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Friday, March 25th, 2011

Lake Campus switching to semesters

By William Kincaid

Many changes are slated for Wright State University-Lake Campus, including a swi. . .

CELINA - Changes are coming to Wright State University-Lake Campus in academia and aesthetics.
The satellite campus is undergoing a transition from a three quarter system to two semesters, interim superintendent Bonnie Mathies said Wednesday.
"It's been a three-year process," Mathies said. The new schedule will become effective in the fall of 2012.
The massive undertaking involves overhauling courses and curriculum at the campus to meet the parameters of the new schedule.
"It's moving along very well, and I think the university has it under control," Mathies said.
Wright State University and its Lake Campus, as well as The Ohio State University, Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati are switching to semesters, Mathies said.
The move is intended to ease the transition between different state institutions.
Ohio's other nine state universities are on semesters and all two-year state institutions will be on a semester calendar by fall 2012.
"This move will align Wright State's calendar with other two and four-year public institutions in the University System of Ohio (USO) and with more than 90 percent of higher education institutions across the country," according to information provided by Wright State.
Mathies said the switch will not force students in the midst of the transition to stay longer or pay additional money.
"I think it's a positive change," she said, adding she has experienced both quarters and semesters during her career and sees benefits to both schedules.
Faculty members are reviewing and altering their courses and programs of study to meet the new format. Mathies said its a chance to refresh every class and degree.
"It's a massive, massive undertaking," Mathies said.
The new schedule in fall 2012 also will be accompanied by a new series of core classes all students must take.
Leading the way in the changes are the Lake Campus' experienced faculty and staff.
Of the campus's 24 full time faculty members, 15 have doctorates, Mathias said. Many of the other instructors have multiple masters degrees from renowned institutions, Mathies said.
The campus also utilizes about 30 adjunct professors, instructors required to have master degrees and proven proficiency in their fields, Mathies said.
Unlike other colleges, Lake Campus students are benefited by being taught by professors instead of graduate assistants, she said.
Mathies said she hopes to employ additional full time faculty members to accommodate a growing student body.
Five years ago, the campus had about 700 students. Today, there are around 1,500, Mathies said.
Mathies also said the campus wants to increase its agricultural areas of study in the future since it is a key occupation and area of economic development locally.
Campus is also preparing for new dorms, which should be ready by this fall. There is a great deal of excitement about the new townhouse-style apartments and a few openings are still available, Mathias said.
Earlier this year, Tom Knapke, Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) development officer, said having dorms on campus will attract more students who might have overlooked the school because they lived too far away.
Although the Lake Campus is a branch of Wright Site, it feels like a mini university on its own with its academic programs and infrastructure, Mathies said.
The Lake Campus is a valuable local institution with a strong faculty, Mathies said.
"Coming to the Lake Campus is a good deal," she said.
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