Students disappointed over College of Professional Studies elimination

Gary Leverton, Higher Education Reporter

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Students in the College of Professional Studies reacted negatively to the university’s decision to eliminate their college starting in fall 2016.

“It was one of the most profound and life-changing experiences for me,” said Sarah Aschenbrenner, a senior in the College of Professional Studies. “It is sad other people won’t be able to experience this.”

The College of Professional Studies offers undergraduate degrees to working adults. News of phasing-out the college was announced in an email from Provost Daniel Myers and Robert Deahl, dean of the College of Professional Studies, on Aug. 11.

The email said the college is “high quality” but “not financially viable” due to increased competition.

“I didn’t know enrollment was that low that it wasn’t financially viable,” said Rebecca Huck, a College of Professional Studies student. “The education we received here was more than a degree. It gave you a deeper and richer experience.”

The program will continue to enroll students in the college’s leadership and organizations degrees after the elimination. All currently enrolled College of Professional Studies students are able to complete their degrees.

“If the university only knew how many lives they have affected, maybe they would have strived harder to find alternative funding,” said Nikki Wollmer, a junior in the College of Professional Studies, in an email.

The decision was made after two years of review and in accordance with Marquette’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries.

Huck said one of the biggest advantages of the program was its smaller class sizes. She said this allowed for better discussions because students felt more comfortable, thus allowing her to get more out of the class.

“It has been nothing but a positive experience,” Huck said. “Marquette doesn’t realize the impact it’s going to have by getting rid of it.”

Aschenbrenner said she was blown away by how much the staff in the college cared for her.

“All the professors were so helpful,” Aschenbrenner said. “They cared so much. Every one of them would stay until midnight to help us if we needed it.”

Sylvia Guyton, a senior in the College of Professional Studies, said the quality of education in the classroom at Marquette is superior to most online classes. She said discussions are better because a lot of learning takes place in the classroom.

“You learn a lot from other students,” Guyton said. “You don’t get that personal touch with online schooling.”

Most students said the college’s class offerings worked perfectly with their busy lives. Many of them have families and other jobs, making evenings and weekends their only times to do school.

“Families are being affected,” Huck said. “A lot of people are scrambling right now.”

Wollmer said the College of Professional Studies gave her a second chance in life.

“I guess my only hope is that Marquette knows how much they have touched the lives of the students within this program,” Wollmer said. “In order for its students to be the difference, Marquette needs to do the same.”

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