Davenport University to open Detroit campus
Davenport University, the state’s second-largest private non-profit university, will open a new campus in the New Center area of Detroit in January, the school announced Tuesday.
The push into Detroit is part of an overall growth strategy for the school, which started in Grand Rapids and has gradually made its way across the state. The school is known for its tight ties to business, boasting it can create a degree program in 60 days after an industry tells them it’s needed.
The new campus will open in January in 12,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the New Center One building at 3031 W. Grand Blvd. It will have six classrooms, a computer lab and other work and study areas. It’s designed for 2,000 students.
“We are excited by what is going on in Detroit,” Davenport University President Richard Pappas told the Free Press. “Our great skills are matching up with the skills gaps that employers see. We are coming into Detroit with the full force of the university.”
The university will offer 21 courses during its first semester in areas such as business, healthcare, technology and urban education.
“For years, Davenport University has served Detroit residents and having a campus right here in the city, close to major bus routes, will make a quality college education that much more accessible,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a news release. “Davenport will be a great partner in our efforts to prepare Detroiters for opportunities in fields such as healthcare and technology.”
Davenport was founded in 1866 in Grand Rapids. In recent years, it has expanded and changed. It used to largely offer associate degrees, with 56 percent of its graduates getting one, but now only 5 percent do. That’s because community colleges do a good job with those degrees, Pappas said.
The university expanded and now offers dorms and athletics at its Grand Rapids location. It also has campuses in Warren and Lansing. It recently closed a campus in Livonia.
It touts its tight ties to industry and employers.
“It’s our belief that we have two bosses — the employers that hire our students and our students who we have to make sure are ready to go when they are hired,” Pappas said. “We are a practically oriented institution.”
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