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Framingham State to open first Mass.-based satellite site in Marlborough this September

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  July 23, 2012 02:51 PM

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Framingham State University has announced it will open a new off-campus site at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough, hosting weeknight courses for students working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies.

The Marlborough location is the first Massachusetts-based satellite site for the university's program. There are several off-site locations in 16 different countries for degrees specializing in international teaching and languages.

Although Framingham State has experienced surging enrollment for several years, the opening of the Marlborough site is not targeted to accommodate a growing student population, said Dan Magazu, university spokesperson.

"This program is not aimed at a traditional student," Magazu said in an email. "It’s aimed more at professionals who work full-time, balance family responsibilities but are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree."

The university has seen enrollment hikes of 12 percent each year in the past two years, up from 4 percent four years ago, university executive vice president Dale Hamel told the Globe previously.

The Marlborough-based courses will be offered on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Classes begin September 5.

The Assabet Valley site was chosen because it’s easily accessible from Interstate 495, and is already home to a vibrant evening community education program, according to Scott Greenberg, associate vice president of academic affairs and dean of the Graduate and Continuing Education at the university.

“There is an existing population of thousands of adults attending noncredit classes at Assabet Valley Technical School,” Greenberg said in a statement. “We believe some may be interested in taking credit courses and completing a college degree.”

Greenberg says the site provides people in the Assabet Valley region the flexibility to work toward a bachelor’s degree while also juggling family and job demands.

"Having a site in Marlboro, right off of a major highway, allows us to reach people in that area who may not have the time to commute to Framingham for evening classes," Magazu said.

The courses initially being offered include:

  • Elementary Spanish I - An integration of language and culture designed to provide beginners with basic functional language skills and an appreciation of Hispanic cultures.
  • Europe and World Since Circa 1450 - A survey of major cultural, intellectual, political, and socioeconomic developments in Europe since the mid-fifteenth century, including European interaction with the wider world.
  • Race and Ethnic Relations - An examination of the cultures of various racial and ethnic groups from national, international, and historical perspectives; an overview of the theories relevant for an understanding of the outcomes of intergroup contact.
  • Expository Writing - Designed to improve the writing of expository prose needed in college and beyond. The emphasis rests on collecting, evaluating, and organizing evidence from primary and secondary sources in order to support an explicit, arguable, and substantive thesis.

During the 2012 spring semester Framingham State had 175 full-time students enrolled in Liberal Studies, which is an inter-disciplinary program, Magazu said.

For more information on the Liberal Studies program, visit the program's website.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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