Wilkes University’s Poconos branch will officially open next semester with three programs. Students in the Pocono branch’s master of business administration program began classes this fall.
The new 2,800 square foot Pocono center is located off of the Bartonsville exit of Interstate 80, about a 45-minute drive from Wilkes’ main campus.
It will hold two classrooms, a conference room and an office for two faculty members. Wireless internet will also be implemented.
The concept for the Poconos branch has been in discussion for two years. After realizing that there are students who could be served in the Poconos and Tannersville area, planning began.
Vernon Harper, associate provost, is the project manager and has seen a lot of interest in students willing to attend Wilkes in another location.
“We are looking to extend the footprints of Wilkes and our education programs,” he said.
Students in the M.B.A. program have begun this fall at an alternate location, but the official Poconos site will finish construction before its official opening for the spring semester.
The Poconos center will have three programs: master of business administration degree, an accelerated bachelor of business administration program and a master of science degree in engineering management. Other curriculum may be added based upon interest.
Classes are scheduled for evenings and weekends. There will be continuing education programs held during the day at the center. The classes are designed to be at convenient and flexible times for adult learners.
Kristine Pruett, assistant to the dean of graduate education, supported the project and attended discussions about planning the facility.
“We realized that there are students in other areas that we could be serving and now we have the resources to do so,” she said. “This is the first place we are leasing to open up an alternate Wilkes location.”
Pruett said that there are about a dozen students registered this fall for the M.B.A. program.
“All but two would not have enrolled in this program at Wilkes without this location,” she said.
As of now, there are no solid plans of other Wilkes locations. However, Harper and Pruett agree that if there are enough interested people in an area, Wilkes will begin to research.
The Poconos center will include part time faculty, as well as full time faculty that teach at Wilkes’ main campus, as well.
Costs for the programs vary, but financial aid is available to those who qualify. There were be a series of informational meetings at noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 11, Oct. 17 and Oct. 25 at the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce, 556 Main St. in Stroudsburg.
The information sessions will discuss admissions process, financial aid and student services. For more information or to register for a session, visit www.wilkes.edu/poconos.