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Year in Review 2014: Higher Education

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College candidate for accreditation
Antioch College passed a major hurdle by achieving candidacy status in its pursuit of accreditation in June. The candidacy allows Antioch students to be eligible for federal financial aid, among other benefits, while the college works towards full accreditation over the next few years. After a final site visit in fall 2015, Antioch could become accredited as early as June 2016.

Wellness center opens to community
In September, the 44,000-square foot Antioch Wellness Center opened up to the public after undergoing a yearlong $8 million renovation. Located in the former Curl Gymnasium, the wellness center features a renovated six-lane competition-length swimming pool, numerous indoor courts, a large workout room, a room for group classes like yoga and more. Monica Hasek of Yoga Springs was named wellness center director in May.

Last class enters on Horace’s tab
In October the fourth class of the revived Antioch College, and the last to receive a full-tuition Horace Mann Fellowship arrived on campus. The 71 students were described by Antioch Dean of Admissions Micah Canal as more diverse and international, with 40 percent of the new class being non-white or Hispanic, while nearly one-third are the first generation of their family to attend college. The new class increased total enrollment to 246 students.
Fundraising needs continue

Since gaining independence from Antioch University, the college has been able to raise more than $60 million in gifts and commitments from alumni and friends of the college, according to the Antioch Alumni Magazine in October. However, the college still needs to raise money to balance its budget and continue capital improvements on campus. The article added that the cost estimate to renovate campus facilities jumped from $30 million four years ago to $120 million today.

Campus-community connections
In addition to numerous public art openings, performances and presentations at Antioch this year, community members were invited to campus for a local writers’ series, a small wind turbine design and construction workshop, a seed-saving tomato walk, a filmmaker master class, a food forest tour and global water issue talks.

Farm plans vetted
At a public meeting in May, Antioch laid out its vision for a 36-acre property on the south end of campus known as the “golf course.” Nearly 200 villagers attended the meeting, many sharing their support for the college’s land use vision.

Solar panels sprout on farm
After receiving Village approval for its solar plans, Antioch erected a one-megawatt solar array along Corry Street on the “golf course” in October as part of its plan to become carbon neutral.

New AUM president starts
After being hired in late 2013, Karen Schuster Webb started her tenure as president of Antioch University Midwest in January. In August, Webb was selected to serve on the American Council of Education Women’s Network Executive Council, which has the goal of advancing and supporting women in higher education.

AUM enrollment in decline
This spring, enrollment at Antioch University Midwest dropped to an all-time low, a decline steeper than that of its sister institutions in the region. While the university system has remained stable enough to support the local campus, relatively flat enrollment university-wide has recently forced the tuition-dependent Midwest campus to deplete its own reserves and cut its budget, along with faculty and staff positions.

School of Ed reaccredited, recognized
In June, the School of Education at AUM was reaccredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, with all programs accredited until 2019. In August, the School of Education was nationally recognized by the specialized professional associations of three of its education licensure programs.

Community partnerships at AUM
In December, AUM partnered with the Yellow Springs Human Relations Community and the National Conference for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton to put on “Valuing Diversity: A Day of Disability Awareness and Education.” AUM’s School of Education hosted a talk in June by Digital Danger/Digital Innocence Project on the dangers of sharing personal information on social media. AUM also hosted poetry slams, artist receptions, toastmaster’s meetings, a voting rights discussion, Antioch College Writer’s Workshop sessions and more in 2014.

AU Connected launched
Over the summer, Antioch University released its new online education program, AU Connected, which offers several bachelor’s completion programs that are fully online.

Healthcare focus of new Ph.D.
Antioch University’s Ph.D. in Leadership and Change program added a second focus in August. In addition to an interdisciplinary curriculum, students can elect to focus on healthcare to receive a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change for Healthcare. The first cohort will start in July 2015.


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