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California, Waynesburg and W&J: Colleges offer new programs, open facilities

Sunday, August 26, 2001

By Janice Crompton, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

"Expansion" is the buzz word for colleges in Washington and Greene counties this school year. Waynesburg College in Greene County and California University of Pennsylvania in Washington County are focused on distance learning and satellite centers, aiming to corner the adult education market. Convenience and accelerated learning programs are key, say college officials, to filling this ever-expanding demand.

Washington and Jefferson College in Washington County is putting its energies into improving existing facilities and maximizing property space for new ventures. It has a staggering $47 million invested this year in building and renovating educational and sports facilities.

CALIFORNIA

Opens: Wednesday

Enrollment: about 5,500

What's new: California will offer three new four-year programs this year: water resources, graphic arts and design, and computer engineering technology. Also, a new off-campus site will open this October in the Regional Enterprise Tower, formerly the Alcoa Building, in Pittsburgh. Students can earn master's degrees in criminal justice and technology management at California's second off-campus site.

Some students also will have a new place to live this year. The Jefferson at California will accommodate 432 students in garden-style apartments. A shuttle will run every 15 minutes to transport students about two miles from the apartments to the campus.

WAYNESBURG

Opens: Monday

Enrollment: more than 1,500

What's new: There will be an exercise science major and a master's degree of education in technology. Eight new faculty members and a child development minor are now available for psychology majors. A new satellite center is to open at Southpointe in November. Students from the college's South Hills center in Upper St. Clair will relocate to the larger facility that will feature adult education courses, master's degree courses and an accelerated nursing program.

WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON

Opens: Sept. 5

Enrollment: 1,150

What's new: There is now a theater major and development of neuroscience program with a grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute. An international business major with required overseas internship has been established. The college is opening its Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for faculty and students. This community-based center will focus on technology in the classroom and alternative modes of education. Also open for the beginning of the school year will be the Howard J. Burnett Center. The $12.8 million facility will house economics and business, modern language and education departments. College entrepreneurial studies program, small business institute and office of lifelong learning also will be located in the center. A $5.2 million renovation project has been completed at the college football field, renamed Cameron Field. It includes a Hall of Fame, 686 new grandstand seats, a new press box and renovated restrooms.

Stuart Koop has been named new acting chief financial officer. James Knetshield will take over as chairman of the college board of trustees, following the retirement of Ronald Sandmeyer, chairman for seven years and member for 16 years. Construction is under way on Vilar Technology Center, a $29.6 million facility that will house the information technology leadership program, which will be offered as a major once the project is completed.

Free-lance writer Matt Saxton contributed to this report.



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