Lisle, Illinois ~ The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education voted unanimously today to approve Benedictine University’s application and to grant Benedictine a license to offer educational programs in Mesa, Ariz.
The board’s vote at its Thursday meeting grants Benedictine a license to operate an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher learning in Arizona. The approval is the latest step in a process that will allow Benedictine to open a branch campus in downtown Mesa.
The initiative is part of the City of Mesa’s Higher Education Recruitment Initiative, an economic development effort by city officials to attract new institutions of higher learning and, in turn, attract more students to the downtown area, increasing the vibrancy of the urban core as well as the number of highly skilled workers with college degrees.
The partnership helps Benedictine — which currently has agreements with dozens of public, private, governmental and nongovernmental institutions both in the United States and abroad — to reach a wider audience.
In April, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved the University’s application for Authority to Conduct Affairs in Arizona, which also was necessary for today’s approval.
Benedictine plans to begin business operations this fall at 51 E. Main Street and begin offering classes in August 2013 at 225 E. Main Street, both located in downtown Mesa. Initial degree offerings will include a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Organizational Behavior, in addition to a minor in Religious Studies.
University officials believe branching out in Arizona fits into the University’s mission to offer a faith-based, values-centered liberal arts education.
"When this opportunity came along, we knew we should pursue it," said Benedictine President William J. Carroll, Ph.D."
Benedictine will lease its space in downtown Mesa. Eventually, University officials expect to add residential facilities and long-range plans include the addition of a full-range of academic programs and extracurricular offerings including athletics. Benedictine plans to hire instructors, support and administrative staff directly from the Mesa community and will announce later when student recruiting and employment opportunities will begin.
In March, the University celebrated its 125-year anniversary since its founding by Benedictine monks. Benedictine is known for outstanding programs in science, business, health, education and the liberal arts.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.