic year.
“We’ve found that there is a great demand for these degree programs,” said Bladdick. “Lindenwood University in St. Charles has a high academic reputation for its communications department with an impressive list of well-known alumni in the field. We want to duplicate that here in Belleville.”
To accommodate the increase in degree programs, nine new full-time faculty members will be hired for the fall, adding to the 51 full- and part-time staff already employed on campus.
Estimated at $500,000, the university’s new admissions center will be located on the lower level of the recently renovated Senator Alan J. Dixon Student Center. With the capacity to hold 28 employees plus a conference room area, the new center will offer a one-stop shop for all new prospective undergraduate and graduate students interested in attending day or evening classes.
To complement the addition of three new degrees in the communications field, the university’s $1.2 million communications center will provide students with access to state-of-the-art radio and television studio equipment, as well as two high-tech classrooms. Scheduled to open in fall 2012, this facility will not only offer students an extracurricular activity in the field of media and broadcast, but it will also serve as a resume builder and opportunity for them to apply what they learn in the classroom.
Although initial radio and television broadcasts will be transmitted internally, Bladdick hopes to eventually make them accessible to the community at large.
In total, the university has spent approximately $10 million in renovation and expansion of the Belleville campus.
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