Mesa set to announce 5th college coming to city - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Mesa set to announce 5th college coming to city

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Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 4:40 pm

Mesa officials are expected to announce this week the fifth college to join the growing higher education ranks of the city.

Mayor Scott Smith confirmed the news to the Tribune on Tuesday while talking about a jobs report.

The new school --– a liberal arts college --– follows the news that Benedictine University, Westminster College, Albright College and Wilkes University will start offering classes in downtown Mesa.

The city decided to put a focus on adding liberal arts colleges to the area when it saw a need for that type of higher education. The colleges are part of the city’'s HEATT initiative to boost Mesa’'s economic base: health care, education, aerospace/aviation, technology and tourism.

The fifth school will not be located in downtown, but is committed to Mesa, said Jaye O'Donnell, Mesa’'s economic development deputy director.

“"We’'re interested in having another school in the mix as far as rounding out the city,”" O'’Donnell said.

The city’'s goal is that between 1,000 and 1,500 students will be enrolled in these schools in the next five years, she said.

All the new colleges and universities will participate in the first Mesa Higher Education Conference and Expo on Sept. 21 at the Mesa Arts Center's Piper Theater. The event, to be held from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., is open to the public.

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