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Area universities advance by adding a program, college, building

If as William Butler Yeats asserted -- "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire" -- then three local universities are lighting some interesting fires as they seek to expand programs, add new colleges and literally reach for the heavens with a new campus.

Up in the sky

With an eye on the future, Roosevelt University is taking education vertical with a new 32-floor academic building at 425 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago. Projecting a 50 percent increase in the number of full-time students at the Chicago campus between 2007 and 2017, Roosevelt recognized its existing facilities could not support this anticipated growth.

"The project is the culmination of years of planning and the result of the development of the University's Chicago Loop campus for traditional age, full-time students who wish to study and live in the vital center of the city," says Chuck Middleton, president of Roosevelt University.

According to Roosevelt officials, the structure is the second tallest university building in the country and the sixth tallest in the world. Ground was broken April 2010 and Roosevelt expects the project to be completed in March 2012.

The contemporary building will be 469 feet tall, 100 feet across and 32 stories high. The project is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, meaning that it meets requirements for sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials and indoor environmental air quality.

The new campus is an expansion of Roosevelt's facilities and it will house classrooms, laboratories, offices, dorm rooms, a dining hall, fitness facilities and student services all under one roof. Its projected cost is $129 million.

Middleton says the new building will nicely complement the school's existing offerings by providing different kinds of spaces for students to use, as well as state-of-the-art science facilities and classrooms. "And it will house over 600 students each with his or her own room overlooking either the Chicago skyline, the park or the lake," he adds.

The fire Roosevelt is hoping to light, says Middleton, "is to educate larger numbers of citizens so that they can contribute to the economic, social and cultural future of Chicago in significant and successful ways that benefit us all."

Meeting a need

Back down on earth, the Adler School of Professional Psychology is meeting a growing demand by establishing the nation's first clinical psychology doctoral program track specializing in military psychology.

As the nation continues its engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq, and still deals with the effects of the Vietnam conflict all these years later, behavioral health specialists needed to treat U.S. troops and veterans will continue to grow, says Dr. Joseph Troiani, a retired U.S. Navy commander, clinical psychologist and coordinator of the school's new track.

"The Adler School has offered courses that examined the psychology of terrorism and mental health disaster response for years, and we also have an entire doctoral concentration in traumatic stress," he says. "For the last 10 years, Adler School graduates have been going into the military as psychologists. We asked what could be done to better prepare them for entering the service."

Adler School's work in this field has also resulted in the school's students having success in being awarded military health care scholarships, says Troiani.

"A year ago, when 10 U.S. Army military health scholarships were made available nationwide, three of them were awarded to students at the Adler School," says Troiani.

The new school

In response to growing demand for healthcare professionals, DePaul University has established a new College of Science and Health (CSH) -- the university's 10th college/school.

"The healthcare industry alone is expected to create over 3 million jobs by 2018, " says Interim Dean Jerry Cleland. "Creating a college with an academic focus on science and health allows the university to respond to the needs of our students and the marketplace in a timely manner."

The College of Science and Health will encompass programs in biology, chemistry, physics, nursing, psychology, environmental science, mathematics and statistics that were previously located in DePaul's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. CSH will open in the fall quarter of 2011, with classes, primarily held on the Lincoln Park campus, beginning Sept. 7.

"The new college also allows for greater collaboration among our faculty in developing new, interdisciplinary academic programs and pursuing multidisciplinary external research funding," says Cleland.

The college will offer undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry, environmental science, health science, mathematics, physics, and psychology. It will offer graduate degrees in biology, chemistry, mathematics, nursing, physics, psychology, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies.

"Two new degree programs that were recently created are cognitive neuroscience and health sciences," adds Cleland. "We expect that more degree programs will be developed in the next few years."

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