July 21, 2008

Chicago-Based Private University to Open Campus in Draper

By Olson, Debbi

A new private university that focuses primarily on master and doctorate programs in psychology, business administration and education administration is preparing to open its first Utah campus this fall.

Chicago-based Argosy University will be located at 121 Election Road in Draper. It is a sister school to the Art Institutes, also located in the same building. Argosy's campus will occupy the entire third floor of the facility, with approximately six classrooms, administrative offices and a resource library in roughly 38,000 square feet.

Argosy choose Utah as its 19th campus location after research in the market indicated the supply of educational opportunities in the fields that the university offers did not meet the demand.

"Education is very important in the state of Utah and there are a lot of people that want to be educated and the supply of educational opportunity doesn't meet the demand," said Dr. Darren Adamson, president of the Salt Lake campus. "We feel like, based on research in the market, that the programs that we offer are interesting to the population here in Utah so the demand is there. The programs that we offer have been tried and tested for several decades so we have a very good educational product and the curriculum is very compelling and the programs that we offer are those that are useful here in Utah."

Argosy's Utah campus has opened for enrollment and the first classes are expected to begin in September. The building is currently being finished with the administration expected to take occupancy by the end of June.

Jacobson Construction is the contractor on the interior finishing work for the university.

Initial programs at the Draper campus will include doctoral degree programs in educational leadership and counseling psychology; master's degree programs in business administration, educational leadership and marriage and family therapy; and bachelor's degree programs in business administration and psychology.

"We think those are the programs where there is the most interest to Utah students," Adamson said. "Our primary goal is to ensure that our students have a relevant education that's very practical so they can take what they learn and really translate that into opportunities in their careers. It's not knowledge for the sake of knowledge, it's knowledge for the sake of application."

As such, the university typically appeals to adult learners who are already working in their professions and need additional education to advance in their fields.

"We really serve the working adult," Adamson said. "They want a learning experience that fits their lifestyle. Our programs are offered in very flexible formats, which allows those adult students to be able to work and to maintain a healthy family life in addition to going to school."

Argosy University was stated in 1970 as the American School of Professional Psychology. The Salt Lake campus has received its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association.

The university is anticipating opening its fall semester with approximately 75 students. It is expected to increase enrollment to 250 in the first year and expects that within three to five years to have 800 students.

Argosy will also be the only university in Utah to offer a doctorate of psychology program, which is focused on clinical work instead of research.

"The founder of Argosy, determined that he wanted to offer a degree that was clinically focused rather than a Ph.D. that is typically research focused, so he developed the concept of the PsyD," Adamson said. "People who graduate from a PsyD program can be licensed as a clinical psychologist and that allows them to do a lot of different things in the field of psychology."

In addition to opening enrollment, the Utah campus of Argosy is currently hiring its faculty and staff, seeking both full-time and adjunct faculty. Dr. Deborah Wheeler has been hired as the vice president of academic affairs, and will oversee all academic functions of the university. Each area of focus within the university will have a program chair who will focus their attention on the curriculum and making sure that the faculty is delivery the courses appropriately and that students are progressing through their programs. Additionally, the university is seeking members of the professional community within each of its three areas of focus to form an program advisory committee.

Tuition at Argosy starts at approximately $399 per credit hour for a bachelor's degree for full-time students taking at least 12 credit hours. Masters degree programs cost $480 per credit hour and doctorate programs cost $725 per credit hour.

"When our students . finish they have something really tangible to go out and market themselves," Adamson said. "We find that the adult student wants us to help them to get from point A to point B with the best skill and knowledge development they can in the quickest way possible. They don't want to spend a lot of time with courses that aren't relevant to their end goal, and we help them to do that. We design the curriculum and the schedule for their entire program in a such an effective way that they're finished within three-and-a-half years to four years for the bachelors degree that they intend to do."

The university also offers a complete study of general education courses that are also relevant to a student's field of study.

"When our students finish they have something really tangible to go out and market themselves," Adamson said. "We prepare people to have the career that they want."

Copyright Enterprise Business Newspaper Inc. Jun 16, 2008

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