Concordia University Chicago in River Forest recently launched two new colleges in a reorganization it says will match students’ interests and propel their careers forward.
Over the last few months, the university broke up the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Graduate Studies and Innovative Programs to build a pair of new colleges to provide students and faculty a more succinct educational experience, said Erik Ankerberg, provost and chief academic advisor at Concordia.
The newly formed colleges – the College of Health, Science and Technology and the College of Theology, Arts and Humanities – would either replace or absorb the degree programs from the old colleges. Other programs may shift to the private university’s College of Business and College of Education.
The concept of creating the new colleges was part of Concordia’s larger restructuring plan, said Ankerberg. Reorganizing the 157-year-old university’s academic programs pushed Ankerberg and his colleagues to look closely at what Concordia could provide their students – and if what they were providing them was the “best.”
Officials wanted students to receive a “a meaningful and transformative education” and prepare them to join the job market after graduation, he said. The move to set up the College of Health, Science and Technology, especially, was meant to diversify and strengthen the university’s programs, ultimately making it more competitive against other institutions.
Ankerberg said Concordia knew its science programs needed improvement, and the new colleges were a step in the right direction. The College of Health, Science and Technology is expected to offer a four-year nursing degree program and possibly a master’s degree program, Ankerberg said. There are also plans to offer programs for occupational therapy and engineering science.
As for the College of Theology, Arts and Humanities, programs listed there will focus more on religion, philosophy and general education programs.
“We’re an institution that understands it needs to be growing, and changing, and [doing] dynamic work to serve students really well and to help them be prepared for a variety of careers,” Ankerberg said.