The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa Board of Regents recommends approval to close UI learning centers

The educational locations, housed in other cities, were closed due to low enrollment and the move to online classes.
The+Old+Capitol+Building+is+seen+in+Iowa+City+on++Tuesday+April%2C+25%2C+2023.
Cody Blissett/The Daily Iowan
The Old Capitol Building is seen in Iowa City on Tuesday April, 25, 2023.

The Iowa Board of Regents recommended approval on Wednesday for the closure of three University of Iowa learning centers across the state. 

The UI was requesting the closure of the Scott Community College Learning Center in Riverdale, Birchwood Learning Center in Davenport, and the Tippie College of Business Cedar Rapids Learning Center. The university did not provide the exact amount the UI will save from closing the centers. 

Reasons given ranged from low enrollment to students moving to online classes instead.

Scott Community College Learning 

The university requested approval to close the Scott Community College Learning Center, an institution that has been around for about 50 years, offering a Master of Social Work.

After the closure of Marycrest University’s bachelor’s degree in Davenport in social work and the opening of St. Ambrose University’s Master of Social Work program, enrollment at the college is at an all-time low.

Amanda Thein, UI associate provost for graduate and professional education, said the request comes after a decrease in applications and interest in the college’s online master’s in social work program. The college anticipates that the number of applicants in the online program will increase going forward.

In the spring of 2021, the college recruited 10 students, with only eight students accepting the offer and enrolling in the learning center’s online program. Currently, there are no students enrolled at the learning center itself, Thein said.

Thein said the learning center does not anticipate a decrease in online enrollment, in hopes of continuing to operate on a cohort model, where 25-30 students enroll in the Master of Social Work program every three years.

The learning center anticipates an increase in the number of social workers needed in Iowa as the need for mental health support increases.

Birchwood Learning Center

The university requested the closure of Birchwood Learning Center, located in Davenport, which houses the master’s program in business analytics and professional Master’s of Business Administration through the Tippie College of Business.

Currently, Thein said professional students enrolled in these programs are moving to online courses at a more rapid rate, and offering both in-person and online courses is not the best use of the learning center’s resources.

In 2022, Birchwood students were offered the option to move to an online program as the learning center saw low enrollment.

Tippie College of Business Cedar Rapids Learning Center

The Tippie College of Business Cedar Rapids Learning Center offers a master’s of science in business analytics and a Master’s of Business Administration through the Tippie College of Business.

The closure would help students by allowing them to complete their programs through online coursework, allowing for greater flexibility.

Thein said there would be cost savings as the space in Cedar Rapids would no longer need to be leased and faculty would be able to allocate their resources to solely the online programs.

Thein said the learning center does not anticipate a decrease in enrollment with this closure.

Alejandro Rojas contributed to this report.

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About the Contributor
Shreya Reddy, News Reporter
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Shreya Reddy is a freshman at the University of Iowa. Coming from a small town in Kansas, Shreya is double majoring in English and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. Before coming to the Daily Iowan, she has written for her neighborhood magazine and her schools literary magazine as well as writing an investigative journalism piece.