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Aurora U. looking to branch out

 

Just more than two years into its existence, Aurora University-Woodstock Center now has more than 30 students taking part in its programs.

Linda Olbinski, recently named dean of academic outreach at the center, hopes to keep enrollment climbing. Olbinski has served in a similar capacity with the university’s George Williams College, seeing the campus rise from about 40 students to 400 students in less than a decade. 

In late 2009, Aurora University announced the addition of the Woodstock Center, located in a portion of the Challenger Learning Center for Science and Technology building. The center opened with one classroom, but has since added a second classroom. Classes are held every weeknight, including Fridays, and all day Saturday.

The center opened with a Master of Business Administration graduate degree program and the first four students are expected to graduate in May. A Master of Science in Nursing degree as well as adult degree completion programs were added shortly after. Other certification programs also have been added.

“I’m excited about having the adult degree completion programs here in Woodstock,” Olbinski said. In fall, the center will begin offering a communication adult degree completion program, but the criminal justice and RN to BSN completion degrees will be discontinued.

Olbinski said the center continues to work with local school districts and hopes to offer teachers additional classes and programs for professional development. She said the university would likely launch a masters program in educational leadership that would allow teachers to move into administrative roles.

The Woodstock Center continues to work with McHenry County College to provide an easy transition between the two colleges.

“We’re in the process of signing articulation agreements [for the adult degree completion programs],” Olbinski said.

Olbinski, who has spent less than a month in her new role, said she will continue to look for appropriate programs, both graduate and undergraduate, to offer.

“We are interested in expanding,” she said.

The Aurora University-Woodstock Center can be reached at 815-337-6051. For information, visit www.aurora.edu/woodstock.