University moves into market
An Illinois-based university is moving into town next year to offer business programs for graduate and continuing studies students.
Olivet Nazarene University, or ONU, a Christian liberal arts school in Bourbonnais, Ill., said today that its School of Graduate and Continuing Studies will begin offering “on-ground” programs in 2015 in Caledonia at the Pyramid Campus, at 6100 E. Paris Ave. SE.
ONU’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies also operates a location in Grand Ledge, just west of Lansing, and several locations in Illinois and Indiana.
The school offers a number of online and classroom-based programs on a range of subjects: business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing and education.
Through a partnership with Pyramid Campus, ONU will have both office and classroom space in the collaborative incubator-type education hub.
Rob Simpson, executive director of the global campus for ONU, said the university will offer a variety of STEM-related programs, and ONU is looking forward to partnering directly with companies and organizations in the area to provide needed programs for various industries.
“ONU has developed an expansion initiative which seeks strategic growth opportunities that align with the university’s academic strengths,” Simpson said. “The Pyramid Campus fits this growth initiative very well.”
The university’s decision to collaborate with Pyramid Campus was based on several factors: the campus’ focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, or STEAM; and the strategic alignment of educational, business and public-private partnerships.
“The idea of P-20 just really makes sense,” said Simpson, referring to the Pyramid Campus. “Just to be part of a project that seems to be on the front edge of where education is going, using application-based education. And that is really what we are about.”
Jerry Zandstra, co-founder of Pyramid Campus, said ONU’s presence is a welcome addition, and the campus is pleased to have them in the facility.
“We were pleasantly surprised with how timely ONU moved from touring to a commitment,” Zandstra said.
ONU plans to employ two staff members at the campus: Simpson and Karen Benson, Michigan director of educational partnerships. The staff will be supported by ONU’s main campus and its additional locations.
Pyramid Campus finalized a $7.5-million purchase agreement in late November for the 1989 Steelcase Pyramid building.
Simpson added that the school’s degrees in engineering, nursing, applied science, education and business make it a “great partner as companies strive to meet their STEM-focused human resource growth needs.”
The U.S. Department of Education has reported a projected 14-percent increase in STEM-related jobs from 2010 to 2020, with a 16-percent increase in mathematics and 62-percent rise in biomedical engineers.
The Michigan STEM Partnership, the statewide public-private collaborative addressing the current lack of STEM skills in the workforce, indicated that the state will have a shortage of roughly 274,000 STEM professionals by 2018, according to ONU.