SPRINGFIELD – The University of Massachusetts, opening a satellite center at Tower Square this fall, formally opened its ground-floor “Welcome Center” on Monday to begin assisting students with registration.
During a press conference at Tower Square, city officials and university representatives gathered to announce the opening of the center, and to provide some details about the 40 courses and various programs being offered.
“This is a historic and milestone moment for the city of Springfield and for the University of Massachusetts,” said Henry M. Thomas III, of Springfield, who serves as chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees.
Others taking part in the event included University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret, and UMass Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, and Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.
The satellite center, with classrooms and offices being renovated on the second floor of Tower Square, is set to open before the start of classes on Sept. 2.
The new site will serve to expand educational opportunities for local students and will promote economic development opportunities, Subbaswemy said.
Caret said the university is “very excited” to expand to Springfield.
“We want prospective students in the Greater Springfield area to know that the UMass Center at Springfield is now open for business,” Caret said.
Sarno said the expanded presence of the university in Springfield was a priority.
UMass opens new satellite centerThe University of Massachusetts opened a welcome center Monday at its new satellite center located in Tower Square.The center will allow students to register for courses and degree programs before the start of classes September 2, 2014.
“This is economic development,” Sarno said. “This is an important catalyst for the city of Springfield as we move forward.”
The initial 40 courses being offered for the fall semester draw on “key industry needs in the region, and that additional programs are being explored” in partnership with Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College, according to a university summary.
The programs will allow students to obtain an associate degree that leads to bachelor degrees in such areas as advanced manufacturing, management, cyber security, information technology and casino management, according to a summary.
The Welcome Center will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The telephone number is (413) 788-6277.
Local officials and downtown merchants reacted with excitement and optimism in November when the university announced it was opening a satellite center in downtown Springfield.
The fall classes schedule will include course offerings in graduate, undergraduate and non-credit areas, officials said.
The course offerings at the Springfield center will include online courses and University Without Walls, a program at the Amherst campus that helps adults finish their first bachelor’s degree.
In addition, there will be courses tied to architecture, cyber security, education, landscape architecture and regional planning, and nursing.
There will also be training programs under the partnership with the local community colleges.
“We encourage them to walk in to the center or go online or call to inquire about our programs onsite and online and register for classes,” Caret said.
The UMass Center at Springfield website is www.umasscenteratspringfield.org.
Thomas said that as a land grant institution, UMass has a responsibility not only to the campus, but to the communities in which it exists, so it has an impact in the improvement of those communities.
Photography by Mark M. Murray | firstname.lastname@example.org
Article published at http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/03/university_of_massachusetts_op.html