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Peasley: University satellite grows more popular

Friends tell me Aurora University Woodstock Center is “the community’s best kept secret.”

Word is spreading of the benefits of that institution to Woodstock. Enrollment is more than 100 students, 25 more students than the spring semester last year. Half are in College of Education programs. Thirty percent are in the MBA program. The remaining 20 percent are in the Adult Degree Education Completion and Graduate Addictions programs.

Aurora University Woodstock Center is in the Challenger Learning Center for Science & Technology, 222 Church St., Woodstock.

The center offers many opportunities, including graduate programs in education, business administration, bilingual/ESL endorsements, addictions certification and Master of Arts in educational leadership.

Other popular opportunities are an Adult Degree Completion program in business administration and an RN to BSN degree.

The Aurora University Woodstock Center is hosting a College of Education information meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday to learn about class schedules, streamlined admissions and financial aid for the Master of Arts in Reading Instruction, Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Special Education Endorsement and Reading Endorsement programs. Call 630-844-3857.

A Nursing Programs open house will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5. Information will include advancing careers of RN to BSN degree completion, Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing Bridge Option. Faculty and admission representatives will answer questions.

Marcia Koenen, director since Sept. 1, is working closely with Gary Elkins, recruiter/adviser. Together they have implemented growth in enrollment and programming. Growth has led to discussions with the Challenger Center to build and lease two more classrooms in the future.

Elkins is a Navy veteran who served four years in San Diego. He did two West Pacific deployments – one on a guided missile destroyer and one on an amphibious transport. He started as a student with Aurora University in the MBA program in June 2011 and will complete his degree in February 2013.

Koenen, who has worked at the main Aurora University campus for six years, was director of Adult Degree Completion at the Aurora campus before coming to Woodstock. She is a graduate of Aurora University with an elementary teaching certificate. She taught third grade in St. Charles. She has worked in adult and graduate program administration at Elmhurst College and Lakeland College before coming to Aurora University.

“We want to spread the word that AU Woodstock Center is a convenient location and can meet students’ needs. The AU Woodstock Center’s strength is our focus on the students. The student is in the driver’s seat. We are always focusing on the needs of our students,” Koenen said.

• Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since October 1947. He can be reached at (815) 338-1533.

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