When news of a new visual arts and science building spread through Seton Hill University’s (SHU’s) campus, most students were left in awe of the changes coming to campus. President JoAnne Boyle announced campus expansion and rebuilding during Fall Workshop 2012. Since then, news has boomed over large donations and unique innovations for both of these new buildings.
The five-year campus plan, with the visual arts and science buildings as key features, is a welcome course of action. While most students garner a huge appreciation for SHU’s antique style and Hogwarts-like appeal, keeping up to date is vital. In regards to the science building, LECOM and science majors in general have been booming at SHU recently. The dietetics and physician assistant programs are also growing, and space and new technology have become necessary for these medical and science programs.
The most important aspect of any college should be the value of the education being provided. With new buildings and the bolstering of important programs, SHU is proving that its student priorities are in the right place.
That being said, speculation over other factors remains at large. Other keys to ensuring student success and retention are factors like tuition reimbursement, housing, and parking. While tuition reimbursement has always been a prime priority at SHU, housing and parking must also be considered. Questions arise such as, when will the freshman residence halls be updated? How will LECOM housing play into the overall campus environment and experience?
Perhaps the most important part of asking these questions centers on the plans to raise enrollment. By the end of the five-year plan, SHU is expected to have at least 3,000 students, its largest enrollment ever. Will all of these students have ample opportunity for housing? Will a plan for a new residence hall be put into motion? Will parking be expanded to make room for the student population growth?
We admire the academic work SHU is doing over the course of the five-year expansion. We are simply curious as to how the swell of student numbers will be handled. Only the Fall 2017 workshop will be able to provide us the answers we seek, and under a new president at that.