Opening celebration for new Detroit-area office
May 5, 2010
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's long-awaited physical presence in the Detroit area will open Tuesday, May 11, providing a base for services to the better than one third of WMU's student body that comes from Southeast Michigan.
WMU-MetroDetroit, a suite of offices located at 32820 Woodward Ave. in Royal Oak, will become WMU's base of operations for student recruitment and alumni outreach as well as WMU coursework that will be offered in the Detroit area beginning this fall. Dennis W. Archer, vice chair of the WMU Board of Trustees and former mayor of Detroit, will join WMU President John M. Dunn and a group of University officials and Detroit-area alumni and friends for an opening celebration at the site slated for 5:30 to 7 p.m.
WMU admissions officers are already in place in the new facility. The University's Extended University Programs operation, which operates regional sites in six Michigan cities, has been working since last fall to launch WMU courses in the Detroit area in cooperation with Oakland Community College. Such courses will likely be offered at OCC's Royal Oak and Southfield campuses.
Initial program focus will be on bachelor's degree completion for students who have stopped out--adding to the state's number of college graduates--and the University's highly regarded graduate certificate program in alcohol and drug abuse treatment. The certificate program is designed for working professionals and Detroit area students at other institutions who want to add to their credentials.
"We're conducting market research and reaching out to sister institutions in the Detroit area to determine how WMU can complement and add value to existing educational opportunities," says Dr. Dawn Gaymer, associate provost for Extended University Programs. "We're looking specifically at niche areas of excellence for WMU. Likely program areas include health care, renewable energy and sustainability, gerontology and specialty engineering areas."
According to Dr. Keith M. Hearit, WMU vice provost for strategic enrollment management, a physical presence in Detroit has been in the planning stages for several years. The University sought a location that would be both accessible and visible to current and prospective students in an area that currently attracts more than 37 percent of WMU's nearly 25,000 students.
"It's our goal to have a recruiting presence directly in southeast Michigan by bringing WMU to our prospective students," says Hearit. "It's our plan to host recruiting events in Royal Oak, as well as to make this a location where prospective students can go to schedule a tour of the WMU campus, drop off an application or meet with an admissions counselor. "
One of just five public research universities in Michigan, WMU enrolls nearly 25,000 students from every county in Michigan, every state in the nation and 90 other countries. With more than 230 degree programs, WMU offers the second highest number of undergraduate majors in Michigan. More than 20 percent of WMU students are enrolled in the University's graduate offerings, which include 29 programs at the doctoral level. Internationally, the University is renowned for programs that range from blind rehabilitation, speech pathology and evaluation to atomic physics, engineering management, vocal jazz and medieval studies.
Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org