Lindenwood University Belleville news surprises many students
This story was originally published in the News-Democrat on October 9, 2004. It is being rerun in the wake of news that daytime programs at the Belleville, Illinois, campus will be moved to the St. Charles, MO, campus starting with the 2020-2021 academic year:
Lindenwood University will start day classes at its West Main Street campus beginning next year, according to an administrator.
The addition is expected to push attendance at the Belleville location from 350 students to more than 1,000 by mid-2005.
“We are laying the groundwork now for a day program that will be traditional junior- and senior-level course work,” said Larry Doyle, director of Outreach Programs for the university. “It is aimed at picking up graduates from Southwestern Illinois College with a two-year degree.”
The first day courses are expected to be part of a health management program that will start next summer.
Belleville Ward 2 Alderman Joe Shively was a harsh critic of District 201’s decision to build a new Belleville West and abandon the old high school. But he said he never envisioned at the time that a full-service university would open in the heart of Belleville.
“I cannot tell you what a godsend Lindenwood is to the west end of Belleville,” Shively said. “It’s the anchor of revitalization of that whole area.”
Shively said he thought the neighborhood surrounding the campus would become a ghost town when the high school left. But with 1,000 college students at the site, Shively said he thinks it is only a matter of time before restaurants, book stores and coffee shops open up to serve the influx of people.
“I thought nothing would happen at that old school,” Shively said. “But Lindenwood and Art on the Square are probably No. 1 and No. 2 when it comes to the best things that have happened in Belleville for the last 75 years.”
The news of the day courses comes on the heals of the Illinois Board of Higher Education approving additional night courses at the Belleville campus.
Doyle said both new criminal justice classes will be at night. One program is aimed at law enforcement workers who want to extend their education beyond a bachelor’s degree. The other is for law enforcement workers who have an associate’s degree and want to earn a four-year diploma.
“It went very well. All three programs received approval from the board,” Doyle said. “Starting in January, we will start offering the criminal justice courses. We’re not sure if it will be January or May when we start to institute the professional counseling program.”
The new courses will add about 45 night school students to the campus.